Friday, December 3, 2010

The GOD Man

For hundreds of years the Prophets told of His coming.  God sent an Angel to tell Zacharias that his wife Elizabeth was to have a son (John) that would prepare the people for the coming of the Messiah; which that alone was no small miracle given the age of Zacharias and Elizabeth.  Once more, God sent an Angel (Gabriel) to a young virgin girl (Mary) who was engaged to a man named Joseph.  The Angel told her that she was chosen to bare the Son of God; she was to name him Jesus.  The Angel also told Mary that her cousin Elizabeth was now six months pregnant "For with God nothing will be impossible".

The amazing thing to me was that not only was Mary chosen to give birth to God's Son, but that she was willing to do such a thing.  She knew that her Fiance' might not take it so well.  She also knew that in those days, a woman could be stoned to death for being pregnant without a husband.  Yet, she was willing to risk her reputation and even the man she loved for God's will.  Mary decided to make a trip to visit her cousin Elizabeth and when she met her for the first time, Elizabeth's baby danced in her womb at the very presence of God's Son in Mary's womb. 

When the time came near, God wrote the birth announcement of His Son in the sky for the very wise and scholarly of men to read.  Then for even the lowest of poor men (Shepherds who basically lived outside), He sent a personal invitation in the very presence of an Angel who stood right there in front of them and said, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be the sign to you:  You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths living in a manger" (I can hear Linus saying this in the play *A Charlie Brown Christmas*).  Then the Bible tells us that the sky was filled with many Angels singing a song, "Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, good will toward men!"  Of course the Shepherds went to see this child and told Mary and Joseph of all they had heard from the Angels.

Can you just imagine it; God cared so much for the men of earth, that He made sure that all were invited.  I have always related to the Shepherds; to think that God would give us Plain folk an invitation is just so amazing to me that my heart can hardly contain it.  I can see how God provided an instant celebration!  God even made sure that two of His faithful servants weren't able to miss the birth of His Son either.  Simeon and Anna had waited in the Temple daily for Him to arrive; they both praised God for Him allowing them to see their future Savior when Mary and Joseph brought their baby Jesus to the Temple as was their custom to give an offering after a male child was born.

 There was also a sort of baby shower given later for God's Son.  Some very wise men of the East were anxious to greet this newborn King of the Jews.  They did their best to follow God's directions in the invitation that He wrote in the sky and they followed His star to Jerusalem.  They went to Herod the King and said, "Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him".  Of course Herod was none too happy to hear that the prophecy of this new King said that He would shepherd God's people and that these wise men actually wanted to recognize this baby of a King.  He basically told them to feel free to search Him out, but please come back and let me know too so that I might worship Him.  God continued to shine His star and the wise men were so happy to follow it once more to the house where Mary and Joseph were now living as it shined down over them.  They brought gifts of great wealth; gold, frankincense, and myrrh.  These gifts greatly helped Mary and Joseph to make a new life in Egypt for a time.  As you can imagine, God revealed to the wise men not to return to Herod and he became angry and commanded that all the male children who were born during the time of the star were to be killed (basically two years old and younger); such a terrible thing.  An Angel had warned Joseph to take his family to Egypt until the rule of Herod ended.

This was just the beginning of what this God Man would do.  Just think of it, God heard our heart's cry and decided to give us a Savior.  How amazing that His Son took on our humanness and the boundaries of this planet when He could have continued to enjoy all the privileges of His royal station in the Heavenly. But God was determined to not only tell us but to show us His love and mercy.

May you truly know the gift and meaning of this wonderful Season when we celebrate the birth of this God Man.  Merry Christmas and may God's peace reign in your hearts.

(If you'd like to read more about this miraculous event; I mostly took the scriptures of Luke and Matthew)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Anyone who knows me knows that I want to start in with Christmas right after Halloween!  Lol!  I love hearing the Christmas music that begins to play on the radio.  I love walking into a store and seeing Christmas Trees, bows and ribbons lining the shelves.  I can't help it, I just love Christmas so much.

Then I step back and think about what this season brings.  It really is a time for reflection and remembering all that we have come through this past year.  I have been blessed to survive a bout with cancer and was able to finish all of the edits on my story and finally get it published.

I have been blessed to see my Church family expand and yet still feel like we are family.  I've been blessed with starting back with my small group that I love dearly.  I've been able to be a part of the 40 Days of Community Leadership Team and have enjoyed getting to know all of them better.

I've been blessed to see my newest grandson born in this past year and to watch all of my grandchildren growing up in the Lord.  I've also been blessed to have such wonderful sons-in-love and beautiful daughters that each help to serve others in their own way.  I've also been blessed to finally see my baby girl find a guy that is the measure of her worth.  I have ever been blessed to have my best friend and husband journey beside me.

All in all, it has been a good year.  I am thankful Lord, for all that you have done on behalf of myself and those I love.  Thank You that all are welcome to sit at Your table!  : )

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


What is it that makes my heart stir
In the autumn of the year
The hues of gold, orange and scarlet
Or the blue skies so clear
Is it the sight of the leaves swirling
As the wind beckons them to dance
Or is it the rolling hills of color
That makes me take a second glance
Is it the sound of booming thunderstorms
From sheets to gentle rain that falls
Or is it the brisk autumn breezes
And the howling wind that calls
Is it the brilliant starry nights
With the October moon that glows
Or is it the little babbling brooks
To the raging river that flows
Is it the smell of fresh cut wood
Stacked neatly in a row
Or the sight of orange pumpkins
With happy faces all aglow
Is it candy corn, hay rides and bonfires
Apples that are red and green
Or the smiles of happy children
On the night of Halloween
Is it the smell of Cinnamon and spice
 And wood smoke drifting in the air
Or is it the blue jean overalls
And knitted sweaters that we wear
I guess it’s a time for family and friends
To come inside and join in on the fun
To sip a cup of hot cocoa or cider
And sit beside your special one
I love all that this season has to offer
From sounds, tastes, scents, and sights
To good food and fellowship
And a warm fire on chilly nights

Monday, October 11, 2010


Today I started reading "Better Together".  It's a 40 Days of Community Devotional and Journal.  It talks about how God's love for us gives us the reason to love others.  That God's love in us gives us the ability to love others.  And it teaches that God's love through us gives us the way to love others.  It also has a daily journal and although I don't usually share my personal journal, I decided to share this one from today.


I thought that I never truly knew what love was until I married John; he is so self-sacrificing towards me.  Then I learned another aspect of love as my children got older.  I realized that there is nothing that my children could do to make me stop loving them; it may cause us to have a time of separation, but my love is always there waiting for them.  Then I learned the greatest aspect of love when I went through radiation; I felt God's presence and knew that not even death could separate Him from me.

Whatever you are going through my friend, know that God loves you!  : )

Saturday, September 11, 2010

We have NOT forgotten

     We have not forgotten the cost that America paid on 9/11/01.  Though we are battle scarred our spirit is strong.  Our Nation is healing from this terrible tragedy; however, we will never forget the lives that were lost that day nor those who fought bravely to save the victims in the Two Towers as well as those who fought bravely to stop the plane in the Pennsylvania  field and those in the Pentagon as well.

     God has blessed our Nation with His mighty protecting hand since that day.  I am so thankful for the freedom we have in this wonderful homeland.  May we never take for granted all those who fight to defend our freedom even this very day.  I am so thankful for my Nephew and his Family sacrificing the comforts of America as He and They serve in Japan.

     May God continue to bless America!  : )

Monday, September 6, 2010


When you hear the word cancer, it does tend to rattle your cage just a bit.  It’s like someone just gave you a curse and a blessing all in one.  A curse because it’s as though you’ve just been thrown into a horrible game show where your Dr. is the Host and he asks you to pick between treatment door number one, two, or three; behind one of them lies death.

A blessing because you’ve just been walking down the path of life and you suddenly stop and look back over your shoulder and wonder if you’ve lived well; did you do enough in your lifetime to help those that you love to live well?  And most importantly, you’ll never take another day ahead on the path of life for granted.

For now, it seems that the treatment door I’ve chosen has helped and my Dr. has told me that I am cancer free; battle scarred, but cancer free.  For that I am grateful, however, I know that there are so many dear friends that have not had the same outcome.  I pray for those still continuing on with their battle and for the families of those who lost their battle.

To say that this experience has brought me closer to my Lord and Savior would be a gross understatement; He is every breath that I continue to take, for every breath belongs to Him.  I have been at the door and willing to enter that which is not seen, but only imagined; not yet, is His answer to me.  Now I am more than willing to do His bidding and enjoy every moment that I am allowed to spend with those that I love and to help others to know Him as well.  : )

Friday, August 20, 2010


My grandmother was born Loretta Florence Tracy on December 26, 1921.  She later married my grandfather (Walter Howard Michael) and they lived in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri.  She once told me of how her first child (my father) was born one snowy winter.  They had tried to drive their old pickup truck through the blinding snow, but it was no use; the snow was piling up too quickly and so they returned to their cabin where she gave birth without the help of a Doctor.  It was February 8, 1940 when little Howard Michael was brought into the world.  The Doctor was sent for and he arrived a day or so later and wrote out the birth certificate.  That was the beginning of what I would learn of a very courageous woman.

My grandmother and grandfather went on to have two more little boys and they were taught to help around the dairy that had belonged in my grandfather’s family for some time.  They also learned how to hunt and fish at a very early age; everyone had to help supplement the food for their table.  Times were hard for many families during those years.

My father once told me that when he was about the age of six, my grandmother had warned him and his brothers not to play near an old stump that was in the woods near their farm; needless to say he didn’t listen very well and it became one of his favorite places to go and his two younger brothers would follow after him.  One day my grandmother found them there and she picked up my father by the back of his bib overalls and hung him over the old large stump.  My father said that there was several cottonmouth snakes intertwined and slithering down below in the hollowed out stump and he now understood why she didn’t want him or his brothers playing there.

My father also told me that one day my grandmother had caught him in a lie and took him out to the cow pasture.  She picked up a stick and began to stir a pile of cow dung.  She asked him if he could smell it.  He said that he could and she went on to stir it some more and my father began to hold his nose.  She told him that telling a lie was just like stirring up that cow patty; it only got worse as you held onto it.  She said that only speaking the truth would end the stink.

A few years later, my grandmother and grandfather decided to pack up their family and move to California.  My grandmother said that it was one of the hardest things that she ever had to do; she left all of her siblings and parents behind.  My father was only eight years old at the time.  They settled in a little town called Hughson.  My grandfather’s brothers would also move their families to California as well; all leaving the family dairy.

Some of my grandmother’s relations had moved out to California many years before and they settled in an area that had been named after her family; a town called Tracy.  I often saw her writing letters at her kitchen table to her family that she longed to see.  Sometimes she would read me some of the letters that they had written to her.  Each summer my grandparents tried to take a trip back to Missouri to see their family.  My brother and I even went on a few occasions.  Some years some of the relatives would travel to California; Disneyland was always one of the main attractions for them.

I knew my grandmother was a Church goer and she and my grandfather often took my brother and I when we were younger.  She loved to sing in Church and some of my fondest memories are of her singing Hymns at the kitchen sink while she washed her dishes and also of her singing an Irish ditty as she bounced one of her grandchildren or great-grandchildren on her knee.

Later I would find out that she was one of the first to sign up at Church to bring food, clean the Church, encourage a grieving soul, or open up her home for Bible studies.  She had been a Sunday School Teacher, Choir Member, Church Prayer Team Member, Church Secretary, and even the Church Treasurer.

The one thing I knew that she always did and did well was to feed anyone and everyone that came to her door.  Lol!  My grandmother served Pastors, Police Officers, a few Police Chiefs, the Mayor, and even a Congressman.  Now I’ve come to learn that it wasn’t only my grandmother’s great cooking; believe me it was some good eating.  I think that it was also my grandmother’s Godly counsel that many came for; she was a very wise and prayerful woman who loved the Lord greatly and was eager to share Him and His word with anyone.

The funny thing was that my grandmother mostly entertained while wearing her house slippers.  She was a very down-to-earth person; small of stature with black curly hair that I later learned (of course) was dyed and permed by one of my aunts.   My grandmother rarely left her home; for one reason, she never got her drivers license.  I’m not sure if that was because she never wanted to or if it was my grandfather’s doing?  The other reason was because her home was pretty much the “hub” and everyone wanted to come over and came often.  My uncles, aunts and cousins were often all gathered there; especially for Sunday Supper.   I now believe that it was also another way to get us all to go to Church on Sunday so that we could enjoy her bounty later!  Lol!

To my knowledge, my grandmother never held a job other than the one she had at home.  Believe me when I tell you that she worked at home.  Not only for a very demanding husband, but was also caregiver to most of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren at one time or another as well as the children of the neighborhood.  I often found a new child in her arms when I stopped by for a visit.  I also saw many a stranger coming away with an armload of food from her stocked pantry shelves; today some might call that hoarding.  I see it as being a good steward.

I think that my grandmother was the perfect example of a humble servant.  She never complained or asked for anything for herself and yet gave so much to others.  God only knows how many lives my grandmother touched in her lifetime and how many other lives she is touching now through her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and however many generations are allowed.

I have only experienced a small portion of the sacrifices that she made when my husband and I packed up our family and left our relatives moving to the State of Virginia.  Now my daughters only know the history of this great woman because I have told it to them.  But I also know that a part of her is alive in and through me reaching out to others.  Thank you Lord that I have had the pleasure to know this sweet and dear woman (Loretta Florence Tracy Michael) and her descendants rise up and call her blessed.  : )