Sunday, November 29, 2015

Understand Weather, Understand World Events

I recently was blessed to do an in depth, but short, study of weather.   For those whose only knowledge of weather is what you see on TV, there is more to it than meets the eye.  For me, one of the main things to remember is that weather does not happen in a vacuum.  For every action, there is a reaction close by.  Next to a high is a low.  Low pressure causes air to rise.  High pressure causes air to descend.  When air vacates an area, air from another area will eventually replace the space that was emptied. 

You may have noticed weather typically moves from east to west.  If you see a line of storms on a weather map west of where you live, you can normally expect to see the storms cross your area.  However, you cannot focus on what is west of you.  People who live in Florida know the most severe weather of concern comes from the east.  Low pressure systems begin off the west coast of Africa and gain strength as they cross the Atlantic.  Once they reach the warmth of the Caribbean, they grow in power and can become very destructive. 

My point here is that you must look at all parts of weather in order to understand what is going to happen.  Even then, there are no guarantees forecasts will be accurate.  Nevertheless, you can more accurately understand what is happening and what will happen. 
What about the world events of today?  I won’t pretend to know what is going on and why. However, like weather, we much understand much of what we see in news does not happen in a vacuum.  What we see is rooted in events from decades and even centuries old.  When you factor in friction between Muslim/Jews/Christians you can go back millennia.  Some people understand history repeats itself.  I have recently seen comparisons with the current refugee crises to similar pre World War II events. 

I believe we should view actions of world leaders based on the history of their respective countries and even their own childhoods.  Does this mean we can accurately predict future actions?  No, but like weather, we probably will be closer to actual events.  I would also venture to say simple human nature factors in when trying to determine what will happen.  As much as we want to believe humans are basically good, we’ve had too many periods throughout human history where evil reigned.  I guess by this last statement, I am expressing my pessimism in human nature.

Nevertheless, I believe in a God who transcends time and history.  When we think of events in the past, He is there.  When I ponder the future, He is there.  What happens on earth does not surprise Him.  He is alive and active in every facet of our lives, past, present and future.  This is His creation and He loves it.  In spite of our arrogance and selfishness, He is patient and wants all to return to Him

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Paradise: Part 1

RB thought back to the early days in the Customer Care Department.  RB knew he could write.  He also had plenty of experience in customer service.  This was different.  He would have the final say for the corporation.  His job was to respond to customer correspondence.  He would either keep a customer or lose one.  He didn’t like losing any.

There were ten people in the training class.  He sat next to a young lady whom he found very attractive.  She was married but periodically during the day, he found himself wanting to look at her.  RB was married himself but it stop him from appreciating a masterpiece when he saw one
How did I get here?” he wondered.  RB did not like confrontation.  His natural impulse was to avoid it.  He once met someone who liked to work in baggage service at the airline where they worked.  This person loved it.  RB said, “I would never work there.”
“Why not?”
“Because any time someone walks through the door, you know they aren’t happy?”
Now he was embarking on a journey that would require him to deal with unhappy people.  In reality, RB was good with people and never let an irate customer get the best of him.  Actually, RB liked the challenge to making people smile when they were angry.  His internal trouble with confrontation was when he could see it coming.  When it merely happened, he was fine.  He was anxious on the inside but you would never know it.
That seemed so long ago.  Now, he was handling deals for the company executives.  The manner in which he got that job is a story all in itself.  He had handled every type of complaint the office received.  He started working the basic stuff but you never knew what a letter would say until you read it.  He had a mentor when class was finished and he was to start writing letters for real.  Darla was a gem but she was tough.  RB once asked her if she invested in a red ink company since she used so much of it when she proofed his letters. 
It hurt RB’s pride for Darla to find so much wrong with his letters.  While he realized he wasn’t a perfect  writer, was he really THAT bad?  He buckled down, trying to write in a manner that was acceptable.  It was a full week before she accepted a letter that met her standards.  RB was proud.  He hated the process but knew he was a better writer. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

Paradise


"Coffee equals energy" was the thought that went through RB's mind as he walked down a row of cubicles.  It was an early Tuesday morning but it was RB's Monday since he did some charity work for the company on Monday.  RB stood for Robert Baxter.  A friend in grade school started calling him RB and it stuck with him ever since. 

RB felt good about his participation the previous day.  The company started a charity for employees who find themselves in unexpected financial situations.  For instance, the husband of an employee from another department died. Shortly thereafter, this woman, who was nearing retirement, was having trouble financially and her power was shut off.  This new charity was able to get the power on that day, get her utilities up to date and put some groceries in the refrigerator.  Who wouldn't want to be part of something like that, RB thought?  We are taking care of our own.

He turned a corner and walked into his office.  The light was illuminated on his phone so he knew he had at least one voice mail.  RB turned the light on, sat down, and started the computer.  He contemplated starting the coffee right away but decided to listen to his voice mails first. 

He mindlessly tapped in the numbers on the phone keypad and got paper and pen ready.  The message said, "Yes, Mr. Baxter I'm sorry you aren't there to take my call.  What are you doing when you should be at the office?  I suppose you are too good to take care of customers on a Monday.  Let me tell you that I am not a happy customer and you not being there doesn't make me any happier.  Call me back 555 555 5555 if you dare." 

A bit of anger and nervousness welled up in RB's stomach.  What do you say to someone like this?  "You want me to call you back you prick?  I'll call you a prick.  How do you like that, jackass?  God, when am I ever going to get out of this place?"

RB had worked in customer service for several years and he was tired of it.  His personality was one that wished to avoid conflict.  He originally decided to take the job believing it was a stepping stone to something better.  That's what he was told at the time.  It was a good stepping stone and he should only be there a year or two.  Now, nearly 9 years later, there he still was.  A profound weariness and sadness shadowed his heart.  8 hours a day, 5 days a week of negativity wore down his soul but no other jobs were to be found.  He truly believed in his heart that dying or retiring would be the only way to leave that job since he didn't want to leave the company.  Though he felt stuck he resolved in his heart to make it through another day.  

"Another day in paradise." he grumbled.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Thoughts from James Chapter 1

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

It has been a while since I last read James.  There is a lot of gold in this book.  I think back to the first time I tried to look at trials in the manner in which he recommends.  I was on my own for the first time.  The single life, with my parents to shield or help me, wasn’t as easy as I thought.  I know now that at that point in my life I was focused on the pleasure principle:  seek pleasure and avoid pain.  Still, it wasn’t until many years later that I even noticed the part about the testing of our faith produces perseverance.  God wants us to not lack in anything.  Therefore, He will let the fires of trial burn away the parts of our personality that will ultimately not yield any spiritual fruit. 

It is only now that I am older that I am beginning to understand that difficulties are an important part of our growth.  I remember reading that when butterflies emerge from the cocoon, their struggle to break free is vital to the development of their wings.  If they are assisted in any way, their wings are useless and they will quickly die. 

I now believe we are meant to struggle and push ourselves.  It is proven that we can minimize dementia and/or Alzheimer’s by doing puzzles or even doing everyday things with the other hand.  We aid in our health by exercise and eating right.  Is any of this easy?  It isn’t hard but if we seek the path of least resistance we will believe it hard.  

I know this is getting to be a sermon so let me finish with this thought:  When we start seeking the easy life we start to die.  I believe God wants us to be open to His will and where it will lead us.  Often, it will be out of our comfort zone.  By regularly going outside our comfort zone, we will continually grow as individuals.  However, of greater importance, we will exercise our faith muscles and they will be strong. 

 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

James and Ephesians


The following are my thoughts for a study I was given:
James 2:1-14, 14-26 and Ephesians 2:8-9

Verses from James:

“My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism. 2 Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in filthy old clothes also comes in. 3 If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” 4 have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? 15 Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. 19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.

20 You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless[d]? 21 Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. 23 And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

25 In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? 26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.”

God doesn’t play favorites so we should not either.  I’d like to think I don’t play favorites but I know there are times I do.  However, in situations where there is a rich and poor person, my personality is such where I would give more attention to the poor person.  I know the reason is due to struggles I have with a poor self image. I tend to think the rich person would not want me around.  Outwardly, it would appear I am doing the “right” thing but if I give more attention to the poor than the rich am I not still playing favorites?    

Therefore, for me anyway, I have to be willing to whatever God wants me to do.  Maybe it is to be with the poor, maybe with the rich.  I know in my heart there are also times I would want to shun the poor.  There is a point to where I feel uncomfortable around the poor.  I met such people in Costa Rica during mission trips I have done.  I am reminded of some episodes from “Call the Midwife.”  The nurses and midwives visit women in an area of poverty in England.  I don’t know how I would act/react if it were me visiting these people.  Then again, if I, as the body of Christ, do not meet them where they are, how will they be reached?

This brings me to another issue I have.  In times past, I had (or still have) a messiah complex.  I want to save the world.  Therefore, while I fully agree that faith without works is dead, in my past, I used works as a spiritual ladder to get acceptance from God.  This is a huge subject for me but in the interest of brevity, let me simply say that I prefer to do less works so I don’t overdo it. 

Verses from Ephesians:

8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9 not by works, so that no one can boast.

Finally, for the verses from Ephesians, I can say this:  It is a contrast to what is mentioned in James.  However, works are not the means to the end.  It is the evidence of salvation.  Jesus talked about people who were forgiven their debts and asked who was the most grateful.  The answer was the one who had the greatest debt forgiven.  Partially due to my dealing with my messiah complex, I have come to have a greater understanding of what God did for us when He sent His Son to die for us.  Not only that, God continually works to make us His sons and daughters.  When you view where we were and compare it to where we stand once you accept His gift of salvation, can you actually boast about anything you have done?

 

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Race

I wrote this a long time ago.  It is a true story.  Only the names have been changed. 

Like most people who have reached middle age, I've done some reflecting.  I remember in high school and college that I wanted to be a good runner.  Running helped me come out of my shell and learn about hard work and goal setting.  I had a friend who was one of the top runners in the state of Illinois.  He seemed to always do well enough in a race to either win or receive a ribbon, medal, or trophy.  I remember after many races, he'd be out jogging and would miss the award's ceremony.  I dreamed of running a race where I put it all on the line and after the race was done, missing an award at the ceremony because I was out jogging.  What follows is that dream race.

Having already finished my warm up run, I put on my racing flats and concentrate on the task at hand.  Finishing this 5 mile race in 28:45 is a big step from my previous record of 29:16, but I feel it is a realistic goal.  Earlier, I determined and memorized the times for each mile.  Now I must do it.  I take off my sweat pants and put socks on my hands to keep them warm.  Once again, I jog and enjoy the scenery to relax on this cool, crisp, sunbathed autumn morning.  The melting frost glistens as runners leave their footprints in the grass.  I exhale purposely and watch the "smoke" escape my lungs.

I do some sprints and contemplate another goal.  Coach says that medals will be given out through fourteenth place.  I am certain I can get a medal. We've raced here before and against most of these teams.  I like this course and want a medal.

I hear last call and take off my sweat top and meet my teammates at our starting box.  The starter begins giving the last minute instructions while I shake hands and extend good wishes to my teammates and competitors near me.  In the back of my mind I wonder how many I will beat.  I am civil now but once the race starts that changes.  I always stay within the rules but in my mind, other runner are the enemy.

"Runner's set," the starter screams.  The tension rises.  I hear someone yell, "You can do it, Billy!"  A runner to my right screams, "Let's do this, guys.  Let's do it, let's do it!"  This is a moment when time stands still.  You are lost in your thoughts and the world appears to go on without you.  It's like you are visiting this planet and not a part of what is going on.  Nevertheless, the memory of it all can stay vivid as the day it happened.

The gun sounds triggering the release of a hundred taunt bodies that begin sprinting down the open grassy field.  Before the smoke can dissipate the runners are already vying for positions.  We race down the quarter-mile stretch of grass to a trail through the woods.  A traffic jam appears at the edge of the woods as the harriers bunch up and try to avoid getting spiked. Each of us are looking for an opening to dart through to bypass this bottleneck.

The sun sprinkles its rays through the branches and falling leaves.   The air is cool and crisp and the leaves give off a delicious aroma.  I'm not sure why I notice things like this when I should be concentrating on the race, but it seems that I always do. Nonetheless, I enjoy it.  I pass a runner, slipping through a gap before I would be cut off.  I have already passed all of my teammates but one and I plan to do that for the first time today.

I have busted my butt for a long time to do so.  I know I would have last week but he didn't run at that meet.  Today is the day.  I know it.  I believe it but what is my body telling me?  I feel like I am running smooth but I feel slightly fatigued.  I've never had this feeling before.  The first mile is my barometer for the remainder of the race.  I plan on hitting the first mile at 5:30.  I go up the hill and around to the left and I hear the caller yell, "... 5:24, 5:25, 5:26, 5:27...."  I'm feeling better than I thought.  This is great. I just hope I don't burn out.

I'm nearing my favorite place. It's open, flat and on pavement.  I run best on pavement.  I am at the back of the second pack and I see my teammate, Lance, at the front of the second pack.  I am in the perfect position.  I am finally going to beat him.  The pace is brisk but palatable.  Ever so slowly I begin to work my way through the pack.  I am amazed at how long it can take to catch someone in a race like this.  A couple of yards can take tens of seconds.

The asphalt turns to grass and we shoot up the short incline and into the woods again.  Lance is still in front of me, but upon passing the two mile mark I find that I am ten seconds ahead of my projected goal of 11:20.  The path heads straight for the creek and takes a sharp right turn followed by another right and a ninety degree left.  We go up a hill and come out the woodlands behind the starting line.

After counting the runners in front of me, I find that I am in twentieth or twenty first place. I know that I am still in an optimal position to get the medal and make my time goal.  I am starting to get warm, so I pull the socks on my hands down till they only cover my fingers.  We are now on a path parallel to the first four hundred yards of the race.  The pack has stretched out and now is a string of runners.  The coach, Doug, is encouraging Lance who is about five places ahead of me.  He screams his words of exhortation to me and his excitement urges me on.

We are running in familiar territory now as we do a U-turn and on into the woods.  The rest of the course covers the same loop.  I pass one runner as we glide down a straight away next to a fence but he surges with me.  The inevitable first tremors of fatigue sweep over me.  A flash of panic bolts through me as I mentally kick myself for going out too fast.  Pushing such thoughts aside I set my face on running this jerk into the ground.  I feel the spring leaving my step.  It's time for total concentration in everything that I do.  I give it a little more gas to pass him and I see Lance right in front of me.

Coach Doug is elated.  He is yelling and screaming and pumping his arms in the air.  I take the socks off my fingers and throw them to the coach to hold for me.  Removing them is like taking the world from my shoulders.  Oddly enough, this invigorates me and in a burst of energy I quickly pass Lance just before the third mile.  For some reason the caller didn't yell out my time, but I did hear the time for the person in front of me and guessed my time to be 17:00.

Still being ahead of my goal urges me on.  The concentration begins to flow and I make sure I am relaxed and my form is smooth.  There is a small hill and a left turn.  I know I am nearing the road again.  I pass another harrier as we reach the clearing.  I count the runners and find that I am in fifteenth place.  When I see the distance stretched between me and the one in front of me, my heart sinks.  I feel I will never cross the chasm separating us but I want the medal and I will get that medal.  Now is the time for me to do it.  The pavement is my specialty and the time is now.    

The fight begins and I lay it on the line.  Both pain and pace increase in intensity.  Fatigue is now setting in and I am paying the price for fast splits earlier in the race.  My body begins to rebel at what I am forcing it to do.  I must have total concentration or I will never be able to keep this up.  I glance up at the runner ahead of me and it looks like I haven't gained an inch on him.  I want to give up, but I see Coach Doug, cheering me on.  He is there at the right time and his enthusiasm pushes me forward.  I am nailing this guy.  He's history.

I am trying to squeeze out a little more speed without expending a lot of energy.  I'm pushing off slightly more with my toes and lengthening my stride.  I am red lining it.  Even if I look strong I know that I am dying inside.  My breathing is labored and my body feels like lead.  I am fighting the person in front of me, the clock, and my deteriorating body.  To add insult to injury, I don't think that I can keep up this pace.  Look what this jackass is making me do.  The prick!

Nevertheless, I want everyone to know that I WILL pass this guy.  I purposely have a determined look on my face and pace and movements smooth and like it is no effort at all.  When I pass this moron's coach, I can tell that he knows I'm passing his runner.

I look ahead to see the jerk running off the pavement and up a little hill.  Though it is obvious that I have finally gained some ground on him, I'm worried that I will never make up the remaining yardage between us.  I pass the fourth mile in 22:48 which ties my PR, previous record, for four miles and helps my mental battle a little.

The trail snakes and turns so much that I can't tell if I am gaining or losing him.  I want to give up.  My feet slap the ground on each corner.  I know I am losing it physically and it is nearly impossible to keep my wits.

Everything within me rages and screams for me to stop, but I am committed to giving all that I have to the very end.  I go up the hill behind the finish line and this thought suddenly strikes me:  God will work a miracle.  I wonder what sort of miracle could this could be.  

I fix my eyes on the dumbass in front of me and notice that I have gained more ground on him.  Suddenly, he stopped.  He's walking.  I don't know why and I really don't care.  I send up a brief prayer of thanksgiving as I pass him.  Now I know that the medal is mine.  I only need to concentrate on making my time goal.  

I listen in fear for footsteps to creep up behind me.  I have no idea how close the person behind me is.  I feel I am really losing it and I'm just trying to maintain form and composure.  I see the finish line.  I turn the last corner and start my kick.  I give it everything I have for this last two hundred yard marathon.  My body keeps slowing down but my mind forces it forward.  It's a constant struggle.  It's a war of body and mind.  All the miles I ran over the summer flash through my mind.  I glimpse the hill workouts and late night runs.  I have put forth so much effort for a moment like this.  I push, I prod, I force, and I shove my body to the line.

I cross the finish line and shut everything down and grab my finish stick which will show me how I finished.  Why is it that a few seconds after a race like this hurt more than the race itself?  With eyes closed, I slump over and want to fall to the ground.  I open one eye to look at the stick that reads "14."  I congratulate myself with a smile.  Coach Doug walks up and shouts his enthusiasm for my race and asks what my place was.  Without even looking up I hand him the stick.  Then I straighten up and walk out of the chute.   

I start walking and cheer each of my teammates as they finish.  After I change shoes, Ken, my friend and teammate, and I jog to loosen up.  Coach Doug yells at us that the awards ceremony has started.  We race back as fast as our dead legs will carry us.  When we reach the crowd of people, coach interrupts and says, "Who was that guy who got 14th place?"  The home team coach smiles and calls out my name and gives my time.  Pride and excitement fill me as I receive my medal.  I find out that my finishing time was 28:46 and not the 28:45 that I wanted.  Normally this would bother me but I knew I couldn't have given anything else.  I gave my all in a grueling race and missed the awards ceremony.  It was the best race of my life.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thoughts on Gratitude


Why is gratitude important?  Why should we be thankful for things? From my own experience, I have found that when I focus on what I don’t have, I get down.  When I am down, I get anxious.  Once anxious, it brings about more anxiety and it is a continuous cycle, a downward spiral.  It is hard for me to describe properly but suffice it to say that is my reality. 

Yet when I appreciate things, it seems I focus less on me.  I tend to look outward more.  I see the needs of others and I have a desire to help.  When I help, I feel better in general and about myself.  This can also be a cycle except that it tends to make me more content rather than ill at ease. 

We have a world filled with needs and too many of us have too much.  We are used to our excess but believe we are lacking.  I can only hope more of us will realize we don’t need to have the latest gadget or bigger TV or new car.  Perhaps the monthly allowance we spend on Starbucks could be used to help a family eat.  Rather than watching the latest on TV, we could write a letter to a friend or family member in prison.

Some people say they have nothing for which to be thankful.  They can start small.  We can express thanks for little victories in life.  Begin by being appreciative for anything and start building from there.  Once we realize there is so much good in our lives, we start to see others around us who have needs and we can start to help them.  Little by little, we can erode the deficiencies and injustices in our world.

I recently read a Facebook post that I also shared.  It said “If we do not feel grateful for what we already have, what makes us think we’d be happy with more?”  So why is gratitude important?  Why should we be thankful for things?  Maybe there some biological mechanism that is lubricated so we operate more affectively as humans when we are thankful?  Perhaps God, in His infinite wisdom, knows it is a way to open us up to do His will.  Just a thought…

 

Monday, November 9, 2015

He Cares for His Own

Sovereign LORD, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do?
Deuteronomy 3:24

Last year it was my goal to read through the bible.  As I read Deuteronomy, I get a real sense that Moses is a bit nostalgic about his time with God’s chosen people.  He is recounting God’s acts and retelling the giving of the law.  I believe he knew his time was short and he was emphasizing to the Israelites the importance of following God’s law. 

This verse mean a lot to me right now since I am seeing God’s hand in my own life.  I won’t go into details but I have shared with my family how great God is that He has supplied some things in our lives.  We are all quite happy.  I still can’t believe the great job I have when I compare it to the last one.  I am nearing my 7th year in this job and I still have to pinch myself to be sure it is real. Meanwhile, there are possibilities of something more.

It is interesting to me that I get more out of bible reading the longer I read.  That is, reading a few chapters compared to one.  It seems to put me in the mode.  The switch finally gets flipped.  My heart is full.  There is no material thing I want.  I see a God who is beyond comprehension.  He is a God who cares for His own. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Family History: Mr. and Mrs. George Beed


Golden Wedding Celebration of Mr. and Mrs. George Beed

March 18, 1933

The following article taken from the Elkhorn Journal, Battle Creek.s first newspaper, was printed in 1883, and read at the golden wedding celebration.

Rose Phillips and George Beed were married at the home of the bride.s parents in Highland Precinct, Madison County, Nebraska, March 18, 1883. F. H. L. Willis, Esquire, officiated at the wedding of George Beed and Rose Phillips. The above event has been looked for by the people of this locality for some time. No cards but lots of cake. Miss Rose has had a host of admirers ever since her residences here but George has by persistent wooing, won the prize and left the rest of suitors in the background.

Highland's constable, no doubt thinking that somebody might harm the happy pair, summoned about a dozen able assistants to his aid, went and guarded their premises the same evening, took such weapons as old shotguns, cowbells, etc., which I believe kept at ball all who would be liable to harm them. This, of course, is rather unusual occurrence on a Sabbath evening but the majesty of the law must be upheld at all hazards.

Signed, The Esq.

The couple were married at high noon at the home of the bride.s parents, Mr. and Mrs. David Phillips. After the wedding, the couple went to make their home in a dugout. They lived in the dugout a year, then succeeded to a homestead west of Battle Creek. Four years later they sold this homestead and moved to their timber claim three and one-half miles northeast of Meadow Grove.

In the blizzard of 1888, Mr. Beed became lost in the storm. Mrs. Beed went in search of him and found him wandering near the house with both eyes and his mouth frozen shut and his mittens frozen to his hands.

They lived on their timber claim until 1911 when they came to Meadow Grove to make their residence. They had both come to Madison County in covered wagons, Mr. Beed in 1872, and Mrs. Beed in 1881.

The George Beed.s had three children, Emma, Earl and Lester Beed. At the golden wedding celebration there was one guest present who was also at the wedding, Mrs. Malissa Ober.
Source: They Called It Meadow Grove, compiled by Gary Kuchar and Mrs. Lenora Kuchar, page 153.

A Time of Need

The last time he saw his mom, Paul spoke the words he had to say.   He recognized her discomfort as she shifted on the bed and redirected he...