A "Charlie Brown" Christmas? (Guest Post)

Hey all,
This is Dad Strahm, Vikkie`s father, and I have been asked to do a "guest blog" on her website. I have to confess, I still remember the day that Vikkie first emailed me and invited me to view her blog site, and I responded back to her after viewing it, that I thought that was the dumbest thing I have ever seen, and honestly wondered if she didn`t have anything better to do with her time. But after reading her site these amost two years, I have learned more things about my wonderful daughter that I never knew, and it has been such a joy finding out these things about her, and having revealed to me, the reader, that which brings her so much happiness like her two main men, Brett and Debo, her circle of Christian friends, and her involvment in so many activities from work, play, walking in Cancer Benifits, traveling to cities across the U.S., etc., etc.. Keep bloggin` sister, (daughter) you have an avid reader in me!

Now for my blog. As you have already read on Vikkie`s blog, the Sabetha area was hit on December 10th with the worst ice storm in it`s history. The whole thing has been should I say, "bittersweet". The bitter part being the loss of beautiful trees that I have planted, watered, trimmed and manicured over the years, watching my cattle loose that layer of fat that was put on them by feeding them a corn rich diet this fall (since I have no electricity to run my feeding equipment), and of course the general aches and pains that come from the often slip and fall to that frozen tundra below (which is usually followed by a verbal "holy crap, that hurt!!") The sweet part, has been the slower pace of life, for if there is no electricity, there are just a lot of things you just don`t do. And the beauty of it all. A winter wonderland to say the least. God`s creation frozen in time. This caused me to get out my camera, one of my subjects, being this tree that Vikkie has posted.

Let me tell you a little a history of this tree.
I purchased this PinOak three years ago from my good friends at Rolling Hills Nursery. It was the most perfect tree, thus my willingness to drop over a $100 bill for it. After they helped me plant it, I faithfully watered it to help it get off and running. Then just months after planting , I came home from cutting hay one hot dry afternoon, when it was in the 90`s and the wind was hard in the south, and I drove in the yard, and again, the infamous "holy crap", for the little tree nearly had all it`s leaves burnt off. It didn`t grow an inch for the remainder of the year. Then came the drought of 2006, and dead branches were inevitable. So being a farmer at heart, I knew the best thing was to "prune". That has always been the hardest thing for me to do in the first place, to cut off foilage, but when it`s dead, it is the only way to spawn new growth, so just in matter of minutes, the tree became half of it`s former stature. It had a pretty good summer this year, only needing to water it through July. Then the Mother of all icestorms hits, and bends this tree to the ground, freezing it to the two inch thick layer below. It instantly reminded me of the infamous "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" that the Peanuts comic character picked out for the childrens play at school, which blockhead Charlie was the director. So I went to the house, grabbed a few leftover ornaments, and after attaching, took this picture to send to my girls only to assure them that I still had my sense of humor. Then this past Sunday, I was visited by my best friend Jocelyne, who is also my beloved fiancee, and I laughingly pointed out to her my comic strip tree. After a quiet pause and an "Aahhhhhhhh..." from her, she stated that, "It looks as if it is praying on it`s knees, doesn`t it, praying to Jesus". Funny, how people can look at the same thing differently. Perhaps it would have been better decorated with a sparkling golden halo and a large set of white wings depicting an Angel bowing before it`s Lord.

Just this morning, after seeing that little tree out there, "Praying", it`s short life has paralelled mine these past two and a half years. Life is going to have it`s droughts. There is going to be financial droughts, there is going to be spiritual droughts. There is going to be deaths, deaths in realtionships, deaths of friends and family. There are going to be storms....big record setting storms....situations that seem to have no end, no resolve, no answer or reason. Like this little tree, everyone has experienced all in some fashion or another, and there is only one way to ascend out of those valleys, and that is through prayer to our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is our EVERYTHING !! Phillipians 4:6-7 Do not be anxiuos about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ.

Back to the Peanuts animated movie....you remember how frustrated Charlie was when after hanging a few ornaments on his spindly tree, it fell to the ground, followed by his often quoted "Good grief". Then later, Linus, with his thumb sucking blanket in hand, took center stage complete with spotlight, and revealed the true meaning of Christmas by reading the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke 2:8-14. Then all of Charlie`s friends imediately joined in to make that little tree the most beautiful ever. So I leave this blogspot by challenging you with this........Who are you praying for? Who, in need of help, are you investing your life in? In who`s life are you going to make a difference?

Have a Christ filled Christmas everyone, and thanks Vikkie, for sharing your blogspot with me. I love you soo very much!!!

Dad Strahm
***NOTE FROM VIKKIE: If you would ever want to be a guest poster, please let me know. I would love to have you ;) Thanks Dad, you have inspired me to blog on some things that really matter in this world instead of Chocolate Reeses with double the peanut butter, OH MY GOSH THEY ARE SO GOOD!!! Let me know tell you all about it...... ahhhh not today ;) Later


Mother Ice Storm

My Dad sent me an email today with "Mother Ice Storm" as the title and some pictures attached. I thought it would make a good title for my blog today. He sent me these pictures around the farm in Sabetha, KS. I guess Sabetha is not likely to get power for another week or so. Dad has a generator so he is putting it to good use and sending me cool pics from his computer. This looks like such a mess but it really is pretty amazing what freezing water can do. Check out these pics.

I am praying for you out there Dad, love ya.