Recently, Cross The World attended the Living Local Expo in Crosby, MN and we delighted in handing out over 550 crosses to the attendees. We wanted people to experience the privilege of assembling their own cross this year. Our pastor, Stanley Mikles from Narrows Community Church in Outing, MN, was there to lend a helping hand. He’s also an awesome teacher … one of those teachers the kids are drawn to like bears to honeypots … so, of course, it wasn’t long before our booth was filled with eager hands awaiting his instruction. We are sharing the miracles that were born that day.
Our God is an awesome God! Rejoice in His goodness!!
We thank these folks for sharing the cross during the month of April:
Marion – MN
Faith Lutheran Church – Monticello, MN for mission trip to Guatamela
Denise – MN
Annette – MN
United Methodist Church of Willmar – Willmar, MN
Dave – MN
Sue – MN for the LAMP program
Faith Lutheran Church – Crosslake, MN
Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church – Lake Havasu City, AZ
Community Lutheran Church – Bullhead City, AZ
Avera Health – Sioux Falls, SD
My Father’s House – Minneapolis, MN
Carla – MN
We observe two very important holidays in May … Mother’s Day and Memorial Day … both days of honor. I found some interesting facts about each that you may not be aware of.
Moms are very special and we treasure them every day but this Sunday, May 8th, is THEIR day … Mother’s Day! It’s a day we honor our mothers for how much love they show us. They are our safe haven when our world is crashing around us … they never give up inspiring us when we just don’t feel like we are measuring up … they support us when no one else will … they soothe our fears and kiss our boo-boos away regardless of our age … they set the loving example for us to emulate. Our moms are oh so very special!!
We remember them by sending cards (Mother’s Day is the 3rd largest holiday for card exchange, following behind Christmas and Valentines Day), about 133 million will be exchanged this year! More phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than any other day of the year, often causing phone traffic to spike by as much as 37%! And, florists realize 1/3 of their annual retail sales on Mother’s Day alone!
All interesting facts, but did you know that recognizing Mother’s Day as a national holiday just about didn’t happen? Here’s the story:
In 1908, a woman named Anna Jarvis conceived the idea of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became an official US holiday in 1914, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.
While Anna had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. She resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day”, eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. She even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar. At the time of her death in 1948, Anna was penniless and broken, living in a sanitarium, and disowning the holiday altogether.
But, despite all Anna’s efforts, Mother’s Day remains a recognized holiday. But, maybe we don’t need the cards, flowers or phone calls Anna fought so hard to do away with … maybe we should simply dedicate more personal time with that irreplaceable woman in our lives, telling her how much we love her, how much we respect her, how much we value her. Maybe it’s time to thank her again for who we are today because, without her, who knows how we would have turned out??
My mom is in heaven, enjoying every day with her Savior … singing in His choir, tending His flower garden, walking hand in hand with Him on a daily basis. I still talk to her almost every day, telling her how much I love her, how much I value her guidance, how much I miss and long for the warm squeeze of her hand in mine and seeing her love for me through her warm brown eyes. And, every time I visit with her, I thank her for being my role model because, despite my best childhood efforts not to, I turned out just like her and I really can’t think of a better tribute to her! Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!! I’m glad Anna didn’t succeed in her efforts.
And, when we think of Memorial Day, we wonder ‘why poppies?’ Here’s how that came about:
The connection between the red poppy and soldiers killed on the battlefield goes back to World War I, one of the deadliest wars in history. Over 16 million people were killed and 20 million wounded during this war. Ferocious battles in places like Belgium and France created a landscape full of burned fields, fallen trees, and torn up soil. Seeds of poppy flowers are very plentiful as well as very light and they travel on the wind, scattering across the ground, laying dormant for decades. When the soil is disturbed, these dormant poppy seeds begin to grow. This is why red poppies appeared on so many European battlefields during the war. While flying over these scarred battlefields, a soldier named John McCrae noticed the red poppies growing there. This prompted him to pen the famous poem we all know, ‘In Flanders Fields’.
But, how did wearing of the poppy come into play? Well, in 1918, Moina Michael, who was employed at the New York headquarters for the Overseas War Secretaries, read McCrae’s poem and thought of wearing a red poppy as a show of support for the troops from WWI, thus starting a tradition that is honored to this day. Like John McCrae, Moina also wrote a memorable (but maybe lesser known) poem about the poppies growing in the battlefields. This is it:
We Shall Keep the Faith
Oh! you who sleep in Flanders Fields,
Sleep sweet – to rise anew!
We caught the torch you threw
And holding high, we keep the faith
With all who died.
We cherish, too, the poppy red
That grows on fields where valor led;
It seems to signal to the skies
That blood of heroes never dies,
But lends a lustre to the red
Of the flower that blooms above the dead
In Flanders Fields.
And now the torch and poppy red
We wear in honor of our dead.
Fear not that ye have died for naught;
We’ll teach the lesson that ye wrought
In Flanders Fields.