Tag Archives: holiday

A Mother’s Day Irony

Mother’s Day is an American holiday that is now celebrated in other parts of the world.  But it is also a holiday with a rather ironic historical point to its origin.

Ann Jarvis was a peace activist who took care of the wounded on both sides of the Civil War.  Her daughter, Anna Jarvis, wanted to commemorate Ann’s death when she died in 1905.  Anna’s viewpoint about mothers–especially her own–was  that mothers “have done more for you than any other person in the world”.

By 1908,  Anna was well on her way to campaigning for the national holiday of “Mother’s Day” by holding a memorial for her mother that year.  By 1911, many states observed the holiday and in 1914, President Wilson made it official.

Anna wanted to honor her mother by continuing her mother’s work.  As she progressed with getting this special day to her (and all mothers) recognized, however, she saw a gradually disturbing truth.  She saw that as Mother’s Day gained more attention, it also became more commercialized.  The focus turned from sentiment to profit, and it disturbed her greatly.  She began to protest at various companies  associated with the commercialization she was witnessing.  She targeted companies that made greeting cards, chocolates and other sweets.  And here’s the ironic point to this story:  She was eventually arrested for disturbing the peace!

If you wanted to carry on the work of a peace activist who helped people in need, isn’t disturbing the peace a move in the opposite direction of your goal?  Ah, well, regardless, she accomplished what she set out to do.  Anna Jarvis, in memory of Ann Jarvis, established a day that honors all mothers and what they do for us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

A Reprise On Yard Darts

Being that it’s a holiday weekend, I find it necessary to do a couple of things.  First, I offer my gratitude to you if you or anyone in your family has served in our great country’s military at any time over the years.  Having Memorial Day off as a paid holiday isn’t all about getting a day off of work.  It’s obviously far more important that it’s a day to honor those who have served our country.  So….thank you.  And second, I find it necessary, because of a time factor I’m currently dealing with, to post a reprise of an earlier writing.  I think you’ll find it entertaining:

You know, it sure wasn’t the safest thing to do as a kid……that whole riding a bike down a hilly dirt road with no hands thing. No helmet, no pads, no protection at all–and those are some of my fondest memories!

What would those kids that were us back then have to say to the kids of today? (“You wear what? On where? Why??“)  What about the parents? (“You let your kid wear that? On where? Why??“)  Especially when it comes to riding in a car! I can remember moving all around our family van as my Dad was cruising down the highway. Nowadays, you just about get arrested for that. At the very least, the video someone has taken on their phone in the car behind you of your kid moving all over your van gets posted on CNBC, Fox News and any other T.V. show that will have panel after panel of so-called “experts” deliberating and arguing back and forth about the merits and pitfalls of such actions in today’s society.

So what would they say about “Yard Darts”?

Remember those? Two colored plastic circular tubes the diameter of a pencil made two big rings that were the targets (the boring part); then, four darts–two sets of two different colored 12-inch long, plastic-finned, 3-sided tops with heavy metal bases that came to a point–completed the ensemble (the exciting part). Ours were in a cardboard box with those happy 1970’s family posers throwing the darts at the other team’s target. Nothing but good, safe, family fun, right?

What did kids do with this family-fun game when the parents weren’t around? What every kid did! Throw those sharp pieces of kid-dom fun straight up into the air as high as possible and try to calculate trajectories to see if they’ve gotta run like a banshee to avoid being pinned to the ground. We had that big side yard to do it in, too! As I recall, sometimes my brother and I would spread out on the side yard and lob them into the air to see how close we could come to the other brother without him actually having to move.

Yep….not smart. But it sure was fun. And very memorable. Mostly due to the fact that neither one of us ever got hurt playing with those things (God was certainly true to my mother’s prayers for our protection growing up). So what’s available now? Maybe a Nerf version of what used to be a thrill ride for a kid–something “safe” and non-threatening. That’s like giving a kid a chocolate cake without the frosting. No thanks. Give me the real thing. We’ve become too “safe-sensitive” in today’s culture–not that I want to go out and buy a real Yard Darts game for my kids. But I do recognize a tendency in myself and my parenting to be over-protective and unwilling to just let my boys be the kids that they are…kids that want to do things that in my adult mind seem unsafe and unwise. Yet what did I do as a kid? Some of the exact same things I catch them wanting to do.

Us adults need to remember what some of the joys of being a kid are. And when you stop and think about it, those childhood experiences really all come down to this: sometimes the best teacher for a kid is the freedom to experience something for himself.

A Hare-Raising Experience

Today is Easter.  Happy Easter to you!  What does that really mean though?  Does it mean, “Hope you get lots of candy and colored eggs!” or does it mean, “Today’s the day Jesus rose from the dead!”?  Where do these two juxtaposed meanings for this holiday come from?

We have the German Lutherans to thank for the origins of the Easter Bunny.  Much like the person of Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny is something of folklore legend, who left a child colored eggs, candy or toys (or any combination thereof), depending on how good or disobedient the child had been.  This first appeared in literature in the 1600s, so it’s been around for awhile.

On the other hand, we know about Jesus Christ through what the Bible describes, as well as what literature sources outside of the Bible tell us (these were written by local historians of that time period, some of which are not Christian at all).  Here’s an interesting fact about the Bible:  It is a compilation of 66 books, written over a period of 1500 years in 3 different languages by men who lived on 3 different continents, many of whom lived many years apart from each other and never knew one another.  And yet, there is a common theme that runs through every part of the Bible:  God creates mankind in His image; mankind falls and sin enters the human race; mankind tries to redeem itself and fails time and again; God sends His Son to redeem mankind; those who receive the gift of Jesus’ crucifixion, resurrection and ascension will be with Him forever.*

Does that sound like a fairytale to you?  I can understand why.  I think our society is conditioned to believe that just about everything is “too good to be true”.  But it runs deeper than that for two reasons:  One, the human race has a very real enemy who hates us because he hates God, and as a result, he does everything within his power to destroy our lives; and two, that “sin nature” that’s in every one of us doesn’t want to admit that we even need any help at all, and–if you’re honest with yourself–it results in a person refusing to give up the sin in their life.  So, once again, it all comes down to a choice that is completely up to each one of us to make:  What will we do with Jesus?

Do you know that even historians who are Atheists acknowledge the historical authenticity of the Bible?  That there are historical documents in existence that put first-hand-witness accounts of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection and ascension within ten to twenty years of the actual events?  It astounds Christian and Atheist historians alike.  The empty grave speaks for itself.  No one has ever been able to legitimately explain it away.**

Does the Easter Hare have such a background?  I think you know the answer to that.  The life of wholeness and peace and joy that you have been searching for your whole life is right in front of you in the person of Jesus Christ!  So what will you do with Him?

*From “Good Or God” by John Bevere

**From “The Case For Christ” by Lee Strobel