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From The Chaplain's Desk
January 2007 Chaplain's Message

By Marvin Wilbur, State Chaplain

  JANUARY 2007 --

Another New Year is upon us. Where did 2006 go-and so fast! A New Year brings new opportunities for all of. It is a new beginning. It is a time of forgetting what has past-it is over and done with-and starting over. I like to compare a new year with playing baseball. Every time a baseball player comes up to bat it is like a new year. He tries to block out what happed last time and concentrate on this at bat. It is a starting over, if you will.

Isn't God wonderful in that He gives us this fresh start each year. Last year I encouraged you to start something new or different. If you did, I hope you had fun. If you did not, now is the time to start. I must confess that I started out reading a certain number of verses in a "daily bible" and all went well for a couple of months. But then, I missed one day and before I knew it, I had stopped. So much for that. I am going to start over with this project again this year.

We have had two medium sized maples trees in our back yard that were very small when we moved here. Now they are so large they make the back yard too shady and nothing grows. The squirrels do have fun running and jumping from one tree to another and finally ending up on a birdfeeder. Well, it was time to cut them down and that happened the past two weekends. Now the view is so open it seems strange. The squirrels do not have so much fun. The squirrel baffle is working as it should. I had to take down the radio antenna to get the trees down so it was time to strengthen that and replace the support ropes. That is done and now I feel better.

Winter is the time of rest from our labors. We begin to do things in our homes that we have neglected during the summer. Perhaps we have many papers to look at and file or books to read or painting to do-whatever it is now is the time. I have painting to get done. As some of you know the furnace in our Grange Hall decided it had done enough work, so it just quit last summer. The new one is in and working well. The contractors had just finished insulating the ceilings and now we must replace the old ceiling. I guess Grange Halls are like our homes-there is always work to do.

And in a way, is that not how it is with our friends? Do we not always have to work on our friendship to make it grow and thrive? If we neglect our friends, soon we drift apart. We may still be friends, but it is not the same. Is this how it is with our relationship with God? What are we doing to cultivate that? Are we ignoring the upkeep that must be done because if we are, some day we will notice how far we have drifted away from God. It won't be too late to re-establish the connection, but we will have lost so much.

Is there anyone in your Grange family with whom you should reconnect? A New Year gives you the perfect opportunity to do that. If all of us renewed friendships with at least one person, would not our lives be richer. How about it? Want to try it?


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