THE SPARK GAP A monthly publication of the Meridian Amateur Radio Club December 1997
Hello Again: Hope everyone had a big Thanksgiving and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Let us all remember the true meaning of these Holidays and be thankful for what we have. Believe me, we all have more than lots of others.
Let's all turn out & have a big meeting in January. Officers will be elected and lets get '98 kicked off with a bang. A special thanks to Carlie (K5BFN) for obtaining the info to become ARRL club affiliated & Mr. John (W5DEJ) for volunteering to pursue the project.
73's CU in '98 Dennis KI5FW
Vice President Report:
Hope everyone had a good year. As for me a great one. We have so much to be thankful for. At Christmas may these gifts be yours: The gladness of hope. The spirit of peace. The warmth of love. Wishing you a happy amateur holiday.
73.s and 88.s CP W5OQY
I mentioned in last months Spark Gap that election of officers would take place during the December meeting. Upon review of the club by-laws, election of officers is to be held during the January meeting. Please make every effort to attend this meeting Saturday, January 3, 1998 which will determine the leadership for the coming new year.
This newsletter is dedicated to the birth of our Lord and Savior. Please read in your Bible, Matthew chapters one and two about the birth of Jesus Christ which is what the celebration of Christmas is all about.
I would also like this newsletter to be in memory of Mr. John Davis (W5DEJ) our past Treasurer who lived his life serving the Lord and his fellow man. May we all learn from the examples he has left behind.
73's Darrell W5MAV
The Three Trees
sent to me by Louis (WG5W)
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up.
The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: "I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. "I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world!" The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. "I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me, they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world."
Years passed. The rain came, the sun shone, and the little trees grew tall. One day three woodcutters climbed the mountain. The first woodcutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining axe, the first tree fell. "Now I shall be made into a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasures. The first tree said. The second woodcutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. "I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!" The third tree felt her heart sink when the last woodcutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the woodcutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the woodcutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, with treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.
The second tree smiled when the woodcutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and sawed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river; instead she was taken to a little lake.
The third tree was confused when the woodcutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. "All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."
Many many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and the sturdy wood. "This manger is beautiful." she said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.
One evening a tired traveler and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveler fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through with the wind and the rain. The tired man awakened. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew he was carrying the king of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten woodpile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hands to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.
by: John Grant
Ruth looked at the envelope again. There was no stamp, no postmark, only her name and address. She read the letter one more time.....
I'm going to be in your neighborhood Saturday afternoon and I'd like to stop by for a visit.
Her hands were shaking as she placed the letter on the table. "Why would the Lord want to visit me? I'm nobody special. I don't have anything to offer."
With that thought, Ruth remembered her empty kitchen cabinets. "Oh my goodness, I really don't have anything to offer. I'll have to run to the store to buy something for dinner."
She reached for her purse and counted out its contents. Five dollars and forty cents. "Well, I can get some bread and cold cuts, at least." She threw on her coat and hurried out the door.
A loaf of French bread, a half-pound of sliced turkey, and a carton of milk... leaving Ruth with a grand total of twelve cents to last her until Monday. Nonetheless, she felt good as she headed home, her meager offerings tucked under her arm.... "Hey lady, can you help us, lady?" Ruth had been so absorbed in her dinner plans, she hadn't even noticed two figures huddled in the alleyway. A man and a woman, both of them dressed in little more than rags.
"Look lady, I ain't got a job, ya know, and my wife and I have been living out here on the street, and, well, now it's getting cold and we're getting kinda hungry and, well, if you could help us, lady, we'd really appreciate it."
Ruth looked at them both. They were dirty, they smelled bad and, frankly, she was certain that they could get some kind of work if they really wanted to. "Sir, I'd like to help you, but I'm a poor woman myself. All I have is a few cold cuts and some bread, and I'm having an important guest for dinner tonight and I was planning on serving that to Him."
"Yeah, well, OK lady, I understand. Thanks anyway." The man put his arm around the woman's shoulders, turned and headed back into the alley.
As she watched them leave, Ruth felt a familiar twinge in her heart.
"Sir, wait!" The couple stopped and turned as she ran down the alley after them. "Look, why don't you take this food. I'll figure out something else to serve my guest." She handed the man her grocery bag.
"Thank you lady. Thank you very much!" "Yes, thank you!" It was the man's wife, and Ruth could see now that she was shivering.
"You know, I've got another coat at home. Here, why don't you take this one." Ruth unbuttoned her jacket and slipped it over the woman's shoulders. Then smiling, she turned and walked back to the street...without her coat and with nothing to serve her guest. "Thank you lady! Thank you very much!"
Ruth was chilled by the time she reached her front door, and worried too. The Lord was coming to visit and she didn't have anything to offer Him. She fumbled through her purse for the door key. But as she did, she noticed another envelope in her mailbox. "That's odd. The mailman doesn't usually come twice in one day." She took the envelope out of the box and opened it.....
It was so good to see you again. Thank you for the lovely meal. And thank you too, for the beautiful coat.
The air was still cold, but even without her coat, Ruth no longer noticed.
As we prepare to celebrate the First Advent of our Lord, consider if you are ready for His Second.
'Twas The Night Before Jesus Came'
'Twas the night before Jesus came and all through the house, Not a creature was praying, not one in the house. Their Bibles were lain on the shelf without care In hopes that Jesus would not come there.
The children were dressing to crawl into bed, Not once ever kneeling or bowing their head. And Mom in her rocker with baby on her lap, Was watching the late show, while I took a nap.
When out of the East there arose such a clatter, I sprang to my feet to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash. Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash!
When what to my wondering eyes should appear, But angels proclaiming that Jesus was here. With light like the sun sending forth a bright ray I knew in a moment this must be The Day!
The light of His face made me cover my head. It was Jesus! Returning just as He said. And though I possessed worldly wisdom and wealth, I cried when I saw Him in spite of myself.
In the Book of Life which He held in His hand Was written the name of every saved man. He spoke not a word as He searched for my name; When He said "It's not here" my head hung in shame.
The people whose names had been written with love He gathered to take to His Father above. With those who were ready He rose without a sound While all the rest were left standing around.
I fell to my knees, but it was too late; I had waited too long and thus sealed my fate. I stood and cried as they rose out of sight; Oh, if only I had been ready tonight.
In the words of this poem the meaning is clear; The coming of Jesus is drawing near. There's only one life and when comes the last call We'll find that the Bible was true after all.
The Power in Your Words
"You have it easily in your power to increase the sum total of this world's happiness now. How? By giving a few words of sincere appreciation to someone who is lonely or discouraged. Perhaps you will forget tomorrow the kind words you say today, but the recipient may cherish them over a lifetime." --Dale Carnegie--
May you all have a blessed, holy,
and a very Merry Christmas.
Last Month Next Month
Back to The Spark Gap