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On the Road Again in 2014

Articles are sorted with the most recently posted at the top.

On the Road to the Castello
Posted December 18, 2014

by Bill Burris

I'm sure you know by now that when Marcie and I travel it's usually to be near water. We enjoy the Napa/Sonoma wine country of California just as much. On one of our visits we learned that one of the winery owners had purchased some land on Diamond Mountain in the northern part of Napa Valley. He intended to build a 8,000 square foot home there. What he ended up building was a castle. Castello di Amorosa is a wonderful site to behold and to tour. If you like to learn about medieval times, you'll really love the tour. There's even a moat you cross upon your entrance into the castle.

During the construction, they held true to 13th, 14th and 15th-century stone work in the courtyard. The owner brought over two stone masons from Italy, as well as importing all of the stone from Italy. He also brought over two artists from Italy to create all of the paintings and other artwork within the walls of the castle. Also included inside the walls is a chapel with a 15th-century confessional booth. When you enter the chapel you can sense the presence of our Lord.

The Castle doubles as a fully-fledged winery with underground storage for their wine. If you find yourself in Napa Valley, make it a point to visit this wonderful structure. And be sure to take the extended tour; you'll be amazed at what you see. The extended tour includes an upscale wine tasting, and during holidays, they also stage great seasonal celebrations. It's another example of how our Lord assembled the talents of others to create something of beauty.

I'm sure that some of you may have already visited this site; if not, you should give it some thought. A lot of great wine will await you in the area as well. You can visit their website for some history of the Castello: www.castellodiamorosa.com. If you've not been to this area, we could recommend wineries, lodging and dining locations we've found to be great visits.

Finding Happiness in Beautiful Places
Posted November 20, 2014

by Kay German

I had heard my daughter talk about The Betties many times and had met them once. My son-in-law had gone with a co-worker to Eldorado Springs Canyon State Park in the Flatiron Mountains of Colorado where they live to help install a storm door for them a few years ago and they had adopted each other as family.

When my daughter suggested (during my recent trip to Colorado) that we visit the Betties and take them to lunch, I was thrilled to see where they lived. Betty Lou is originally from San Antonio and Betty Jo, 84, is from Fort Worth. They were school teachers who migrated to Colorado to teach and retired in Eldorado Springs. They live together in a home in a canyon by the springs and have three cabins on the property for their friends and relatives to visit.

Their home is in a gated community at the far end of the park and this is the first thing I noticed that we had in common. And then Betty Lou, 82, said, "We have to pinch ourselves sometimes to think that we live in such a beautiful place." I thought about the many times I had heard this said about White Bluff. They spoke lovingly of their neighbors and I discovered another thing that we share: we are surrounded by caring people. Different settings, one where there is rock climbing and the other golf; and yet, we share the common thankfulness of living in our beautiful places.

As we were driving to the restaurant, Betty Lou wanted to sing, "The Eyes of Texas" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and wanted me to lead us. I can't sing very well but we did sound pretty good…They are both avid Bronco and Cowboys fans. Unfortunately both teams lost that day.

My daughter asked Betty Lou what she was going to teach the inmates when she went to the jail on Monday. She said, "I think that I will use the book of John. There's a lot they can learn from it." I thought of our Sunday School class and agreed with her.

Road to the Ozarks
Posted November 6, 2014

by Jim Browder

Hoping to catch a glimpse of God's artistry in the form of autumn color (and to escape the 90-degree heat in Texas), our journey near the end of October took us to Branson, Missouri.

We made a point to visit College of the Ozarks for a fantastic lunch at the student-operated Dobyns Dining Room, which often is called Branson's best restaurant for fine dining. It's so good and affordable that people without reservations don't mind waiting up to two hours to get a table.

A culinary staff of students works in all phases of the operation--they serve you, they prepare your meal, they learn restaurant management and they even grow a lot of the vegetables in campus gardens. They operate a dairy that results in their own ice cream. And they operate a bakery.

Students work 15 hours per week at various on-campus jobs, plus two 40-hour weeks during classroom breaks. That's why the college has the nickname: "Hard Work U." As a result of this work, plus various scholarships, students pay no tuition and leave College of the Ozarks debt free.

Near the entrance to the college is Veterans Grove. Each November a Veterans Grove Tree Dedication takes place. This year, honors go to nine Korean War veterans and eight World War II veterans who have participated in the Patriotic Education Travel Program with College of the Ozarks students. Each veteran is honored with the planting of a sugar maple tree, which is aligned with others to create the same unique pattern of the marble crosses at the American cemeteries in Europe. Next to each beautiful sugar maple is a bronze marker with a veteran's name.

On Veterans Day, Nov. 11, a flag-raising/wreath-laying ceremony is conducted.

And that reminds me that what is known as Veterans Day now, originally was Armistice Day. It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month when an armistice was signed between the allied nations and Germany in 1918. The official end of World War I was June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed.

Of course, our swift-moving Congressmen did not officially recognize the end of WW I until a resolution was passed on June 4, 1926. (Some things never change).

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919, as the first Armistice Day. That stood until June 1, 1954, when Armistice Day became Veterans Day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Then Congress started meddling again, passing the Uniform Holiday Bill in 1968 that lumped Veterans Day with George Washington's birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day (and maybe even Groundhog Day) to be celebrated on Mondays. This was solely to give federal employees a fourth three-day weekend per year.

Ten years later, President Gerald Ford signed a law that restored Veterans Day to its original date of Nov. 11.

And that concludes today's travelogue/history lesson.

Loving Every Moment of My Journey
Posted September 25, 2014

by Bill Burris

A few weeks ago our Pastor spoke about meeting God and sensing His presence. Like me, I'm sure many of you began thinking about times you felt you had met God or are now looking for Him with a keener sense of His presence. At first, I found it to be difficult to truly recognize when I had met Him. I believe it takes a heart full of the Holy Spirit and a greater belief to realize when we've actually met Him.

In the last five years, my journey toward spiritual growth has been rapid and fulfilling. I've been guided by a most wonderful partner in Marcie; together, our faith continues to grow. We both fully believe that our being together was all part of God's plan from the time of our births. The trials He sent us through, with the deaths of our late spouses, put us in a position to better know and understand His blessings.

Our journey together, including our travels, has given us many opportunities to see wonderful parts of God's creation. In a recent article I mentioned our last trip to St. John and wrote of the starry night we encountered upon our arrival. With the awe and wonder we felt while looking up that night, we believe we met Him.

We feel God's presence around us daily. As I walk daily among the deer and birds, hear birds chirping and deer crunching corn, it makes me wonder if I am meeting God. We sometimes catch a beautiful sunrise or field of blue bonnets. When we see these things, we can only think of the one and only creator of all things. Since Terry's sermon that Sunday, both Marcie and I believe we do meet God when we do our daily devotionals. I believe we meet God at the most unusual times or ways, whether or not we are looking for Him. When we are truly looking for Him, we understand even better when we actually meet Him.

I don't think of looking for God as a challenge, but rather I look at it as my journey down the road in finding Him as I seek His face. I'm loving every moment of my journey.

Five Years of Summers in Montana
Posted August 10, 2014

by Pat Griffin

Click photo to enlarge

On the road again to Montana and our summer home for the last five years has taught me some valuable lessons. First, I'm reminded of the variety and glory of God's creation. The mountains in the distance remind me daily that it is from the creator of these mighty peaks that I, too must draw my strength. Many of the wild flowers, trees and shrubs are different than in Texas, but each is beautiful in its own way. The Texas sage we plant in our flower beds has a different colored flower and is viewed as a weed here since it takes over entire pastures. Last summer Montana, like Texas, endured record heat and drought. Thank God both places are better this year, but we are reminded how dependent the farmers and ranchers still are on the God of the universe. No wonder people in rural areas tend to be more religious.

Our small farm house, isolated down a dirt road and without TV, radio or even reliable cell phone service, harkens back to an earlier, simpler era. We missed hearing about the latest wars and mass murders. We figure someone will call us (leave a message please) if anything really significant happens. We eat outside, sit on the front porch or deck, and talk in the evenings, read more and worry less. It has been nice.

Lastly, we have met wonderful people here who take life a little slower and always have time to talk. Some stores close at 4:00, the barber shop is open Saturdays and Mondays only, and cars stop both ways for jaywalking tourists. We also learned that home is not a place (i.e., College Station, Whitney or Three Forks, Mt.); it is where friends and family are. In a few weeks, we will sadly say good-by to our life in Montana, but look forward to seeing our White Bluff family again soon. (Is the bridge really fixed?) We have learned that God can bless you with his presence whatever road you have traveled this summer.

P.S. See if you can recognize who is out riding with Jim.

Dee-tour, There's a Muddy Road Ahead
Posted July 3, 2014

by Jim Browder

On the Road Again?

On the Muddy Road?

On the Dusty Road?

On the Bumpy Road?

On the Narrow, Winding Road?

Forget about the burning of the bluff house, everyone today is talking about the inconvenience of the White Bluff "mainland" being cut off from the "island" due to the collapse of the bridge on White Bluff Drive.

Some take it as a disaster, as if they'd never seen a country road before.

Others take it in stride, remembering when a lot of roads were not paved.

Looking at another angle, the road of life is filled with bumps and detours. Many of us took the wrong turn at one point or another. But most of us eventually found the right road.

There was a popular song from the Forties called "Detour."

The chorus went like this:

"Detour, there's a muddy road ahead.
Detour, paid no mind to what it said.
Detour, all these bitter things I find.
Should have read that detour sign."

The song tells of the singer's regrets for the choices made in life.

"Headed down life's crooked road,
Lots of things I never knowed,
And because of me not knowin', I now pine,
Trouble got in the trail, spent the next five years in jail,
Should have read that detour sign."

The road to heaven is filled with bumps and detours, and sometimes we get stuck in the mud. That's when Jesus reaches down and pulls us up.

So, don't fret about your nice car getting dirty. When all of this is behind us, just drive in to the local car wash. It'll help the Whitney economy.

Cruising Back Into History
Posted June 19, 2014

by JoAnn Reedy

Tom and I have always wanted to experience a European river cruise, so in May of this year we cruised the Elbe River through East Germany and the Czech Republic.

We thoroughly enjoyed the beautiful and historical sights in Berlin, Dresden, Meissen (beautiful porcelain!), and Prague, but I was most excited to see Wittenberg, the home of Martin Luther and the Reformation.

We had the opportunity to take a tour of Luther's home (now a museum), a couple of highlights of which were the painted seal on the ceiling of the main entry which became known as the "Luther Rose" and the oldest known copy of Luther's best-known hymn, "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God."

In October 1517, Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Palace Church in Wittenberg, publicly initiating the Reformation. The 500th anniversary of this event will be celebrated in 2017 and the churches in Wittenberg are closed to tourists while undergoing significant renovations in preparation.

In addition to his well-known reforms in theology, Luther introduced changes in communion and worship participation, translated the Bible into German, and wrote many hymns, which he introduced into his worship services. He also wrote the Large Catechism, one of his most important works. In question-and-answer format, he explains basic Christian knowledge through the Ten Commandments, the Apostle's Creed and the Lord's Prayer.

It was a wonderful experience that I will never forget. It has made me even more appreciative of those who have preceded us on our Christian journey and paved the way for many of the denominations represented at White Bluff Chapel.

Spending Time with God
Posted June 5, 2014

by Bill Burris

As you've learned, Marcie and I love to travel. Initially we traveled to enjoy the scenery, people and great food. These days, with each new trip, we still enjoy the same things, but something with more meaning appears. We now observe these as part of God's Creation and the enhanced beauty is astounding. Things we may have overlooked now come into view.

How can you look at the majesty of the sea, the islands in the sea, the variety of trees, the birds of the air, a splendid starry night, a sunset and other objects and not think of the one and only God who created them for us to enjoy?

Look closely at each picture, close your eyes and think of what you might see or hear while you put yourself in that place. When you observe it in person, it's surprising how much more you see and hear when you can feel God with you.

Upon our arrival at the villa, on our recent trip to St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, we were sitting on our patio enjoying the view. As darkness came, the sky was aglow with a glorious array of stars. Marcie was in awe of what she was seeing and stated, "GOD IS HERE" and I totally agreed with her.

Some people walk through this world and say "Gee that's pretty," never associating it with God's presence. Some will acknowledge that something or someone must have created it. Some recognize it as being created by God. However, when you walk through this world with the Holy Spirit in your heart, it's truly an awesome show.

You don't have to go to an exotic island to feel God's presence. Look around you, wherever you might be, and He's right there with you, ALWAYS!

A Little-Known Discovery of Our Military History
Posted May 22, 2014

by Jim Browder

On the last Monday of May each year we celebrate Memorial Day by remembering the men and women who lost their lives while serving in the United States armed forces.

It wasn't always this way. Back when I was in school it was called Decoration Day. Officially proclaimed by General John Logan on May 5, 1868, Decoration Day honored the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.

While on the road last year we drove a little out of our way to visit the Appomattox Court House in the area of Virginia where the Civil War officially ended. There we discovered a tiny cemetery--the Appomattox Court House Confederate Cemetery.

Buried there are 18 confederate soldiers who died on April 8-9, 1865, in the closing days of the terrible war between the states.

Four years after the war ended, the remains of a Union soldier were found. That unknown Union Soldier is buried in this little cemetery beside the grave on an unknown Confederate soldier. Who knows? They could have been brothers or cousins.

Anyway, most of the South refused to honor Decoration Day until after World War I. At that time the holiday was changed from honoring just those who died in the Civil War, to Americans who died in any war. The new name, Memorial Day, came after World War II.

Today we mostly honor our fallen soldiers by eating hotdogs and going to the lake. Just another holiday? Take at least a moment to remember our fallen freedom fighters. And if you are on the road someday in Virginia, drop by this little cemetery--you'll never forget it.

Beyond the Crucifixion, Part 2
Posted April 24, 2014

by Bill Burris

[Continued from Part 1.]

Because of my faith and trust, I can see more clearly now how God is working in my life. Most of it has been in hind sight, but today, I see it more readily and I have also seen it unfold before me. During our morning devotional time, Marcie and I will come across a reading or subject in The Upper Room, Our Daily Bread or other source we use that hits squarely on something that is on the heart of one or both of us or relates to someone close to us at that time. It gives us something to think about and apply to what is on our minds and hearts. We see it as God helping put us more at peace and possibly helping others.

Having faith and prayer is a wonderful companion when adversity confronts us, and it also gives us a path to help others. It truly is the full armor of God when you regularly pray, read the Bible and believe. I personally know that trusting in Christ can truly help you through difficult times. It also gives us a sense of peace in our daily lives.

Christ gave His life for our sins and, by way of His resurrection, He opened the door for us to spend eternity with Him. That comes when we believe in His resurrection and ask Him to be our Lord and Savior. He is beside us constantly; we just need to stop and recognize His presence.

By way of two songs, I was recently reminded of reasons to pray and not worry if you think your prayers have not been answered. Martina McBride's song, "Anyway," tells me that when I pray, it doesn't always turn out like I want it to, but I do it "Anyway." A Garth Brooks song, "Unanswered Prayers," refers to a prayer of a teenage boy wanting a high school sweetheart to be his wife. Later when he sees her at a football game, he realizes how the wife he has now is much better than the one he had prayed for earlier. He thanks God for "Unanswered Prayers." God answers prayers; it's just that we may not know it until much later and it may not be what we asked for, but He knows what is best for us. We must learn to be patient.

In a book I use during devotionals, I came across the following: "LORD GIVE ME PATIENCE, RIGHT NOW." God's time schedule is so different from ours. Have faith, keep praying and remember that God "The Father knows best!" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.

Beyond the Crucifixion, Part 1
Posted April 10, 2014

by Bill Burris

In the fall we celebrate Advent and the birth of Jesus Christ. It brings a joy to our hearts and brings families closer together. After this celebration we move on to Lent and the subsequent celebration of His victory over death. Acts 2: 1-4 Now we look ahead to Pentecost. After that, what is there to celebrate, or do we just wait for the next Advent to arrive? Let's not wait, we have a great period of time where we can study God's Holy word, reflect on how God is working in our lives and letting His light shine through us.

The resurrection of Jesus is probably the greatest obstacle in a Christian's faith. It was for me. The only answer is that you have to take it on faith and believe. In John 20:29, Jesus tells the Disciples, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." During Christ's last days on earth He spent considerable time teaching the Disciples and explaining what was to come for Him. In Luke 24:49 He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. I think that made it easier for them to be more open to God's word. And seeing Him afterwards and being baptized with the Holy Spirit at Pentecost surely helped them believe.

There are many things that challenge our faith. One of mine related to some of the verses in the Bible. There are passages in the Bible that tell of His actions and words when no one was with Him at the time. Mathew 36:36 to 45. Who was there to hear His prayers in Gethsemane? Mathew 4: 1 to 11. Who was there with Jesus and Satan when he was tempted? I've accepted with faith and trust that God put the words in Moses' mind and heart to write about His creation and other events. I've accepted with faith and trust that God put it into the minds of the Disciples and other writers so they could record it for us to better know His trials and how Christ lived on earth. How else could we have the books of Genesis and others following the flood to destroy earth? For me that was a rather large leap of faith.

Once I found myself on the other side, I found that I could better understand and accept more passages in the Bible. I need my mind opened like the Disciples so I can better concentrate on His word and message and not just read the words. Information obtained in group Bible study certainly helps. Of course, it also helps to have a loving Christian partner to lead the way. Marcie has done an excellent job of hiding her wings.

[To be continued ...]

Critters Hit the Road Again
Posted April 10, 2014

by Pat Griffin

Twenty-five "Critters" hitched a ride over Spring Break to Guatemala with me, my son John, and my grandson Jude. We all traveled to visit Casa Bernabe Orphanage just outside Guatemala City. Both the Griffin family and White Bluff Missions have supported this orphanage for several years, and we wanted to get a first-hand look.

The orphanage started 30 years ago in two trailers. It has grown to 8 houses, a main building, and a school serving 130 orphans. Casa Bernabe sits on 13 donated acres just 17 miles from downtown Guatemala City. The beautiful, hilly site has room for a large garden, a soccer field, and a new two-story home for two more "families" of orphans. Also they are building a second floor over half of the school so they can serve more of the poor neighborhood children.

With all the building going on, God has provided three staff members who have construction backgrounds. Two are Americans who came for a week and decided to stay, raising their own support. Besides the physical expansion, we were pleased to see them adding some vocational training and a transition house for students who reach age 18. I asked about taking on so many projects at once and the founder, Ms. Donie Hernandez, smiled and said, "We just meet the needs as we see them and God has always provided."

This trip was a special blessing for me since I was traveling with three generations of Griffins. John and Jude worked in the garden and with basketball activities, while I distributed Critters and other Christian items we brought. I especially enjoyed helping feed and dress the babies, including a 2-week old who was abandoned in a cathedral at 2-days of age and weighing only four pounds; a special-needs, 4-month old; and several active 2-year olds.

We came home with our faith strengthened and very pleased to be a part of what God is doing in Guatemala.

The Road of Life
Posted March 27, 2014

Kay Lea Scott, long-time contributor to the "On the Road" column," has hit the road again with her hubby Scotty. This time it is of a more permanent nature, since they have purchased a condo in Florida where they are spending half of their time near the grandkids.

When they recently located a church in Florida that they enjoyed, they decided to join it as Associate Members and attended some new member orientation classes. The pastor shared the following poem with them, and the poem inspired Kay Lea to submit it to our "On the Road" column.

At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge,
Keeping track of the things I did wrong, so as
to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized his picture when I saw it,
But I really didn’t know Him.

But later on when I met Christ,
It seemed as though life were rather like a bike ride,
But it was a tandem bike,
And I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.

I don’t know just when it was that
He suggested we change places,
But life has not been the same since.

When I had control,
I knew the way.
It was rather boring, but predictable…
It was the shortest distance between two points.

But when He took the lead,
He knew delightful long cuts, up mountains and
through rocky places,
At breakneck speeds,
It was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness,
He said, “Pedal!”

I worried and was anxious and asked,
“Where are you taking me?”
He laughed and didn’t answer,
And I started to learn to trust.

I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.
And when I’d say, “I’m scared,”
He’d lean back and touch my hand.

He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
Gifts of acceptance and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey,
My Lord’s and mine.

And we were off again.
He said, “Give the gifts away;
They’re extra baggage, too much weight.”
So I did, to the people we met,
And I found that in giving I received,
And still our burden was light.

I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life.
I thought He’d wreck it;
But He knows bike secrets,
Knows how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
Knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
Knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.

And I am learning to shut up and pedal
In the strangest of places,
And I’m beginning to enjoy the view
And the cool breeze on my face
With my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ,

And when I’m sure I just can’t do anymore,
He just smiles and says… “Pedal.”

- Author Unknown

Finding Calvary in Whitney
Posted March 13, 2014

by Bill Burris

Having recently walked through Advent and the birth of Christ we've learned that you can't think only of His birth but must also think about His victory over death at Calvary. After all, He was sent by God to create a new focus on how to live our life, not just for Israel but for all mankind.

Now that we are in the season of Lent we turn our focus on His journey toward Calvary. There is a lot we can learn by following this journey. While knowing how and when His journey would end, it did not stop Him from performing miracles, teaching, and having concern for others. Throughout His life, especially His final 3 plus years, He was so focused on His mission. We can learn from His life as we move forward with our own.

We all know the end on earth will come someday. We don't know how or when. Christ knew from the beginning when and how His life on earth would end, yet it did not stop Him from finishing the journey. None of us will be perfect like Christ, but we can, while still on this good earth, strive to follow his teachings, make difficult decisions with God's guidance (considering the impact on others), and care for one another. As Paul wrote, we should finish the race. His death and resurrection has given us the path. Through Him as our Lord and Savior and belief in His resurrection, we are transformed by His grace and can spend eternity with Him in heaven. Additionally, we can learn from His teachings and His word in scripture and ask for the Holy Spirit to dwell within our hearts. Focusing on these things will give us a better understanding on how to live better lives and let His light shine through us while we are still here on earth.

The burden He bore for us on the cross was primarily for our sins. When we confess our sins, God remembers them no more. I accept that He no longer remembers them, but I, for one, have occasional reminders of past sins. I'm trying to learn how to forget them, just as He has done. At the same time, I use them to assure myself that they will not happen again.

Having said all that, I wonder if you have found Calvary here in Whitney. Oh, I know you can find the 3 crosses at various churches and other places. But I've found it in a most unusual place. We all have a chance to see it as we leave White Bluff and head toward Whitney. God is all around us and speaks to us daily in many ways. The difficult part is being aware when he does. When my eyes first came upon Whitney's Calvary, it was an instant reminder that God is with us and speaks to us. I'm still trying to clear my mind so I can hear from Him. With all the social media and news around today, it's really hard to broaden one's mind to be able to accept all things. I don't always see it on my way into town, but when I'm troubled in some way, there it is saying, "Hello, I'm here for you." I'm sure that you have these types of nudges or thoughts of God when you face a decision or problem. He wants us to share our burden with Him.

As you head into Whitney and you pass FM2604, look straight ahead at the tree tops. It's there that you will find Calvary in Whitney. The more you put yourself in tune with God, you'll find many things that relate to Him, even though at the time your mind may be somewhere else. As my life's journey continues, I find myself more in tune and more aware of God being with us.

Sunday Schoolers Hit the Road for a Medieval Festival
Posted January 16, 2014

by Linda Turner

To conclude the Christmas holidays, twelve members of the White Bluff Chapel Adult Sunday School class got together on Saturday, January 4, for a road trip to Fort Worth. Their destination was the 38th annual Boar's Head and the Yule Log Festival at University Christian Church on the TCU campus. Since 1976 University Christian Church concludes the Christmas season and starts the New Year with this magnificent festival rooted in medieval tradition.

A multi-generational cast and musicians of over 300 in magnificent, authentic costumes re-enacts the ancient celebration which marks the end of the twelve days of Christmas. Also known as Epiphany, the end of the twelve days traditionally marks when the Magi arrived to offer their gifts to the Christ Child.

The pageant originates in ancient times when the boar was sovereign of the forest. A ferocious beast, and menace to humans, it was hunted as a public enemy. Roasted boar was a staple of medieval banquets. As Christian beliefs overtook pagan customs in Europe, the presentation of a boar's head at Christmas came to symbolize the triumph of the Christ Child over sin: the wild boar, symbolic of evil, is overcome by good through the teachings of Christ. The medieval celebration of the conclusion of the twelve days of Christmas concludes with the Boar's Head Festival, celebrating the birth of Christ - the power who lights our life.

After attending the splendid event, the WBC group went to dinner at a favorite, old-fashioned eatery of Fort Worth, The Old Neighborhood Grille on Park Place, in the hospital district. It was a swell time of fellowship and frivolity. White Bluff is a community of loving and caring people - you just need to spend time together to feel the love and bonding of White Bluff, to feel God's presence in our lives.

Many, many people who live in White Bluff really enjoy sleeping in, but some enjoy getting up and going. If you enjoy the latter, please join us at 8:00 on Sunday mornings for an interesting start to your week. Kay German, chair of the Adult Education Ministry, says, "If you try it once you'll be hooked." She accidentally attended one Sunday, and has been back every week since.

The 2014 Sunday School class started on Sunday, January 12, with a study of Father Abraham. Please join us at 8:00 AM in Fellowship Hall. (Choir members who attend are dismissed early to report to choir.) There's plenty of hot coffee and it is a good time to get better acquainted with people while getting to know biblical history better.

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