Celebrating the Christmas season with remembrances : Jesus Came – and He came to me when I was a child – praise His name – read the story taken from my book, Strains of Glory – recently published –

“This Little Light of Mine”

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick ; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let you light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:15

I am so thankful for one “little old lady” in Portland, Maine, who made that light shine for me. At the age of seven I, and my sisters, trudged weekly to her tiny upstairs apartment for our weekly kid’s Bible Club. Oh, how I looked forward to those days. Must have been on Saturdays or Sundays – I don’t know for sure, maybe it was even some afternoon after school – but I’ll never forget climbing those steep narrow stairs, knowing that at the top we would find a warm, cozy welcome and a loving smile. I can’t even remember the lady’s name, or picture her face. How sad. But I know I will meet her in Heaven someday and I’m sure I’ll know her immediately!

I’m sure she must have had cookies or some little treat for us as well, but I don’t even remember that part. I just remember the little candlestick which she would light every time we sang, “This Little Light of Mine”, and each of us were allowed to “blow it out” whenever it was our turn. I remember the little individual flannel boards she helped each of us make, also. I kept mine for many years after that – even when we moved to North Appleton a year or so later! Little does she know – or perhaps she does know – the light she brought into my life at that time. I learned of Jesus and His love. I believed what she taught us in those days. And I have had the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the troubles and trials, joys and sorrows of my life ever since.

When I recall the hardships of those days of my early childhood, how I thank God for that “little old lady” who opened her heart and her home to a bunch of little ragtag kids living in a third-story apartment building down by the railroad tracks, who so desperately needed a loving smile and a little light to shine into our hearts!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       fjs

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Some of my FAVORITE READS are:

Come Spring, by Ben Ames Williams

The Gallant Mrs. Stonewall, by Harnett T. Kane

Across Five Aprils, by Irene Hunt

Shadow of the Almighty, by Elisabeth Elliot

Hidden Rainbow, by Christmas Carol Kaufman

Not My Will, by Francena H. Arnold

By Searching, by Isobel Kuhn

 

What are yours?

Thank You, Lord

Thank  you, Lord, for those who pray,

Father for those who care.

I would have thought that there were

None but Jesus standing there.

Bur Oh, today,

Because my heart is lifted up

I know that there are those who care

Enough to pray.

 

So let it be

That when Thou touchest my heart,

I’ll be as swift

Their hearts to lift

In prayer to Thee.

fjs

 

 

“Daddy’s Cures” from Strains of Glory (A Maine Country Scrapbook) off the press soon

Bag Balm, according to Daddy, was a cure-all for everything epidermis, from bumps to burns. The only thing I know of he wouldn’t use it for was sore throats. I remember watching him paint his own sore throat with Iodine. I always lived in dread of the day when that might be used on me! It never was used on my throat. Mercurochrome was Mamma’s faithful remedy for cuts and bruises, but if infection was a danger, stinging brown iodine was liberally applied.

The general health preservative was Castor Oil: One tablespoon every morning, when we could afford it. Sometimes it took me 20 minutes or more just to get it down.

Good Friday

Mark 10:45: For the Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give His life a ransom for many.

Jesus, my Savior, born to die

hanging in anguish; they knew not why.

Sweet Lamb of Calv’ry; there on the tree

spilt His own life-blood

for you and for me.

Suffering fully for all my sin;

refusing a rescue from Angels of His.

Taking upon the Him the weight of our sin;

shedding His Life-blood the vict’ry to win.

No angel in Heaven, no righteous man

but Jesus, the Sinless, could fulfill God’s Plan.

Praying for sinners like you and like me:

“Father, forgive them” as He hung on he tree.

God in His mercy; Creator of all,

Opened the Life-Gate,now opened for all.

Ye who believe Him cast crowns at His feet;

The Lord of all Glory who knows not defeat,

Is seated in Heaven; there to prepare

a Home up in Glory, His Glory to share.

Oh sinner, now trust Him, no longer delay;

the dear, precious Savior is waiting today.

fjs

 

An EXCERPT from my book, Strains of Glory, on the market soon:

THE SCARLET CORD

By Norma Jackson Sawyer

My memory does not go so far back, but, no doubt, the Cord started in my early youth through words from my father and mother. My first recognition of it is in a large church in Portland. I said, “Can I go forward?” But, Mom, thinking I was too young, said we’d wait. Second, came a ladies home Bible Club for children. How I thrilled over the red ribbon I could add to a trophy if I memorized the Bible verse.

Miles away, in North Appleton, a servant of the Lord, teaching Bible in our rural school, added to my awareness of God and His majesty through Bible memory. Our two lady pastors, Muriel Parker and Edna Howard, let us ride in their car’s rumble seat to church three miles away.

Later, it happened. Kindness and spiritual concern caused our pastor, Orel Ward, to transport us to the March Youth Rally in South Montville. As Alma Fields, then working with Baxter School for the Deaf in Portland, burdened for youth, spoke the truth from God’s Word. It was then I understood my sin before God and repented and received Jesus’ blood (represented in the Old Testament by Rahab’s Scarlet Cord) shed for me. John 1:12 was the scripture. “but as many as received Him to them gave He power to become the sons of God …” There was no doubt of that truth! The closeness I’ve had to God, my Father, has never changed!

 

 

“Mama”

In my mother’s last days she was called upon to endure a new kind of suffering. Through a series of strokes, her final six years of life confined her, first of all, to her home, then to a nursing home. She was weak and helpless in body, but her mind was clear and she held onto that blessed hope she had clung to throughout her life. Becoming more and more available to God for whatever He set out for her to do during those six long years, she drew ever closer to Him, and carried on perhaps the most important work of her life–Prayer. She prayed for her children and grandchildren, for her church, her friends and for missionary efforts around the world. My siblings and I were always encouraged, through a visit with her, to keep keeping on and not to worry about her. Many others who visited her have told me they always left her room with a feeling of being blessed to have been with her.