Archive for November, 2012

The Star

Each year it is with great anticipation that I plug in our nativity star. I love the star!  The 7′ tall star sits on top of the horse stable on the hill of our farm and shines it’s brightness into the dark night for all the Route 60 travelers to see. When we come home on a dark evening, I love seeing it off in the distance-one lone, brightly shining star. When you get closer you can see its light glistening as it reflects off the roof. There is something so peaceful, so serene and so holy about that star!

The star that the wise men followed in search of Jesus has become a symbol to represent Christmas even though the journey of the wise men was not completed until one to two years after the birth of Jesus. There was no special star marking the bustling inn in Bethlehem the night Jesus was born in spite of what Christmas propaganda portrays. In my mind, I envision a cold, dark night with millions of  stars winking and twinkling with glee over their heavenly secret.

We love to tell the story of the wise men (magi) riding on camels following the star as they bring their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the young Jesus. They came from a far-away eastern country and history suggests that they may have first spotted the star on the night of Jesus’ birth.  But there is more to this story.  These men were astrologers and they also knew the prophecies of the Messiah’s coming.  There was something about the “new” star that caught their attention and beckoned them to follow.  Was it brighter than all the rest?  Could they only travel at night so they could follow it’s glow? Did it hang lower in the sky?  This was no ordinary star as stars don’t move.

The wise men stopped in Jerusalem and went straight to the palace of King Herod.  They asked him, “Where is he who is born, King of the Jews? We have seen his star in the East and have come to worship Him”.   What appeared to be an innocence question would have dire consequences as it posed a serious threat to King Herod.  After searching the ancient scripture they found the prophecy by the prophet Micah written 500 years prior, ” And you, Bethlehem, Land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler, who will shepherd my people Israel.” (Micah 5:2)

Herod sent the magi on their way to search for this “king” with the request that they come back and report to him where they found him so he could also go and worship the young king.

The star guided the magi to the very house where Jesus lived with his parents. After leaving they were warned in a dream to not go back to the wicked Herod.  When Herod realized he had been betrayed, he became enraged and ordered all baby boys two years old and younger in Bethlehem and the  surrounding area to be killed.   What followed was the tragic slaughter of many baby boys as they were ripped from their screaming,  terrified mothers’ arms and killed before their eyes.

When I think of that star-a star sent by God to guide magi to His Son, I realize that the star also set off a series of events instigated by the devil that lead to horrific tragedy for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocence babies and families. These families would bear the scars of that suffering forever.

The star had significant purpose as it guided the magi to the Son of God.  Today it is a symbol of beauty and light for Christmas.  It minds us of the wise men bringing their gifts and worship to Jesus. It also reminds us to seek the Messiah, the Son of God, as diligently as the magi and to bring Him our own gifts and worship.

When we travel I look for other stars.  It appears that most have disappeared and have been replaced with reindeer, Santas, sparkling trees, sleighs and candy canes.  Satan is still trying to deny the birth of the Son of God.  He is deceiving our society to the truth of the gospel.  Our society is losing it’s spiritual conscience and awareness to the true meaning of Christmas but the truth of God’s word still shines clear to those who chose to seek Him….

“For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

Other Christmas blog posts:

The Day Jesus Came

The Magi’s Star

Light One Star

My First Vote

The day is forever etched in my mind. I was in the third grade and when I arrived at school all the kids were in a frenzy. It was election day 1960 and the rumors were swirling that if John Kennedy, a Catholic, won, we were going to have to go to school on Saturdays!!!

Election Day.  Kennedy. Nixon.  School on Saturday. Vote. These were words that were foreign to my innocence, naive mind. We did not have TV at home. Daddy listened to the radio in the barn while he milked the cows but it was seldom on in the house.  My parents never voted and I don’t remember them ever talking about politics.  They did keep up with what was happening as I remember that earlier in the year  President Eisenhower’s plane landed at the small rural Weyers Cave airport south of  Harrisonburg.  My parents  kept us out of school that day to go see him. I remember the excitement of seeing the plane come in for landing and the President of the United States descending the steps and shaking hands with various bystanders. Just as he got to daddy’s hand he turned and daddy was missed.

I had no clue who Kennedy or Nixon was but I immediately knew that I did not like Kennedy and if he won the election our country was in big, BIG trouble. The first order of the day at school that morning was to vote. I carefully wrote the name Nixon on my paper.  I had voted.

The only other memory I have of the election that year was going across the road to my newly married uncle’s house and seeing a Newsweek laying on their coffee table with pictures of the “evil” and other candidate on the front.  It was the first time I had seen their pictures and I was intrigued.  I wished we got a magazine like that at our house.

Kennedy won that election and we never had to go to school on Saturday!


This year our trees are loaded with fresh pecans.  Gene grew up with pecan trees in Newport News and when they moved to Powhatan, they brought some trees with them. We are on the edge of being too cold here but they do really well for us.  Pecans are always the last trees to get their leaves in the spring and the last to loose them in the fall.

During the summer the pecans grow encased in a green hull (upper left hand corner of the picture). When they are ripe the hull turns brown, splitting open and releasing the pecan to fall to the ground. If the pecan falls with the green hull still attached they are not any good.

Not every year is a good year. Last year we didn’t get any but this year the ground is covered with hundreds of pounds of nuts from our two trees.

I have an electric nut cracker to crack the shells on the pecans but we have to pick them out by hand. Since we don’t live in “pecan country” they are no hullers around.

We put the nut into the shaft of the cracker and it cracks the nut and drops it out.

This saves us some time and makes them easier and faster to shell.

I like the end result!