Miracle Child

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A young, married couple plans to fill their Christian home with children.  Facing fertility issues, the husband and wife seek advice from doctors.

After months of trying the medical route and completing test after test, they retreat from doctors. As they decide to focus on their continuing journey of prayer, their dream of having a baby is left in God’s hands. 

A few more months run their course, and the couple is still waiting.  In God’s plan, an answer will eventually come, but it will be by His design and used for His glory.

Witnessing God’s lasting hope, peace, joy, and love, this Christian husband and wife discover their wish will be granted.  A baby will be born just after the New Year begins.  They are excited, but they take time to praise and show gratitude to their Heavenly Father.

Eventually, the baby boy arrives, but he has decided to enter the world too soon.  Born prematurely and much smaller than expected, the boy’s status concerns his parents.  Their “miracle” child is born, and the medical staff sees that he is well-taken care of.

Over the coming weeks and months, the couple care and love their little “Bubba” as they like to call him.  He may be undersized, but he is healthy and growing.  They feel so blessed and thankful.

For many couples, this scenario plays out around the world.  With God’s guidance and modern medical care, more and more families are experiencing the joy of children in their lives. 

Other families turn to adoption or foster care of children.  When choosing what path to take, bringing God into the equation helps to guide each decision.

In contrast, the world has its own “miracle” child . . . a babe born in a Bethlehem stable over 2,000 years ago.  God comes to earth as the incarnate Emmanuel.  His light continues to guide lives each and every day.

Wondrous Night

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The town wakes up to a new day.  It doesn’t quite seem like any other day.  A tranquil, peaceful night has given way to a quiet sunrise.

Few have heard of the overnight excitement at a nearby stable.  A babe lies wrapped in bands of cloth, and he sleeps in a simple livestock feed box.

Outside of the sleepy town, shepherds watch over their flocks at night.  However, with the rising sun there awakens a buzz among them.  A handful of them have returned from a most magnificent and blessed sight.

Directed by an angelic, heavenly host, these simple men were invited to witness the good news of great joy for all of God’s people.  An angel of the Lord proclaims, “To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord.”

With haste, the band of shepherds swiftly journey into the town.  Their quick pace is filled with overwhelming wonder. 

In arriving at a simple scene, filled with livestock, a husband and wife, and a newborn baby, the shepherds pay their respects to this Prince of Peace . . . Wonderful, Counselor, King of Kings.  Only a loving Father in Heaven could orchestrate such a joyous and lasting moment for the birth of His Son. 

God has heard the distressed cries of His people.  In this eternal moment, He forever reminds mankind that He fulfills His promises.

Later in the morning, a young shepherd boy wonders.  While he didn’t have the opportunity to see the baby in the manger, he has heard all of the other shepherds talking about their amazing experience while they praise God. 

Thinking to himself, the boy quietly asks a couple of questions.  Perhaps God will answer them in his lifetime.

  • What will this young King’s life be like? 
  • How will His coming change the darkness of this world?

He feels astounded and kneels to pray.  As he talks to the Lord, he is in awe of all that he has heard this day.

Quick Escape

Courtesy of Pinterest.

A supermarket can be one of life’s greatest adventures for a pair of boys, who are about a year or two away from starting elementary school.

Pete and James have been traveling with their parents on a short trip.  

Taking a break to buy a few items, the parents and the boys make a quick stop in a larger, nearby city.  The boys have never seen such a big store, and they are curious about what waits on the massive rows of different products neatly arranged on the endless shelves.

While their father and mother pause to have a conversation, the boys become quite curious with rows and rows of men’s shaving cream cans.  The shelf sits at their level with everything in easy reach.  They look at each other as if to say, “Who wants to push the button on the top of the can?” 

Pete, being the older of the two brothers, quite literally takes matters into his own hands.  He picks up one of the capless cans, and presses his finger down on the button. 

Suddenly, a huge ball of white foam erupts out of the can . . . right toward father’s pants!

With a quick look at the disaster they’ve made, the brothers make a quick escape as they dash around the corner of the aisle, without either of their parents having a clue about what has just happened. 

Just as the boys run around to the next door aisle, father notices something white on his pants, near his front pocket.  The foam just seems to keep growing as he touches it.  He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a handkerchief to wipe up the damp, foamy mess.  He tells his wife, “Where did this shaving cream come from?”

Turning around, mother asks, “Where are the boys?”

Both of the parents scan one end of the aisle, then the other end.  Sure enough, they notice two familiar faces peeking back at them.  Their look says it all, “We’re busted, and now we’re in big trouble.”

Seeing that their quick escape has failed, the brotherly tandem walks slowly back toward their parents.  As Pete approaches with the shaving cream can in one hand, smiles and laughter quickly take over the scene.  Father’s handkerchief has just about cleaned up the white foam off of his pants.

Funny thing!  Father doesn’t even use shaving cream because he’s an electric razor guy.

Monday Memories: Highway Rescue

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Photo by Valeriia Miller on Pexels.com

Blanche drives home after work one late afternoon.  The freeway is slow with traffic due to a heavy rainstorm.

As she approaches her exit, traffic has spread out a bit.  However, the rain has picked up in intensity.  The car’s wipers are working overtime now so she can see the highway a bit more clearly.

As she glances across the median, she notices a man pulled off on to the right shoulder.  He deposits a small kitten along the road and quickly drives away.

Blanche can’t believe it.  She pulls over to the right shoulder on her side of the freeway, and turns on the car’s emergency flashers.

Upon leaving her car, she pulls her large purse up over her head, checks for traffic, and hurries across the median to the marooned kitten.  The rain is drenching her clothing, and she can barely see her way.

Upon reaching the terrified little feline, she picks her up and stuffs the soaking wet kitten into her large purse.  She carefully and quickly makes it back across the freeway to her waiting car.

Once inside, she pulls the frightened kitten out of her bag, pats her on the head, and allows her to snuggle on her lap.  She is just a few minutes away from home.

When a rain-soaked Blanche walks into the kitchen with the dry kitten cuddled in her arms, her husband looks up from the stove (he is making dinner).  In a calm voice, he comments, “Well . . . at least one of you is dry.”

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This story is inspired by my sister-in-law’s actual rescue of a cat along a highway where she lives.  The cat now has a new home with her mother.  The picture above is actually one of my daughter’s cats.  She and her husband provide a home for three cats (two females and one male) rescued from shelters.

Hottest News

When one stops at this small town’s Conoco station, the news is the hottest brand going! (courtesy of Pinterest)

The fabric of a small town in strengthened by how people stay connected with one another.  Long before the Internet and cable, people actually talked face-to-face.

Billy owns and operates a small service station on the corner of Main Street and the highway which passes through town.  Years ago, he took over the operation from his father.  Assisting him a few hours each day is Duane, a retired highway patrol trooper.

Billy and Duane run a station without too many frills.  They stick pretty much to selling gas, changing worn-out batteries, rotating and balancing tires, and light service and maintenance of cars and trucks.

Anyone who just happens to drop in can usually find a seat on the generous and wide window ledge inside as well as a comfortable bench outside.

The “Conoco” station has been here for many years so everyone knows about Billy and his business.  People depend on him for many of their automotive needs, but the special folks drop in for an even more important reason.

Many people think the original CNN (Cable News Network) was founded in 1980 by media mogul Ted Turner.  Billy likes to think otherwise.

A small sign on the bulletin board identifies this station as a site for CNN.  For the “hottest brand going” in local news, one needs to stop by CNN (Conoco News Network), which is years older than the other CNN.       

Locals stop in to catch up on the latest news and more.  Sometimes a visitor just might hear a bit of innocent gossip or the sharing of a story or two (but watch out for the really “tall” tales).

On the busiest of days, Billy and Duane always have a free minute to share and gather news.  The day always goes faster with conversation while a car or truck goes up on the hoist every half hour.

Joe stops by this morning.  He is a colorful cowboy-type who worked on the big dam construction project back in the 1930s.  His stories are legendary.  But be warned, he just might take one on a hunt for pocket gophers.

Another regular happens to be Pete, a retired teacher.  Later in the morning, he stops by on his way to the post office.  In a small town, everything is within a short distance.

In the early afternoon, Flint rides up on his fine-looking quarter horse.  The duo has been out for a ride, and both need a quick water break.  Even at CNN, news can be delivered by “Pony Express.”

Flint and his horse rest a spell after their ride. (courtesy of Pinterest)

Go Long!

The Ohio State University Buckeyes’ official mascot is waiting for the “Big Game.” Say hello to Brutus Buckeye. (courtesy of Pinterest)

Mema scurries around the house.  She’s looking for something very important on this Game Day.  Her beloved Ohio State Buckeyes are facing that team up north (aka Michigan Wolverines) in the “Big Game.”

Kick-off is about 20 minutes away, and she needs to be holding on to her lucky pigskin.  She calls out, “Has anyone seen my football?”

No one responds.  Her husband is in the kitchen cooking up some game time snacks, and her two young grandchildren are playing in the backyard.

Hearing a commotion coming from the yard, Mema looks out to see a quick improvisation of the “Big Game.”  Some of the neighborhood kids are dressed in the Buckeyes’ scarlet and gray.  A few others are decked out in their Wolverines’ blue and maize. 

As her eyes scan the game field, she notices her beloved pigskin.  For right now, it is “the” game ball for this sandlot contest. 

Kick-off for the real “Big Game” is just minutes away, and this backyard, gridiron classic needs to wrap up its final play . . . pronto!

With time running out, Mema steps out into the yard.  She huddles up with her tandem of receivers (grandson and granddaughter).  Few know that she possesses a pretty darn good arm herself. 

In the huddle, Mema is holding her precious football.  She diagrams the final play with two simple, dynamic words . . . “Go Long!”

Here is the real Mema’s game ball. When she isn’t seated in front of the television to watch her Buckeyes, the ball also doubles as a flashy purse.

Autumn’s Imagination

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Taking a peek from the kitchen window, an eager three-year old girl watches her Dad and older brother working in the backyard.  With the final, late autumn rush of fallen leaves completed, they are raking up the annual harvest.

Bursting with excitement, Lydia enjoys the pile of colorful leaves growing wider and deeper.  She asks her Mom, “May I go out in the backyard to play?”

In the meantime, Dad and brother have moved to the front yard to clean up the few remaining leaves hiding under some bushes.  The enormous leaf pile is waiting for a little princess to share her imagination. 

With permission granted, Mom makes sure her precious daughter is wearing a jacket.  There is a subtle crispness to the autumn afternoon’s air.  The jacket’s collage of color will make a pretty complement to the orange, red, yellow, and rust colors of the leaves.

Dashing out the back door, Lydia sprints as fast as her three-year old legs will allow.  Upon reaching the mountain of leaves, she dives right into the middle.  Quickly, she begins swimming, and her helicopter arms swish the leaves away. 

Sitting in her newly formed crater, she feels like a captain of a ship.  Surrounded by a protective ring of color, she looks to be quite in charge.

Suddenly, she is joined by her older sister.  Now Lydia can enjoy her autumn paradise even more.  The two girls, several years apart in age, create their own universe in the backyard.

Swimming and thrashing about, the leaves begin to scatter.  What could make this even more fun?

Mom arrives with her answer, as she jumps right into the middle of the playful scene.  Now the trio of ladies has fully taken over the once mountainous pile of leaves. With each animated action, the depth of the pile shrinks as it scatters wider and wider. 

Eventually the laughter and fun invite Dad and brother.  As they approach the backyard to see what’s up, they stop and smile.  True, their hard work has been strewn about, but family fun like this only comes along once a year.

They both join in with the others.  Leaves are being thrown in the air, and bits and pieces cling to hair and clothes.  In the middle of it all, smiles an innocent-looking three-year old.  Her precious expression says it all, “Can we do this tomorrow?”

Here’s the star of the show!

Monday Memories: Hubby’s Toolbox

 

combination wrench screw bolt and pointed top hammer

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Hello Big Sky Buckeye readers!  I am a housewife who has a story to share with you.  My dear husband is a great guy and a loving spouse, but I do have issues with his home maintenance skills.

I guess it is okay to tell you more here.  Just don’t tell my husband . . . okay?

My hubby’s toolbox is home for his most precious tools.  Fortunately, one particular tool is no longer found in his toolbox.  Please allow me to tell you why.

Every home has a bathroom commode (or as we Americans say, a toilet).  I think commode sounds much more elegant, and my home is definitely a beautiful place.

The commode “always” needs to be in perfect working order, and routine maintenance is sometimes required.  This aging commode needs a facelift as its seat is cracked.  Hubby says he can buy a new one and install it in a flash.  I remember him telling me, “No problem.”

Wives, have you ever heard your husband say the same thing?  Sometimes a “simple” job turns into a nightmare.

The rest of what I tell you comes directly from my dear hubby’s mouth (after he confessed to me all of the dreary facts).

A commode seat is attached to the porcelain bowl with a pair of bolts and nuts.  Seeing that this commode is an older model, the metal bolts and nuts have rusted together because of the passage of time and bathroom moisture.

My poor hubby strains and works to free up the nut on each bolt, but he is experiencing extra frustration.  He tries a couple of different wrenches, but the bolt and nut remain sealed for eternity (or so it seems to him).

But ah!  My hubby’s toolbox contains other usual devices.  He comes back to the bathroom with a hammer and a chisel.  (I kid you not!)  He plans to be careful, and a gentle nudge from the chisel will break off the rusted nut from each bolt.  I can just hear him saying, “This chisel will do the trick.”

Lying back under the commode to insure he has a proper angle, hubby positions the chisel carefully against the nut.  With a graceful swing of the hammer, everything will be okay.

Right?

Oh, so wrong!

The chisel slips off the nut, and the hammer busts out a small hole in the porcelain bowl.  Now, you know what husbands do when disaster hits.  They run out to the garage for a “deep thinking” session.

You know ladies; it is good to give your husband some space when he is working on a home maintenance project.  However, I become curious and wander into the bathroom to check on hubby’s progress.

Thinking he is finished, I decide to help him clean up.  (He has thoughtfully taken the hammer and chisel with him.)  There are some shavings of some kind in the bowl so I decide to flush them down and away.

Oh my!  I flush the commode, and the mother of all floods rushes onto my pristine bathroom floor.  With water everywhere, I sprint to the garage to locate my “deep thinking” hubby, who is in deep water now.

Well, let’s wrap up this story before I become aggravated again, and you all enjoy more laughs at my poor hubby’s expense.  We now have a three-color commode with slightly differing shades of color for the seat, the bowl, and the original tank.

Yes, my husband manages to replace the seat, but he needs to return to Home Depot to purchase a new porcelain bowl.  We won’t even go into the rest of the mess he makes in replacing the bowl . . . oh my goodness!

Hubby’s chisel now hangs in the garage since it has been banished from sitting in his toolbox ever again.  Next to the chisel, rests a note (from yours truly).  The note states, “Remember to Always Think.”

Wives (and husbands), can I let you in on a quick tip?  Always call a professional!

Howling Night

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Living in a small mountain village, Earl remained a mystery to most of the local folks.  The crotchety and ill-tempered man stayed away from all but a couple of acquaintances.

Earl’s rundown shack sat at the very edge of town.  Seeing that others viewed him as an outsider, the home’s remote location suited him just fine.

Earl’s mean streak blazed away every night.  On his front porch, the self-proclaimed hermit played a never-ending recording of a haunting sound.  A wolf’s howling kept others away . . . critters, trespassers, and just about anything else.

Staying up well past midnight, Earl enjoyed his isolation.  No one dared to drop in because of the eerie, crying sound.

At bedtime, Earl turned off the repetitive recording.  After all, he looked forward to his own peaceful night of sleep.

On this cold and snowy winter night, nature would even up the score at the expense of this mean-spirited man. 

In the middle of a full-moon nightscape at exactly three o’clock, a cagey wolf slipped into the quiet town.  His hunger brought him right up to Earl’s front porch.  Perhaps he smelled a remnant of supper’s beef stew.

With the moon glowing overhead, surrounded by the blackened sky, the forlorn wolf let out a riveting, howling cry.

Earl stirred awake upon hearing the piercing, deafening sound from right below his upstairs bedroom window.  Realizing the sound was from a hungry wolf, sent shudders throughout Earl’s now-frozen body. 

His teeth would have chattered, except his false teeth were sitting by the bathroom sink.  Unable to scream, Earl buried himself under the bed’s heavy blankets.  Even then, his body was shivering from the coldness of the wolf’s constant howling.

Awake for a few more hours, Earl never could return to sleep.  Shaking with fear, the old fella had finally met his match.  Just before sunrise, the wolf scampered away, unseen by anyone. 

Wide awake, exhausted, and overcome with terror, Earl wondered what the next night could bring.

 

You Don’t Say!

Few people have heard of the famous naturalist and wildlife photographer William Xavier Knox.  His life has been one amazing adventure of finding the unexplored, the unexplained, and the unusual.  Billy’s dreams have become quite legendary.

A few winters ago, Billy survived a scrap with a polar snake up in the Great White North.  He had been hoping to finally capture a picture of the elusive Arctic snake crossing the frozen tundra.  Instead, he nearly fell to his death in a large crevice in the ice.  Fortunately for Billy, his pick axe held firmly while he pulled himself up to safety.

Emulating some of his shutterbug heroes, Billy harbors hopes of becoming a revered wildlife photographer.  With his treasured camera, he is still waiting to capture that “once in a lifetime” shot.

None of Billy’s photography has been published yet.  He relies on “word of mouth” to carry the message of his work.  After all, he figures this is the best approach because he doesn’t want people stampeding into nature’s quiet landscapes.

Unfortunately, few people have met up with Billy.  Even fewer people have ever heard of this almost forgotten wildlife photographer.  Nonetheless, he has huge plans for the future of his work.

A determined Billy is currently traveling across the eastern third of the “Cowboy State” of Wyoming.  The upper plateau and plains are home to many exotic animals. 

A freak of nature, this fearsome critter has never been captured on film.  A cross between a jack rabbit and an antelope has produced a mysterious creature called a Jackalope.  Unfortunately for Billy, someone else has successfully photographed this Jackalope a few days ago.  All Billy can say is, “Geez, another one got away!”

Billy’s next appointment takes him to the Pacific Northwest.  He plans to search the thick rainforests of the mountains for the elusive Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.

As Billy arrives in the area, he is informed that a website already features his prized target.  When interviewed, Billy disappointedly explains, “Why am I always coming in second when trying to capture these prizes of nature?”

A young girl shows Billy the link to the website:  https://zapatopi.net/treeoctopus/

Winking at him and smiling, she smartly asks Billy, “Do you really believe in these odd species of nature?”

Billy pauses and thinks for a second or two before smiling back, “Well, if I didn’t, there goes my photography career.  Right down into my musty basement, filled with old photographs.”

Billy’s mind is beginning to stir to semi-consciousness.  A gloomy vision clouds his mind, and he begins to wrestle with it.

He is busy photographing school children across the country for those dreaded school portraits.  Someone adds, “You’ll know when he has reached your school.  Just look for his personalized license plate:  CRZYPCS.”

Waking up from his long, overnight nap, a sleepy-eyed Billy wanders out into the kitchen of his family’s Wyoming ranch house.  His grandfather is browsing a book, and he welcomes Billy to their usual morning time together. 

Grandfather asks, “How did you sleep young man?” 

“Just terrible!” replies Billy as he rubs his ten-year old eyes.  “I had a horrible dream about being a school photographer.  You know . . . the one who takes those awful photos for school yearbooks and student portrait packets to send home.”

His grandfather pauses and places the book on the table, “You don’t say!” 

Billy glances at the book, and he smiles up at the author of the book, William Xavier Knox.  His grandfather is a world-renowned wildlife photographer.