John Day—Monday, Dec. 30, Everett King greeted lunch-goers as they checked in for lunch. He also did the announcing. He was one busy fellow. Curtis Perry led us in the flag salute.

Everett reminded us that Jan. 9 is the annual meeting for the hall board, and there are many door prizes to be presented and it is a great way to learn how our senior center operates and what all it takes to make it a success. It is at the same time as our Thursday lunch so we expect a good attendance. This is when we will find out how many people care about the business of our senior center.

Fifty frozen meals were delivered to Long Creek, and 10 frozen and 28 fresh meals were delivered to our neighborhood. Thanks go to all who helped with this project.

Roberta Dowse and Everett King were the winners of the drawings for this day. Congratulations, you two.

Jolene Floyd of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints asked the blessing for our meal, and she, her daughter and a friend proceeded to serve our meal of pizza with drinks and dessert to all 18 attendees. They were jolly and mingled well with all the attendees.

For our first lunch of 2020 on Thursday, Jan. 2, Greg and Betty Starr were checking lunch-goers in as they arrived. Everett did the announcing, and Duane Andrew led the flag salute. We were reminded that next Thursday is Jan. 9 and the date for the annual hall board meeting just before we eat.

It was Angie Uptmor’s first day to work without Veanne. We sure missed seeing Veanne among us today. Angie was busy with all her duties and kept a smile all the while. Some of us got to meet her husband as he made a visit.

Amber Wright and Lon Davis were the winners of the drawings. Congratulations, you two. Thirty-one meals were delivered locally by Joan and Joel Tayles. Thanks to both of you as you are appreciated by all of us for contributing your time to our community.

Members of the Nazarene Church were our servers, and after Gene Fresh asked the blessing for our meal, they proceeded to serve all 28 in-house diners a meal of apple and onion stuffed pork loin, rice pilaf, honey mustard slaw and breadsticks as well as the usual drinks. Chocolate-iced chocolate cake was dessert, and all was the best meal. Thanks, Shay and crew, for making it so good. The January birthday people were asked to gather for a picture, and Angie took it. A nice time was had by all, and there was some extra food for those who wished to take some home.

The scriptures tell us to give, and we shall receive. All the people responsible for all the above activities are certainly givers, and they will be rewarded by our Heavenly Father.

Monument—

Happy New Year, everyone! I can share with you all that already the Lord has blessed our family and met needs that we had and has proven that he alone can be trusted and is faithful and true. Oh, my great Father in heaven is so good, and I just want to praise him! Hallelujah and amen!

We had the last meal of the year 2019 and the decade. Ha, crazy right? Our greeters at the table were Kristi Guimont, Ricki Doland and her daughter, Janna Warden, visiting from Salem, Oregon. Kristi and Ricki collected and counted the money, and Janna checked in the guests. Bodean Andersen led us in the flag salute, made the announcements and prayed the blessing over our meal.

We had 50 guests on the books and eight takeouts. Janna Warden won the Len’s Drug gift card. Helen Davidson and Kinzie Dawson were the winners of the free meal tickets. Helen Davidson, a longtime resident of Monument previously, was visiting her family from Washington. It was sure nice seeing her again. I hope she has a wonderful visit. I know she missed living out here.

Please continue to pray for Jimmy as he has started his chemo treatments. We pray that the Lord will give him strength and endurance during this time and that the Lord Jesus would shine through him and that he would be a witness and a testimony unto Jesus. I also want to lift up Aaron Harris, who is also having some health issues. We pray for his healing and strength as well. The prayers of a righteous man availeth much. Prayers are God’s power working through us so please keep those going, and I thank you.

There is a sewing class coming up. It will be for Saturday, Jan. 18. Yay, I am so looking forward to it. If you would rather do a craft, that is OK too. This is just a wonderful time of all of us coming together and spending time together, sharing and eating our potluck lunch together and enjoying each other’s company. It starts at 9 a.m. and goes until 3 p.m. If you would like to sew but don’t have a machine, we’ve got several extra machines available so don’t let that hold you back. I just want to shout out a great big thank you to Ms. Judy Harris who first started this all and helps us (especially me when I am frustrated that my machine is not working right) and is such a wonderful leader and encourager to us. We love her and are so thankful for her.

Shawna Clark will be in Monument Wednesday, Jan. 8. If you would like to make an appointment, please call the hospital.

There are still some census jobs available. They are paying $16 an hour. This is a temporary job. You can take advantage of this financial money-making opportunity.

I am so thankful for another year here in Monument. All I can say is God is good, all the time!

Matthew 18:3 “Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Prairie City—

Hope you all had a Merry Christmas and will have a happy new year. The truly sad note was the news of Drew Harmer’s passing. We will miss his smile at our pinochle games.

We were able to enjoy the holidays with our children and grandchildren. Bert had just returned from his business trip to Japan and had photos so that took some time to go through them. Otherwise, it was just visiting, food, gifts, etc. Hero, the little dachshund/chihuahua mix, had a terrible time protecting his family from all the invaders!

On our journeys around, we were able to take in all the beautiful Christmas lights. Did you ever consider why we decorate with lights, whether old-time candles or modern electric? “Jesus is the light of the world.” I remember when my brother went to Vietnam. My folks said that, when he returned, they would decorate the whole house in lights because they would be so happy. Well, that would have been quite a project being as how the house took a 40-foot ladder to paint! But it’s the thought that counts, right?

We also enjoy seeing the big star that the city of Prairie City puts up on Reservoir Hill for the season. Why? Because the Magi “saw His star in the east.” And as we live on the west side of town, we can look to the east and see the star ... ahem.

And what about the snow? It reminds us that “Jesus’ blood can make us whiter than snow.” And the gifts: The Magi brought gifts to the king, so we do the same in remembrance. The Operation Christmas Child boxes are distributed all around the world, and it is hoped that there will be boxes opened every day of the year. Because we really don’t know the exact date that Jesus was born, we can have Christmas everyday!

Back to Genghis Khan and his idea for religious freedom: His law propounded in about 1216 stated individuals were allowed to choose which religion or belief they would like to practice. This would have important philosophical and political implications years later in Europe and America. In 1779 Thomas Jefferson wrote “A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom” to be debated in the General Assembly of Virginia. It took a whole page of small print in the book to reproduce the text of this bill that gave his reasons and arguments. Then there was another long paragraph that laid out the way the law would be enacted. What is interesting is to compare that with the final compilation in the Bill of Rights: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” There. Done and done. PTL.

1 Peter 2:13 “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every authority instituted among men: whether to the king, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.”

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