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The Hogansville Herald
Manchester, Georgia
December 9, 2011     The Hogansville Herald
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December 9, 2011

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HOGANSVIIJ_ HERALD - THURSDAY, DEC. 15, 2011 PAGE 3-A As I was thinking about Christmas this year, my mind wandered back to the days of long ago that I spent growing up at 38 Borders Road in LaGrange. God knows it was a simpler time way back then. We were the "poster family" for being poor. However, everybody else in the neigh- borhood was poor too, so we didn't know the difference. But that was then and this is now. Life has a way of happening. Momma has gone to be with Jesus now and my ninety-five year old father joined her on December 5, 2011. All of my siblings and I have raised wonderful ram- flies and enjoyed very successful careers. Life took us a long way from that simple home on a dirt road we all call home. But somehow, it is the memory of the joys that were discovered in the "simple things" way back then that have captivated my attention this Christmas. My momma was a stickler for traditions. Because my grandparents lived in Douglasville and Villa Rica and we had to go there on Christmas day, our Christmases always played out on Christmas Eve. It was always a festive day. Momma would be in the kitchen cooking while we children were busy eating apples, oranges, pecans, walnuts, and other various goodies that the mill had given my father for Christmas and wishing that time would go faster so we could see what we would get for Christmas. After the meal on Christmas Eve we would all retire to the living room. The ritual began when momma would take the piano stool and drape a white cloth over it. Then she would carefully place the Bible and a nativity scene at the center. Daddy would then take his Bible and read to us Luke's version of the Christmas story. Then they would carefully explain to us that Christmas was not about Santa Claus, but about the birth of our Savior, the Christ Child. Then, as a family, we would kneel around that piano stool and each, in turn, would pray to this Christ Child and express our gratitude to Him. And I will always remember my mother, reserv- ing herself to be the last to pray, would always close her prayer, with tears running down her cheeks, asking God to, "Bless the little boys and girls who wouldn't have any presents on Christmas morning." And it was at one of these tender, touching moments that I made one of the most indelible memories I have of Christmas at 38 Borders Road. I remember it was a bitterly cold Christmas Eve. Our house was plumbed with galvanized pipe. Remember, we were poor. So, this meant the pipes had no insulation and the underpin- ning of the house left somewhat to be desired. As a result of this the water in the pipes had frozen. Momma was all in a titter! Horror of horrors! The unadulterated joy of Christmas Eve at 38 Borders Road was being threatened by no water for cooking. Daddy took an old kerosene blow torch and for hours on end worked in the bitter cold trying to thaw the water. Finally, toward early evening, the pipes began to belch and make a gurgling sound. Then, j oy of joys, the water began to flow! Daddy had saved Christmas! As our family tradition played out that Christmas Eve, we knelt around the piano stool adorned with a Bible and a nativity scene and began to pray. When it came my time to pray, I prayed as any five-year-old would - straight from the heart. I thanked God for momma and daddy, my brothers and sister, Jesus for Christmas, and who knows what else. But as I closed my prayer, with all the heartfelt grati-, tude and sincerity that only a five-year-old could muster, I prayed, "And thank you God for let- ting the water come up the pipes!" There was a long moment of awkward silence when I said amen. Then somebody, I don't know who, snick- ered- then another and another snickered. Soon my two brothers, my sister, my daddy, and even my momma were laughing hysterically at me. Well, I for one failed to see the humor in the situation. But what a moment it was in the life of our family. Now, many years removed from that scene, my mind is lasered-in on the fact of just how little it took to make a young boy happy - water coming up the pipes! I started this Pastoral Nugget today by stat- ing everything in life has a cycle. I am proud of all the accomplishments God has allowed me to realize in my life. He has taken me to heights of success that I never dreamed I would reach. But I have begun to notice that these days it doesn't take as much as it once did to bring me joy. I have reached a place in my life where "water pipe moments" are once again cause for great joy, celebration, and thanksgiving. I truly hope that this Christmas holds another "water pipe moment" for me ... and for you! Merry Christmas ! (Not Happy Holidays !) Aaron McCollough is an area missionary with the area Baptist Association which serves Harris, Meriwether and 7koup counties. He is a resident of Hogansvifle. www.fi'eshfireministries, com or freshfire@mindspring.com ] k 707 E, B0yd Rd,0 H0gansville (706) 637-4337 TDD# 14]0H5 0056 Equal Housing Opportunity CHRISTMAS PARTY AT HIGHLAND - The Children's Ministry at Highland Baptist Church held a Christmas Party on Saturday, Dec. 10, in the Church Fellowship Hall. They enjoyed a spaghetti supper, decorated some cupcakes, and had a sing-along accompanied on Guitar by Dennis Johnson and Pastor Terry Rainwater. Pictured are Celeste Carter, Mallory Gallaway, Abby Johnson, Blake Johnson, Brayden Pearce and Lauryn Pearce. Everyone had a great time! The photo on the right the kids are enjoying fun and games at the party and the photo at top arethe kids singing Christmas Carols. Greek & lali " ~i;i: :~ ~: ":'::~::i!: " .... 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