I thought “the cough” would stop if I ignored it, but it didn’t. How long does it take to destroy “the way it was” and make it “the way it is now”?
How long does a “childhood cough” remain hidden behind the alphabet, before someone notices?
At first it was only fashions. I could live with that. Too long, too short, too loose, too tight; who cares? If the image you see in the mirror doesn’t distract you, make your own stylish statement.
Then it was the vehicles we drive. What happened to the classy look of the Oldsmobile in the fifties? You could always define the brand by the look. Somewhere along the line they all began to look alike. I thought that was sad until the SUV’s came along and classy became “cool”.
It wasn’t long before the SUV’s agreed to share the road with the “Pick-ups” and the race was on!
It’s ok, I said to myself, so I bought a pick-up. Somewhere along the way, I began listening instead of looking. Changes in the language began to catch my ear; not my eye, but my ear.
The first word I noticed was “the cough”.
In the beginning the first word I noticed concerned a childhood disease. I heard it mentioned on television and assumed the person had misspoken. I waited and listened. Whoever they were; whoever they are, they’re still pronouncing it incorrectly.
The word is….”whooping cough”.
Say it aloud. That’s right, say it now!
You’ve just pronounced it wrong. I’m here to help.
Because it has become so important to me that the name of this particular childhood disease be spoken correctly, I’ve taken the time to look up some helpful facts.
The correct pronunciation is; “hooping cough”.
(say it aloud)
Now, pronounce aloud the following words after me; Whole, Whom, Who, Whose Whoever, Wholesome….
Did you notice anything? For the sake of direction, let me point out that the “W” is silent.
The “W” is also silent in Whooping Cough.
You’ll never understand what it means to me to have cleared up this confusion for you.
It was a different time when I was growing up In the forties and fifties. We didn’t have much first-hand information about disrespect, but we knew a lot about “respect”.
Start with the flag, you know the one; stars, stripes, red white and blue? Remember when we stood up when the Star Spangled Banner was played at the football games? No one made us, we just did it. (Hand over heart and facing the flag.) Now, some folks are tired of it. Let’s drop down on one knee and look toward the ground.
How about “stand on your own two feet and make a difference” in honor of something worthwhile?
Remember when you were told to address the friends of your parents by Mr. and Mrs.? In our home, we were informed a doctor should not be addressed as “Doc”. He was educated to be a doctor. We will show him respect by calling him “Dr. Jones”. Our teachers were also spoken of as Mr. and Mrs., or Miss. They were never to be referred to as “old man or old lady “. That’s the way we were taught at our house. Teachers were to be respected by the young people they taught. Therefore, the teacher did not wear sloppy clothes in the classroom, sit on the desktop to teach or hang around with the high school “kids” outside of school hours. I recall visiting a high school one day during “change of classes” time. The kids were going this way and that, running into each other, cramming the hallway. Remember when we were instructed to walk on the right of the hallway? It was a simple, yet effective, way of managing the traffic. As in, driving down the highway; keep to the right. There will be no clutter of wrecked cars.
It occurs to me that perhaps the school administration is afraid to make rules about activity in the hall between classes. Maybe the young folks wouldn’t like it.
Life is full of rules to make living easier. How hard can it be to follow them?
Remember “table manners”? Young men did not wear a hat to the dinner table. Pass the food to the older person at the table first, or to a guest. If you don’t care for the dish that’s passed to you, the response is “no, thank you”…not…”I don’t like that”. When you were ready to leave the table you asked to be excused. .. Like this…”May I be excused?” (Mom or Dad would acknowledge your departure.) Of course this scenario of the family at the dinner table may not be a starting place for manners or conversation in the home these days. Everyone is busy being busy.
Times have changed. Rules can be frustrating. Changing them to suit the times doesn’t always help the situation. Laws are meant to be obeyed. If you don’t like them, there is a way to work toward having them legally changed. Everyone doesn’t think or believe the way we do. Let’s talk about it.
I was watching a commercial yesterday as a young girl is screaming at her Mother, “I’m not hungry.” Poor Mother, she’s chasing the kid down the hall with a dish and a spoon. She simply must find something the dear child likes. Macaroni and cheese in a package is the answer. The kid gobbles it up. When I was a child, (remember it was the forties and fifties), I was told, “If you don’t want to eat the food on the table, you may be excused. Maybe you’ll be hungry again at the next meal.” No snacks in between, no dessert unless you eat what’s put before you first. As I watched that commercial, I found myself wondering how many little kids were watching it. Little kids don’t understand the advertising ways of the world of television. Do we?
What’s with all this “protest” stuff? Are you mad because the town, the state, the country has done something you don’t like? Protest! Tear it down! Set it on fire! Throw paint on it! Start your own town! Throw stones at the police! Get rid of the police! Destroy businesses! Break their glass windows! Set police cars on fire! Scream the “f” word in everyone’s face.
If you aren’t old enough to vote, you may have to wait until your voice can be heard at the ballot box. That is, if “the box” is still in use. There seems to be a difference of opinion in some areas about circulating ballots to all the names on the mailing list, unrequested, through the mail.
Our voices may become completely lost in the voting process. In case it has gone unnoticed, much of what we need to learn begins at home. The kids don’t get to do everything they want to do. When we find ourselves saying, “My parents would never have put up with that.” Guess who the parents are now. That’s us. We’re Mom and Dad.
Manners don’t drop out of the sky. Rules don’t come with your birth certificate. Choices are made by one person, you. Teach your kids that!
Cell phones don’t own us. At least, they aren’t supposed to own us. Sitting in a restaurant one day, I watched two folks highly engrossed in their phones. They were sitting across the table but seemingly unaware of the other’s presence. Is that what you call going out for coffee, or a coke, or what?
When I was a kid, my favorite movie actors were Roy Rogers, and Gene Autry. No violence. It’s a challenge today to find something on television that doesn’t contain violence or sex. The kids are watching it too, folks. Maybe we should pay more attention to what they’re doing with their time.
How long has it been since your kids have heard, “go outside and play”? Even the very little kids, as soon as they can sit up without help, are watching the television. I don’t know what Mom and Dad are doing, but they aren’t tending to the kids.
Does anyone read to their young children anymore? You don’t have time, you say? Well find the time!
There…………I think I feel better now. At least for the moment, I do. But, I’ll be back..count on it. copyright@2021 Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck
As published in the Houghton Lake Resorter Newspaper 1963 Mary Anne Whitchurch Tuck “Musings Of A Homemaker”
February is the month of sweethearts and historical birthdays. Gifts and cards of caring are abundantly given and received. Red is the color of this holiday of love, representing the warmth and caring which doesn’t end with the passing of time or the graying of crowns. From grade school parties to a valentine for teacher, the bloom of romance or the joy of marriage, an annual pledge of sentimental thoughts produces moments of love and friendship.
From a commercial standpoint, the greeting card industry prospers from every holiday. But, talk to a Hallmark store owner and they will tell you Valentine’s Day is the best card selling season of the year.
Some holidays have been long standing. Others have been more recently incorporated into our lives.
The card purchasing public sends a card of congratulations for many celebrations. From birth to graduation, weddings to anniversaries, operations to get well, there is a card suitable for every occasion.
Are your friends leaving town or have they just arrived? Have they recently purchased a new home or remodeled one which they already own? Good wishes from you can be found in the card shop in just the language you wish to use.
Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and the New Year rate high on the holiday card list. But as the years go by, St. Valentine’s Day remains the sentimental favorite. Send a card or a gift; the affectionate gesture is always thoughtful and pleasantly received.
To Mom and Dad, friend and lover, children and neighbors…
Happy Valentine’s Day 1963!
* * * * * *
The thoughts above were penned in 1963, when I had been offered to write a weekly column in the local paper. I was a twenty-eight year old, stay at home Mom with three little kids; the youngest was one year old.
That made me much closer to Valentine’s Day grade school parties than to browsing through a Hallmark shop to find the perfect card to send to family and friends.
As often happens in life, my future was unknown. I couldn’t have imagined that twenty-two years later, at the age of fifty, I would become the owner and operator of Mary Anne’s Hallmark Shoppe.
For fourteen years I observed first-hand my caring customers who took very seriously, the choosing of the perfect card; with just the right sentiments for their celebrations of love and caring.
Valentine’s Day truly is the most heartfelt “card-sending” day of all the many holidays during the year.
My most intensely involved customer was the gentleman buying a card for his wife or sweetheart. No amount of time spent was too much, when choosing that card with the special message of love to celebrate…
If your memory doesn’t go back as far as 1964, you may want to get someone to help you read this.
It should be of increasing concern to America at large that we are becoming hopelessly addicted to the the beckoning television networks. I, for one, have resisted the temptation mightily.
The 21 inch screen which sits on the north side of our living room, holds little or no attraction for me. Recently, I remarked to my husband, (as I left the breakfast table to eat with Hugh Downs “Today Show” in the living room), “Television is not as interesting to me any more, not with my busy mornings.”
Later, as my young sons left for school, I noticed Mr. Green Jeans was showing Captain Kangaroo some baby chicks, and couldn’t help but wonder if we aren’t ruining our children’s minds by letting them watch so much television. (The program was almost over, so I watched the rest of the Captain’s program.)
While clearing up the kitchen and absorbing the intricacies of “American Government” on the tv screen, my thoughts strayed to carefree summer days when I could relax and watch the “Detroit Tigers” ball games, which are all televised. After exercising with “Ed Allen” and enjoying my mid-morning coffee break with “Lucy”, it was time to turn off the television and turn on the radio for “Pete and Gladys.
My kindergarten son was off to afternoon session when the “CBS Mid-day News” had finished. After lunch I took some time to watch my favorite serial, “As The World Turns”, which I’ve watched nearly every day for the past eight years.
(It’s only half an hour. One could scarcely call that an addiction.)
The kids get home from school about twenty minutes after “The Secret Storm” and twenty minutes before “News, Weather, and Sports”. I usually try to have supper on the stove so I can watch the forecast to see what tomorrow’s weather will be.
On Monday night, my husband leaves for his bowling league just before “The Donna Reed Show”. Tuesdays find me missing “Mr. Novak and the “Red Skelton Show”, (but not by far), as I leave for my own bowling league at the local lanes.
We try to visit our folks on Wednesdays at five minutes to “The Virginian”, (they have color television and we haven’t acquired one at this time.) Thursdays, about a quarter to “Dr. Kildare”, I like to fix popcorn and soft drinks to spend a most enjoyable evening of relaxing with television.
Fridays bring evening grocery shopping. By ten minutes to “Jack Paar” I’m ready to rest. The groceries are put away for another week.
On Saturday, of course, it’s family night with our kids staying up until almost “Saturday Night at the Movies”. Then they must go to bed so they won’t be too tired to watch “Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color” on Sunday evening. I thoroughly believe in letting the young ones watch special programs of such high quality.
You know, now that I think about it, it’s difficult to believe that there are people in this world who get so wrapped up in television viewing they scarcely ever use a clock.
I just cannot understand…..
I’m not sure my viewing schedule has changed too much. I have many more choices. My television screen, (58inches), is much larger. Programs are many and I have more time alone. My children have grown to adulthood and have homes of their own. It’s up to me to choose how to spend the hours in my day.
At the age of eighty-five, I realize I don’t have as much future time to “spend” as I had in 1964. With that in mind, I find myself very interested in the news, the state of the world, and the government.
Occasionally I switch to the “Andy Griffith Show” or “The Golden Girls”. They bring back some laughter and sweet memories. Sometimes a good laugh is relaxing.
When all of the above has filled me with as many political reports and sweet memories as I can handle, I can always return to …
Classic Country is my choice..current country music doesn’t hold an attraction for me. So I turn to Classic Country and find myself singing along with Merle, Loretta, Patti and Reba…the songs I remember.
You know the ones I’m talking about. I enjoy listening to the Statler Brothers singing “Whatever Happened To Randolph Scott?”
They say music is good for the soul and the body. I’m in a good place….
“The time has come’, the walrus said, “to speak of many things, of sailing ships and sealing wax and cabbages and kings” (and my New Year resolutions.)
To sum it up, each of us in the farthest reaches of our mind, is guilty of harboring “I knew better” feelings which emerge annually on January 1. (These feelings become submerged on January 2 or thereabout.)
* * * * * * * * * * * *
For instance, “I know better” than to let the ironing pile up week after week, while stashing the clothes I like to do least in a separate basket. When that basket overwhelms my utility room, the guilt sets in.
Therefore: I resolve to keep my ironing up to date.
“I know better” than to chide my friends in far off places for not being regular in their correspondence with me. To be honest, I am equally as irregular with mine.
Therefore: I resolve to keep all my correspondence up to date.
“I know better” than to drive and drive and drive our car without putting gas in it. My husband has repeatedly explained to me, in his most gentle manner, that he doesn’t care to run out of gas on his way to work in the morning.
Therefore: I resolve to keep gas in the car at all times.
“I know better” than to let my bank statements pile up in a drawer until my checkbook balance requires service charge subtractions each time I overdraw my account.
Therefore: I resolve to balance my bank statements promptly upon their arrival.
Here is a word of warning.
Mention to no one that this list exists. Immediately upon its completion, place it in an envelope, seal it, and promptly convert it to ashes and smoke.
Your ironing will continue to pile up, your corresponding friends will think of you warmly at Christmas time, your husband will get good exercise, the bank will feel that you accept and respect their bookkeeping procedures and your conscience will be free to glide into 1965 in friendly and familiar surroundings.
2020 and continuing……
It’s been quite awhile since I’ve made a New Year’s resolution. Please don’t think ill of me. I learned years ago that such an endeavor was a complete waste of my time.
Thank heaven for permanent press clothing that needs no ironing.
I remember the days when grandma took my clothes needing ironing and sprinkled them with water, rolled them up, and put them in the freezer for me to iron later. I also learned something that may be of use to you.
If sprinkled clothes are stored in the freezer for two weeks or longer, they will be surprisingly damp when you thaw them. If the time is more than a week or two, your clothes may have to be sprinkled again. (Grandma never approved of that.)
While I’m thinking of it, thank heaven for the invention of the computer and emails. I am now able to respond within minutes to correspondence from my friends. (Why didn’t someone think of this before?)
I try to fill up the gas tank as soon as I see that there is a little space after “full”. The price of gas has reached an unthinkable $1.88 per gallon. When you fill the tank as soon as you’ve used a gallon or two, it doesn’t cost as much. (You can check that out, math was never my favorite subject.)
Although I require the bank to send printed statements to me, I also have my bank records on the computer. I let my printed statements recline unopened in a drawer. There is always the possibility of being without electricity. This would restrain me from checking my account on the computer. (Now, the unopened, printed statements in the drawer come in handy.)
I do not recommend New Year’s resolutions.
If you feel the need to put resolutions in writing, this is my advice.
Use a sealed and unmarked envelope. Destroy it as quickly as possible after January 1st. Fire is the most reliable solution. (The envelope may also be thrown in the garbage but there is always the possibility someone could find it at the dump.)
You probably will have a hard time believing this, but on my way home I was surprised to see a little mouse sitting on the dashboard of my car. He seemed to be a friendly sort and he began to chat with me. I wondered if he’d been at the meeting I’d just left because he seemed to know a lot about one of the discussions the committee had.
Read on…then tell me what you think.
Stewardship or Steward’s Ship?
His conversation began something like this….
“I’m not just a church mouse and I’m not your ordinary field mouse.
My name is Jonathan Steward.
I am an ex-tra ordinary Church Mouse.
One day, a long time ago, I happened upon this lovely ‘God’s Church ‘in Friendly Town by Beautiful Blue Lake.I knew right away it was exactly the place I wanted to live.And so, I began to make my home there.
I’m not living there by accident, mind you. I looked for a church, searching far and wide, at least a hundred feet ,in all directions.
I was looking for just the right church to call my home.
It’s a very special privilege to live in God’s Church; it’s hard to keep from boasting about it at mouse reunions, and mouse conventions, and other mouse gatherings that only a mouse like me ever hears about.
I know all about God. You see, I am a CMK. For those of you who’ve never heard of a CMK, I’ll be happy to explain. There’s really nuthin’ to it. My Daddy was a Church Mouse, Granddaddy was a Church Mouse so it sort of runs in our family. I’m just your average “C”hurch “M”ouse “K”id.
I love every square inch of my church home; like the wastebasket in the kitchen. There are all sorts of lovely crumbs there for me to snack upon. I enjoy the wastebasket in the Sunday school room too. Sometimes there are special pieces of paper with paste. They help to line my nest. I especially enjoy the loose corner of the carpet at the back of the sanctuary where I’ve made my nest. I often lie there and listen to the pastor’s sermon on Sunday morning.
There are a lot of special places in my church home, like the hole in the plaster near the front door. (Someone pounded a nail to hang a wreath at the Christmas season.) Plaster crumbs make a sturdy floor in a mouse nest, you know.
One day, as I was resting behind the water fountain in the hallway, I saw Mr. Green carefully filling the nail hole with putty. He sanded it and painted over it so it looked just like the rest of the wall. Mr. Green, you see, is a trustee and he fixes things around God’s Church all the time. I know that Mr. Green calls God’s Church his church home too, but I can’t quite figure it out, after all Mr. Green doesn’t “live” here like I do. Nevertheless..It’s plain to see that Mr. Green cares for the church building and wants to do his part in taking care of it.
One of my favorite days at God’s Church is Thursday, the day the children’s choir comes to practice their songs. I get so excited as time for their practice draws near that I fly to the back door, race to the front door, scurry to the piano, then out to the kitchen and back to the front door again. The children soon arrive but I’m so tired I just go to my lovely warm nest in the back of the church, where the carpet is turned up, and listen to the children sing about God.
Oh what joy! What a heavenly sound! I feel good all over knowing how much the children like to sing about God, in God’s Church, on Thursday afternoon.
Sometimes, as I listen to the joyful music of the children’s choir,
I close my eyes and dream my favorite dream;
about a boat.
It isn’t a houseboat. It isn’t a sail boat. It’s an extra-ordinary Mouse Boat! (You might even call it a Ship.) I want to sail in my very own ship on beautiful Blue Lake near God’s Church.
In case you haven’t noticed, I love God very, very much. Since I am a church mouse, I know what it’s like to be able to live in God’s house. People like to come to God’s Church on Sunday morning and sing songs about God, and listen to the pastor talk about God, and pray to God with their eyes shut. I’m very interested in the ways of PEOPLE. I’ve noticed not all people pray with their eyes shut! But, being a church mouse, I know God hears prayers whether eyes are closed or open.
Back to my dream….
I remember, from reading the Mouse Translation (MT) of my Bible, that Jesus was very interested in boats. Many times he came to be with his disciples when they were riding in boats and fishing in boats and doing all the things that people do in boats.
In my dream, Jesus comes to sail with me on my boat as we drift from shore to shore on beautiful Blue Lake. I know how wonderful it would be to be very, very close to him. My dream of sailing with Jesus on my very own boat brings real pleasure to me. (In case you haven’t noticed, I spend a lot of time dreaming.)
When my dreams are interrupted by PEOPLE. People come to God’s Church to DO things, like putting on DINNERS and having SUNDAY SCHOOL classes, and YOUTH meetings, and PRAYER meetings, and more meetings like FINANCE, and MISSIONS, and WORSHIP COMMITTEE, and CHOIR PRACTICE, and FINANCE MEETINGS. (Whatever “finance” is, there it is again.) And TRUSTEE meetings…and..
I can scarcely find time to dream at all with the meetings to attend and classes to attend, and dinners to attend. (I especially like the after dinner clean up time.) Then there is painting to do and lawns to mow and FINANCE??? Well… I am so busy attending meetings and dinners and choir practice and more, I hardly have time to dream about my ship and a closer friendship with Jesus while drifting from shore to shore on beautiful Blue Lake not far from God’s Church.
Be that as it may, I am a very happy, very warm, very lively, and yes even lovely (if I do say so myself,) church mouse.
My dream, even though I don’t have much time to dream it any more, gives me something to think about when I’m not busy doing things for God’s Church.
AND THEN IT HAPPENED!
You aren’t going to believe this, but it really happened. It was on a sunny Sunday morning and the announcements were being read. I was in my nest at the back of the sanctuary where the carpet is curled up. I was watching the people praying with their eyes shut. Then I heard it!
THERE WILL BE A MEETING ON MONDAY NIGHT..THAT’S TOMORROW. IT WOULD BE NICE IF YOU ALL COULD ATTEND. WE WILL DISCUSS…STEWARDSHIP.
I stood frozen on my favorite piece of carpet. My ears were quivering. A series of loops totally out of my control appeared in my tail. My eyes filled with tears.
God’s people were going to have a meeting about Steward’s Ship.
I didn’t think I could wait until Monday.
The meeting on Monday began promptly at 8 p.m. . There were only 10 people attending. I was astonished at such a small number of people attending such an important church meeting in which I, personally, had a tremendous interest. Hadn’t the minister invited ALL the people to attend? Maybe, just maybe, ALL the people weren’t interested in Steward’s Ship. There was one thing for sure, I would be forever grateful if the 10 people who came to the meeting, could help to make my dream come true.
Jonathan Steward’s Ship… I would have my very own ship to sail on lovely Blue Lake,
with Jesus beside me.
This would definitely be one of the most important evenings I had ever spent in God’s Church. Ten wonderful people were going to spend the entire meeting talking about Steward’s Ship.
Suddenly I perked up my ears!
Mr. Smith was talking about the need to have more people come to the Sunday worship service.
What had that to do with my ship?
Mr. Green was saying something about the need to fix a hole in the church roof.
My stars, I thought, couldn’t anyone stay on the subject at hand?
Mrs. Jones, sitting on the edge of her chair, said, “We certainly need to encourage more people who like to sing to join our choir.”
And then, Mr. Black, the chairman, said…
“Maybe we should concentrate on getting to know each other and enjoying a closer personal friendship with God, and getting to know Him better and learn how to serve Him in God’s Church and out of God’s Church and…. ” Whew”, I said to myself, as I whisked perspiration from my forehead, “now they’re getting back to the subject at hand.” My dream ship was just the place for me to get closer to God.
I live in God’s Church and spending time on my dream ship would get me out of God’s Church and through this meeting at God’s Church I was about to have my dream come true.
I crossed my ears at what I heard next.
“Of course”, the Steward’s Ship committee chairman was saying, “we have to realize that many people here in God’s Church don’t really know what Steward’s Ship is and it’s our place to explain it to them.”
I simply could not take it any more. This meeting had gotten out of hand. Of course, everyone knew what Steward’s Ship was. Well, didn’t they? This very meeting had been called to discuss it. Hadn’t it?
“One of the best things we could do,” (the committee chairman was still speaking), “would be to make sure our members and friends here at God’s Church understand all the many ways there are for Christians to offer stewardship to God through the church.
They want to offer my ship to God?
I felt a lump in my little mouse throat and a warm tear slowly tumbled down my tiny mouse nose. But, wait a minute. It didn’t seem to me that the chairman was talking about MY ship. It didn’t seem possible, it couldn’t be possible there was another kind of
Until now, I had been sitting very, very still and listening very, very closely and leaning comfortably against the leg of Mrs. Jones’ chair.
OFFER STEWARD’S SHIP TO GOD?
“And”, the chairman was saying, “everyone in God’s church is a STEWARD.
THAT DID IT!
I couldn’t help myself. I jumped straight up into the air from the special place I had been listening, right beside Mrs. Jones’ leg.
My long grey tail…oh dear…brushed against…oh my..Mrs. Jones’ leg!
Mrs. Jones, oh my, well to put it mildly…Mrs. Jones EXCLAIMED LOUDLY!
I was startled to say the very least, and upset to say more than the very least. I headed straight to my lovely warm nest in the back of the church to recover my composure. I’m sure the entire committee on Steward’s Ship and Mrs. Jones, also attempted to regain their composure.
I began to think back on the events of the evening and the meeting about Steward’s Ship.
Feeling calmer, I very quietly crept back to the door of the committee room. (Not the inside of the door, mind you, but the outside.) I very carefully tucked my long grey tail beneath me. (I certainly didn’t want to upset anyone again. )
I really needed to hear more about their meaning of Steward’s Ship.
The members of the committee had now regained their composure. As I listened intently, Mr. Brown spoke. “We should tell people about all the things that are part of Steward’s Ship”, he said. “Like mowing the lawn and fixing holes in the plaster, working on dinners and serving on committees such as the Worship Committee and the Education Committee.“
I was amazed.
Apparently there was quite a bit about their kind of Steward’s Ship that I hadn’t heard. I already knew about all those things Mr. Brown was speaking about.
What I didn’t know was that PEOPLE called the doing of those things STEWARDSHIP.
I was beginning to get a joyful feeling again. Yes I was feeling joy, for sure.
Mrs. Jones was saying, “We must tell God’s Church people that the doing of these things helps to bring them into a closer relationship to God”.
I was stunned! Yes I was. I was stunned!
A closer relationship with God was exactly what I was looking for and was sure it would be found on my own little ship, Steward’s Ship, while sailing around on the lovely blue lake close by.
I began to wonder if it was possible the very thing I was hoping for could be found right here in God’s Church? It could be found in my very own church home?
“And”, the chairman was saying, “We need to explain to God’s Church people about finance”. (There was that word again, FINANCE.) What did FINANCE have to do with stewardship for heaven’s sake? I edged closer because I was determined to find out once and for all about this FINANCE thing.
“We have to let the people know that the finance of the church, the people’s offering of their money for God’s use, is the most important part of stewardship.“
I felt myself breathing a sigh of relief. Money was one thing a mouse doesn’t have to worry about. But, as I listened, I began to realize that money and the offering of it to God’s Church is part of what God expects from His people. I began to realize, with a bit of surprise, that the giving of a portion of a person’s money to God’s Church brings people into a closer relationship with God.
I began to realize something else. My dream ship wasn’t lost. it wasn’t lost at all.
My dream was real.
I could get closer to God right here in my own church home by working and serving and helping and giving of my mousetime..my mouse abilities and mouse knowledge,
especially on church mouse problems.
I knew without a doubt, that even though we church mice don’t have money, once God’s people learned what stewardship is, they would give their time, their money and their abilities to the church.
Because of their giving, God’s people would have a closer relationship to God.
I felt good. I felt warm and joyful again and all happy inside.
I returned to my lovely warm nest at the back of the sanctuary feeling safe in the knowledge that I was very, very close to God.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
One day, when I was seventeen, my sister asked me to baby-sit with her infant son while they went out for the evening. I loved the little boy dearly.
The baby was suffering from a slight cold; my sister’s instructions were to give him a spoon full of cough medicine from a bottle which she had left on the counter in the kitchen. When the time came to administer the cough syrup, I picked up the bottle, poured the medicine into a spoon and offered it to the baby.
As was my habit, I didn’t bother to turn on the light in the kitchen.
The child immediately began to cough and cry, as he choked and spit out most of the medicine on his pajamas. This was not really an unusual response to bad tasting medicine, or so I thought. I turned on the light in the kitchen to assess the situation.
There was another small bottle on the counter. Upon checking, I saw that it contained the cough medicine.
The liquid I had poured into the spoon, was Tincture of Benzoin Compound, a substance used in vaporizers to help in easing breathing problems. Two bottles sat on the counter; without the light to show the names on the labels, I had chosen the wrong one. ‘
I was devastated. This child who I dearly loved had nearly been poisoned by my irresponsible action. The little boy was fine. He suffered no ill effects from my carelessness, since most of the liquid had fallen on his pajamas.
Because of that experience, I have adopted a discipline; never administer or take a medication without first carefully checking the directions in the light.
This has become my custom and it has served me, and others, well.
I was reading an explanation of a “parable”, recently. The reference said Jesus often used parables for his listeners to quickly understand the point he was making. What idea would come into a person’s mind when they heard the story he told them?
The article went on to say, the best thing to do to help a person, is to get them to think for themselves.
Is a “habit” the same as a “custom”?
When the habit of attending church becomes a custom to us, we are ready to live; to worship and praise, to love and be loved, to listen and share His word within the congregation of Christ on Sunday morning.
We are no longer burdened with a weekly decision; should I go or should I stay home? It’s no longer a habit…it is now our custom.
Ourstudy group with other Christians has now become our custom.Whether we join together on Sunday morning or another time during the week, we place ourselves in a position to grow and incorporate the meaning of His Word into our lives.
It has become, our customto listen, to learn, and to share.
Jesus, once again, has given us the example of His own life. “He went to the synagogue, as was His custom.
Are your habits serving you well? Would you like to turn them into customs? Your answer may be a life saver.
(Lord; ” Teach us Your ways. Help us to develop customs that will allow us to be used by You in Your ministries.” Amen)
***Note-The “child” is now in his seventies; in good health.
The Pharisees are investigating the healing of the blind man. (John 9:13-34)
Pharisee One – “That jerk that just came in says he was blind but now he can see”.
Pharisee Two – “Nothing is that simple.”
Pharisee One – “Well, ya know what they say. If it seems too good to be true, it probably isn’t.”
Pharisee Two – ” The guy must have done something really bad to be blind in the first place.”
Pharisee One – “Probably his father was blind. They say the apple never falls far from the tree.”
Jesus (Sitting at the Counter) – “I just healed the man as my Father led me.”
Pharisee One -“Well that was quite a lucky break for the guy, you healing him. Just who do you think you are anyway?”
Jesus – “You’ll have to take my word for who I am.”
Pharisee Two – “Hey mister! Who’s responsible for healing your blindness?”
Former Blind Man – “A man called Jesus.”
Pharisee One – So where is this guy now?”
Former Blind Man – “He’s sitting right over there at the counter.”
Pharissee Two – “Let’s just let the law handle it.”
Lawman to Former Blind Man – “Buddy, you’ve been traveling on a restricted license because of your blindness. You haven’t been wearing your seatbelt either. You’d better come clean about this cured blindness. What’s going on here?”
FormerBlind Man – “All I know for sure is that I was blind and he helped me to see.”
Pharisee One – “So what is he, a doctor?”
Pharisee Two – “Call the guy’s parents.”
Blind Man’s Dad – “He’s ours alright. But he’s a big boy so he can speak for himself.”
Pharisee One – “If that Jesus guy is a doctor, I’d call him a quack!”
FormerBlind Man -“For a couple of guys with so many questions, you sure don’t have many answers. When I tell you what happened, you don’t listen to me.”
Pharisee Two – “Hit the road buddy. Your kind never changes.”
Pharisee One – “How much do we owe ya for the coffee, lady?