An Airbus 380 is on its way across the Atlantic. It flies consistently at 800 km/h at 30,000 feet when suddenly a Eurofighter with Tempo Mach 2 appears.
The pilot of the fighter jet slows down, flies alongside the Airbus, and greets the pilot of the passenger plane by radio: “Airbus, boring flight, isn’t it?
He rolls his jet on its back, accelerates, breaks through the sound barrier, rises rapidly to a dizzying height, and then swoops down to sea level in a breathtaking dive. He loops back next to the Airbus and asks, “Well, how was that?”
The Airbus pilot answers: “Very impressive, but now you look!”
The jet pilot watches the Airbus, but nothing happens. It continues to fly stubbornly straight, with the same speed. After 15 minutes, the Airbus pilot radios, “Well, how was that?”
Confused, the jet pilot asks, “What did you do?”
The Airbus pilot laughs and says, “I got up, stretched my legs, walked to the back of the aircraft to use the washroom, then got a cup of coffee and a chocolate fudge pastry.
The moral of the story is:
When you are young, speed and adrenaline seem to be great. But as you get older and wiser, you learn that comfort and peace are more important.
This is called the S.O.S.: Slower, Older, but Smarter
Remember when you were a child, and you got new shoes? If you were like me, I wanted them to stay looking “brand new!” It never lasted very long once I began to use them as they were meant to finally be used — going to school. As long as I stayed in Sunday school and church and the classroom, the shoes continued to look new. But “school” also meant “playground,” and it wasn’t long until the new shoes began to show signs of “use!”
Even more than new shoes, I treasured new workbooks — the kind you write in when you are solving arithmetic problems or working in other subjects answering questions. For as many years as I received workbooks in school, I promised myself that “this time” I would keep them nice and neat. And as long as I had workbooks, they always—inevitably—got smeared! Why? Why couldn’t I keep them “perfect?”
I couldn’t keep them perfect because I was using them for their intended purpose—to try to learn something that I didn’t already know—which, without fail, leads to some wrong answers that must be erased (with whatever eraser was available at the time) in order to be able to record the correct answer.
My experience with workbooks is similar to my track record with New Year’s resolutions. I take stock as a new year approaches and consider what changes in my life and activities would be desirable and healthy and—faithful!! (It seems that often the changes I feel the need to make in the rising new year are the same ones that I felt the need to make last year. But don’t expect me to tell you what they are!)
Let’s just say that I will strive to become a more faithful child of God—a disciple of Jesus, the Christ! May the words of my mouth, the meditations of my heart, and my pleas for the forgiveness of my failings be acceptable to God.
by Carolyn Taylor, Epworth Villa Resident
And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts: gold and frankincense and myrrh.
— Matthew 2:11
In almost every nativity scene that you might see, there are three wise men, or Magi, depicted as being at the birth of Jesus, bearing gifts for the Christ child. They are easily recognizable as they are usually the tallest figures; however, according to Matthew 2:11, the wise men were not actually there at the time of the birth. The birth occurred in Bethlehem, and the Bible states the wise men visited at a house, not the manger, and probably about a year or so later when Jesus was a toddler.
They did bring gifts. The three are identified as Balthasar, King of Arabia or Ethiopia; Melchior, King of Persia; and Gaspar, King of India. God chose men of three different colors from three different cultures to come together to follow His Star to recognize the new King of the Jews. They brought gifts of myrrh, which is an anointing oil; frankincense, which is a perfume; and gold, which is a symbol of kingship on earth.
It is said that the three emissaries sent by King Herod accepted Jesus as their Savior. After they informed Herod of the existence of the Christ child, the fearful King ordered that all Jewish males two years and under be killed, another indication that the Magis’ visit was within the two years after the birth. The wise men were warned in a dream about Herod and went back to their homes without seeing him.
The imaginative constructions of the Magi gifts are symbolic of generosity in response to the greater gift of God’s infinite generosity of actually giving God’s self. These offerings signal that followers of Jesus are called to participate in infinite generosity of giving themselves to God and to others freely. Let us all give ourselves freely.
$104,000.00 is how much the Epworth Villa residents contributed to the Employee Holiday Gift Fund. Yes! You read that correctly, $104,000!
Chairperson, Frans VanAntwerpen said that they were able to distribute checks at this annual event to 242 employees. The holiday gift is distributed to hourly employees and the amount is determined by longevity with the organization. VanAntwerpen continued by saying that the gift is the residents’ way of showing appreciation for their service throughout the year.
Before the pandemic, the Employee Holiday Party, hosted by the residents was complete with balloons, face painting, cookies and punch, and special guest Santa Claus. This year, the event was scaled back but the residents still expressed their gratitude with goodie bags for the employee’s children and grandchildren. The bags were filled with age-appropriate candy, books, coloring books and crayons, and toys. Residents, Pat O’Connor and Meredith Hebblethwaite took turns on the piano providing entertainment to both the residents and employees enjoying the party.