Parties of My Life and God's Gifts - March 2012

"Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work" ( II Thessalonians 2:16,17)

After I wrote February "Happenings," I thought of another example of the Lord being with me when I needed Him. Throughout the seventies and eighties, I hosted monthly Dinner/ Canasta parties in our home. Fifty couples joined our club. Most of the players were family and friends. I advertised for new couples through our membership in the International Order of Foresters' newsletter. I'll never forget, one woman called just before party time and asked, "I notice you didn't state in your invitation to 'bring you own bottle.'  Are you furnishing drinks?"

I replied, "We have plenty of coffee and iced tea."  After the party, she said to me, "I never dreamed you could have so much fun without alcohol!"  They really were fun!  I'd have puzzles and games for playing at the tables while waiting on everyone to finish.  Every party had a theme with lots of decorations. My husband usually complained, as he hung snowflakes from the ceiling for a winter wonderland, covered walls and ceilings in foil for outer space, surrounded the walls with bamboo for a jungle scene…..I just loved scenic atmospheres"

We usually had 4-6 tables; a few times, 7; and once we had 8!  God approved! He would lead me to find really neat things, prizes and décor.  One time, He had to help!!! It was at my Cotton Patch Party. I loaded my car with cotton plants mostly with cotton balls, but some with flowers. I potted them in coffee cans and surrounded them among the canasta tables. In the middle of the party, my husband shouted, "Look at this: A live boll weevil on my arm!"  Some guests had never seen one before. Our children delighted taking it to school "Show and Tell".

I cannot forget the Lord's help with my Hill-Billy Party on May 11, 1985. Five tables. Twenty players.  Only eight are still living. I always wrote a letter about the party afterwards to mail to all those  who couldn't come.  In a filing cabinet, I have three file drawers full of folders about  my parties!  However, I found only the first page about this party, and the score sheet.

The second page would have told about the winners and prizes, and any unusual plays or scores.

My maid, Amy, loved to help. She helped with the cooking, and clean-up after supper. If my grandchildren came, she would baby-sit until the party was over. That Saturday morning, I went to the Farmers Market to get lettuce and tomatoes for the salad. There was a large table, 4'x8', piled high with Poke Salad Greens. I had heard of them, but never in my life had I seen or eaten any. I thought, "I'll bet Amy would know what to do with them. "Poke Salad sounded so exciting for my Hill-Billy party."  I bought a sack of  about 20 handfuls." 

Amy was delighted!  "YES! But you have to cook them (did she say 7 hours?) like spinach. This would only feed 3 or 4 people."  Back to the market I hurried.  Would you believe, there wasn't a LEAF left on that table! The owner said that was all he had, and "no" he didn't know where I could get any more.  I was devastated!  I drove all over that 10-acres of stalls and trucks displaying their fruits and vegetables, searching for Poke greens. There was a shed-type building in the southeast corner…the last place to search. I walked down the center aisle, and there was a bushel basket of POKE salad greens!  "THANK YOU, LORD! Oh, Lord, how I thank You."  God is good, ALL the time.  I quote Psalm 37:4 most of all:

 "Delight thyself also in the lord, and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

To this day, in all of 27 years, I have never seen any Poke Salad Greens at the Farmers Market on Airline.  That's the only place I buy fresh fruits and vegetables. They are cheaper, and taste much better than store-bought.  God gave me the desires of my heart that day in 1985.

Continuing my February "Happenings," my school-teacher friend shared a second incident of God's love and caring.  With her permission, I'll just copy also from her letter:

"At Cypress Woods, my school, we are "the Wildcats." We are allowed to wear jeans with school shirts for 4 of the 5 days each week. A couple of years ago, my daughter Amanda gave me a  "wildcat" heart for Christmas, a spotted heart-shaped pendant for a necklace that I put on a favorite gold chain and wore for a year with my school attire.

"I wore it at the beginning of this year -- and then it was gone. I had combed my house and car for it, but it was nowhere to be found. Months have past -- and then last Friday afternoon, after a difficult week when a number of those "people-produced" storms had been raging, I was sitting in the faculty workroom filling out copy requests when the building secretary approached me -- with my lost "WILDCAT  HEART" necklace

"There are over 200 faculty members and about 3,000 students at my school. The necklace was given to her early in the year and had been in her desk all year. She was cleaning it out and came to me with it, because she thought it was I who had found it upstairs and had given it to her!  Isn't God good, to intervene in such small matters?   I hope I can continue to remember these vivid demonstrations of His great love and care for me in these two unexpected experiences as I need His help in so many matters of much greater importance."

Easter Sunday is April 8 this year. Last year, it came on April 24, which was later than any other Easter since 1943. The next time Easter falls so late will be on April 25, 2038.  In the year 325 A.D., church officials decided Easter should be observed on the day Jesus rose from the dead--which was on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the first day of Spring.  The first day of spring is always March 20 or 21. But the first full moon after that date varies from year to year--as a result Easter is celebrated as early as March 22 and as late as April 25.

My daughter Wanda has written a 48-Day Bible Study on the days of Christ before the cross, before His resurrection.  She mailed copies to all her children, and siblings, and me in time for all of us to begin together on Feb. 20. 

She wrote:  "This will enrich your life as you come closer to Jesus Christ our lord, who died for you and me, that we may have everlasting life with Him. When I asked Jesus how much He loved me, He said, 'This much!'  Then He stretched out His arms and He died. He took my place of punishment and paid for my sins. When He rose from the grave, He gave me access to the throne of grace and an eternal relationship with God the Father. He holds me in His nail-scared hands every day I'm on this earth, and will take me in His arms to Heaven when I have completed my time on this earth."
 She put a lot of work in this Bible Study workbook, making a way for all our family to be together in worshipful spirit.  Each daily Scripture verse is followed by her comments bringing the message up to date…..ending with her sweet prayer and more Words from the Bible. I am  spiritually blessed to take part in this, and it thrills my soul to think about all my family worshipping God together, during these 48 days before Easter -- even adding our own prayers to God across the miles from Florida to Texas (Houston, Tomball, Dallas, and Navasota).

2 Corinthians 5:17, "If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new."  

A new believer has a new life of joy, blessedness, and virtue ahead of him as he realizes his new relationship in Christ and remains steadily yielded in the Holy Spirit. Even in the best unconverted person, a real change takes place when he turns to Christ. The worst can be renewed when converted from great wickedness. Jesus is seeking all who know nothing of this changed life and awaits their turning to Him. His risen power will begin a work that will cause old things to pass away and all things to become new.

We were all blessed eternally when Christ rose from the dead. May your trust in Him remain constant strong and true, for He is working out His best as He lives His life in you. 

TILLIE WIER, inspirational writer and employee of Logos Ranch, LLC shares her adventures with God so that others may see Him in their everyday lives.

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