Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day

Happy All Saints Day! We sang For All The Saints at church today.  I weep a bit whenever I sing this song, as it was sung at my Daddy's funeral almost two years ago.  But it's a good song.

I missed Reformation Day - the anniversary of the day Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany.  That happened October 31, 1571.  Things weren't the same in the world after that.

Here's Martin, a really smart guy. He was sick of the corruption that existed in the Church at that time.  The thing that really galled him was the selling of indulgences.  The church was pre-selling forgiveness of sins that wealthy people wanted to indulge in.  Luther was appalled at this, not just because of the corruption that this cash influx brought to the church, but because of the thought that the Church could forgive sins.  Luther insisted that forgiveness was God's alone to grant, and that salvation was a free gift of God and not obtained on the sole basis of good works.  He also translated the Bible in to the common language (for him, German) and this meant that individuals could study the Bible on their own and not be totally dependent on the Church's teachings.  I like ol' Martin.  He was a tough bird to oppose the extraordinarily powerful Church.  They excommunucated him and made his life hell.  Yet, he persevered.

Many of my German ancestors were Lutherans, and came to America to find freedom of religion.  There are stories of Germans being persecuted and marching along, singing Luther's great hymn, A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.  I love signing this hymn.  It feels strong and mighty in itself, and makes me feel connected with my ancestors.

A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.

Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.

And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.

That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever. (words found here)
I love this.

But I digress.

We had a good Halloween.  There weren't as many trick or treaters as we had last year because the weather was cold and misty - pretty nasty, actually.  But we had 90 kids at the door by the time I turned out the light.

The Stooges' cousins Amy and Tricia came over to trick or treat.  They live on a busy street, and our neighborhood is much safer.  Here's Tricia - she is dressed up as a devil, wrapped up in her cape.

Amy dressed as a cat burglar.  I thought she looked really cute.

Moe was the only Stooge who dressed out and went trolling for candy this year.  I didn't get it shot of him - he threw on some camo gear and ran out before I got a shot of him. This was him last year.

Pretty awful, in my book.  But not as bad as Larry a few years ago. 

Would you let your daughter date this?  I didn't think so.

This afternoon we had our annual neighbohood Fall Festival and Chili Cook-off.  I am sad to report that DH's streak is broken.  He has won this for 5 years in a row.  This year, he made a mistake.  He had given Amy his recipe, and she made it, with her variation.  So there were essentially 2 good chilis diluting the winning vote.  So neither won.  Amy came in second, and DH got third.  The winning chili wasn't even a real chili - it was something the winner calls "Taco Soup". Poo.

DH's chili is on the left, and Amy's is on the right.  Our neighbor Bubba's chili is in between.  He didn't win either.

But the weather was lovely and the trees were gorgeous. 

I took a half dozen free range eggs to my immediate next door neighbor.  She has cancer.  They have 4 little children who love looking at our little chickens, and the chickens get bugs out of their yard.  I thought it might be nice for the mom to have some good fresh eggs.  She's doing pretty well, all things considered.

And the neighbor with the winning chili/taco soup came by this evening to see our chickens, who were roasting in the fig tree.  He was jealous of us and wants to get his own chickens!


  1. Thank you so much for explaining What "All Saint's Day" is about! I just did a blog post entitled "Happy All Saint's Day"! LOL! I even wrote that I didn't know much about it!
    What a rich heritage you have.
    Your posterity looks cute in their "All Hallow's Eve" costumes, LOL!


  2. Today we had the young children of the parish dressing as Saints & following Fr. Jason thru the church as we sang ... they were darling! I wanted to take pics but didn't have the nerve, durnnit! Yes, our history of this day is not well know by most.

    You are right, he wouldn't be dating MY daughter! Cute costumes ^ lots of fun, I can tell.

    I cooked a new beer chili today for the first time & it ws great ... leftovers go to work with DH tomorrow for employees to enjoy.

    Have a great November. TTFN ~Marydon

  3. All this talk of chili has my mouth watering, so I must make a big batch of chipotle turkey chili today. It is a very tasty recipe. You can find it here:

    So glad the weather didn't deter ALL the costumed kiddies this year. And thank you for explaining All Saints Day! I thought I knew about Martin Luther, but I was wrong.

  4. I love that hymn too. My favorite is What A Friend We Have in Jesus. I've already requested that it be sung at my funeral MANY years for now. I need to put it in writing.
    Your neighborhood looks like a really fun place to live! We don't live in a neighborhood. We're too far out of town to get any trick or treaters.
    I did go to a Scottish wedding on Halloween though that was really cool!