Monday, December 16, 2013

A little apology & wish for a Happy Holiday

First the apology:  I'm so sorry that I've neglected this blog post.  It was never my intent to let life interfere with my conversations with readers and expression of ideas.  Every one has an excuse for not doing something but I won't bore you with mine.

June-December 2013
  • I started a new job in my field of expertise and have been busier than a one armed paper hanger.  So much thought has gone into the Affordable Care Act and the health exchange.  It was a little disappointing to see the Federal government so far behind but the state rules have not relented.  Great project and I hope that everyone who doesn't have basic health insurance apply for either Health insurance or Tax credits to purchase insurance.
  • In August, It was my great pleasure to attend the AQS national quilt show in Grand Rapids, MI.  I saw simply marvelous quilts and marvel at the creativity/execution that was needed to make such truly pieces of art.  The Quiltmakers of Cairo were there with an exhibit and demo.  Interesting to watch the process.  And of course, there was an exhibit of Libby Lehman's work and raffle to help offset some of her medical expenses.
  • In November, a friend and I went to Great Falls, VA to attend a northern Virginia and southern Maryland shop hop.  Of course, we started and ended at Jinny Beyer's quilt shop.  It was great to see so many products up close and personal and have a few minutes to chat with Jinny.  She has been one of my favorite fabric designers for several years and I have several of her books.  I even got one autographed!
  • Christmas season is upon us and I am so excited to share this special time of year with family and friends.  Grandchildren are just the frosting on my cake and I'll  have all four together this year.  I am very thankful.
I was reading a blog from one of the companies that I regularly buy from and wanted to share it with you.    I agree with this article 200%.  Take time and be thankful for all the people in your life but give thanks to Christ most of all.

Christmastime can be an exciting time.  The music, the lights, and the children's excitement all create a feeling of joy.  If we invite it, the spirit of love, kindness, and tender forgiveness fills our hearts.  Christmas has a way of encouraging us to become better people.  At work, we discuss many business books, self improvement books, and motivational books.  I remember a conversation I had with a colleague a while back. I asked, “What books do you read for self improvement and motivation?”  His reply was, “The Scriptures.”  I have never forgotten that.  There is no better source from which to learn.  All the problems in the world would be solved if we lived by the two great commandments recorded in Matthew 22:36-39.
36   Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37  Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38  This is the first and great commandment.
39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

More specific detail is provided in the Ten Commandments, contained in the Old Testament, scripture that is shared by many of the world’s religions.  Such simple statements, packed with truth, offer peace, happiness, and real solutions if only we would obey.
I have sometimes wondered which commandment is the most important to me, right now.  My answer has changed over time and I have realized the most important commandment to me is the one I’m struggling with at that particular time.

At this Christmastime, let’s show our gratitude by trying to love our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ, with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.  As we do this, loving those around us will become easier.  God has given us the gift of His Son, who gave the world light, knowledge, truth, hope, love, and a perfect example.  It is in Him we place our faith, believing His words as we go through life.
The only gifts we can give back to our Heavenly Father and his Son are hearts full of gratitude and our willingness and effort to do better and to obey.  The gifts we can give to those around us are friendship, love, kind words, forgiveness, and help.  As we do this, we experience real joy and that joy increases as we try to do our best each day.  Nothing lifts our spirits more than doing something to help a person in need.  These are the times we feel close to God because we are assisting Him in His work.  May the comforting spirit of Christmas burn within our hearts and continue throughout the new year.
Merry Christmas from Bob and Heather Purcell

This is the link to the newsletter itself:

From my family to all of you, Merry Christ-mas.  Let the threads bind us together be stronger and more supportive in the new year.