Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My passion

What started out as a symbolic gift to my husband on Father’s Day 2004 has turned into a passion for me and just recently a visual aid for learning for our three young sons.

I collect antique Lord’s Prayer chromolithographs, most of which were created in the late 1800s.

Sunday night the boys were watching a 2006 version of the “Ten Commandments” on TV with their father. They were very interested in the movie so I took the opportunity to tell them they could see pictures of the Ten Commandments right in our own living room.

A wreath of vignettes illustrating the Ten Commandments surrounds a center oval of the Lord’s Prayer in three of my lithos.

All but one of the six lithos are beautifully printed with bright pastel colors and gold, and are displayed in antique frames. A lone print, which I’ve not framed yet because I’ve misplaced it, is a vintage greeting card size black and white print of the Lord’s Prayer written in several languages (very tiny print).

My favorite chromolithograph – the largest - hangs above our fireplace mantel in a stunning ornately-carved, high-gloss wooden frame that belonged to my late grandparents, Fred and Ruth McDonald, who lived in Caldwell, Ohio.

The first one I bought for David because he prays the Lord’s Prayer every night with the children before they go to bed. The 16-by 22 litho has an 1892 copyright and was published by Standard Supply House, Chicago, Illinois. I found it at an area antiques/garden store and later I was excited to learn, via the Internet, there are lots of other lithos of the prayer out there!

At least two that I’ve acquired were printed by Geis & Co. Buffalo, N.Y. with copyrights of 1877 and 1881. The former also states it was “Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1877 by M. Yauck, 18 University Ave. Rochester, N.Y. in the office of the librarian of Congress in Washington.” That one was published by S.T. Buck, Milton, Pa.

One hangs in a Victorian Adirondack frame - the same kind of frame in which you may find paper punch and cross-stitch samplers from the same era.

I also have three old cross-stitch Lord’s Prayer samplers though one is just a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” and appropriately hangs in our dining room. I even have a Lord’s Prayer sampler in our bathroom, because the thread colors match my shower curtain!

The Lord’s Prayer is the most widely recited prayer by Christians. Two versions of it appear in the New Testament of the Bible – Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.

It’s “just a soopr day” that I can finally share one of my passions with the boys.

“For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever. Amen.”

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Merry Christmas

Do you remember the story about the four adult siblings, all adopted as children, who were reunited live on TODAY on Sept. 23?
Earlier that week brothers Randy Joubert and Gary Nisbet appeared on the show to tell the story of how they met in July when Joubert took a job at the furniture store in Maine where Nisbet had been working for years. After being told repeatedly how much like brothers they looked, Joubert confirmed in September they were indeed brothers who had been taken from their abusive mother 35 years ago and adopted by different families.
When their story hit the local media, a half sister Joanne Campbell came forward and reunited with the pair.
The three appeared on TODAY and announced there was one more sister.
That sister turned out to be Kathleen "Kat" Cooper who the next day met her siblings on TV.
Kat's blog was mentioned in one of the online stories I read. Curious about this woman I spent hours reading her blog and in the process learned she is a non-believer. At that point I felt compelled to send her an e-mail:

ME: “ I just spent too many hours reading your blog after seeing the link the national story (TODAY) about your long-lost siblings. I think you are blessed but just don't know it. I'm disappointed you don't believe in God … take care and think about what has happened in your life in the past couple of days and consider that God played a part in this.”

KAT’S response in italic(which is posted on her blog; she did not reply to my e-mail):
“ I really don't want to offend anyone, but I'm getting an overwhelming amount of emails from a lot of people who believe in the big dog up in the clouds, every single 1 of them is saying that this is proof of his existence, that they followed the story here, read, read my blog, and were extremely disappointed to learn that I am an atheist.

take care and think about what has happened in your life in the past couple of days and consider that god played a part in this
Sorry, no.
It's all just coincidence, just the way it goes, it's totally awesome, but completely random events.
No religious miracle, no god did it or god chose this time of our lives to reunite us, none of any of that mumbo jumbo holy man nonsense.
It would take a whole lot more than this to make me suddenly fall to my knees and believe in a magical dude in the universe.
I appreciate all of the comments, I really do, but this was nothing more than random events, super awesome terrific random events, but completely random.”

I am saddened that Kat doesn’t believe but I was pleased to see part of my e-mail on her post and to know so many believers contacted her like me to tell her they are “extremely disappointed.”

I am also saddened by Godless billboards that popped up across the U.S., including those in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, last month.
They say “Don’t Believe In God? You are not alone” and were placed by chapters of and funded by the United Coalition of Reason – an organization of nontheistic (atheist and agnostic) groups.
Apparently this organization wants believers to be aware there are people who don't believe in a god.

"The point of our national billboard campaign is to reach out to the millions of humanists, atheists and agnostics living in the United States," explained Fred Edwords, national director of the United Coalition of Reason. "Nontheists sometimes don't realize there's a community out there for them because they're inundated with religious messages at every turn. So we hope this will serve as a beacon and let them know they aren't alone."

In response to the billboard being erected in Columbus, media there interviewed random people on the street who all appeared to be believers.
Now the purpose of this blog is to remind believers that in the end times the Bible says these kinds of things will happen so we shouldn’t be surprised.
It is also a request that believers continue to spread the Word of God – in any way they can – and to celebrate the birth of Christ – a real “religious miracle” that was not a “random event” - this Christmas.
Merry Christmas!