Wednesday, December 25, 2013

How the Sheep Spent the First Christmas
By Janell Carson

An EXPLOSION of light lit the sky one dark night
Giving sheep and their shepherds a terrible fright!
The shepherds were trembling, the sheep wanted to run
Didn’t know what it was, but it didn’t look fun.

Then an angel appeared in the sky, calmed their fears,
Saying, “The Son of God has been born near here.”
“We must go and see!” the shepherds cried with delight
And off they went dashing into the dark night.

The sheep looked around, getting very concerned,
Being left all alone was ba-a-ad they had learned.
Then another dear angel came walking among them
And they quieted down with the songs that he sung them.

When at last they were quiet and calm once again,
The angel said, “Please let me explain:
The child that was born in the stable in town
Is your Creator as babe in a manger come down.

“He’s starting out small and will need time to grow
And learn of this world and its joy and its woe.
So that’s where YOU come in,” he said to the sheep.
“So listen up good – this is no time to sleep!

“The ewes out among you can show what it’s like
To be fallen, cast down and in fear for your life.
He’ll learn how to help you get back on your feet
He’ll learn what you mean by the sound of your bleat.

“You ovines alone are the ones to convey
How dangerous it is to be gone astray
Away from your herd, lost and alone,
He’ll learn how to find you and bring you back home.

“He’ll see what it’s like to have His heart ache
When one lost lamb, the family tie breaks.
He’ll learn to rejoice and sing right out loud
When the one gone astray is back with the crowd.

“And a small flock of sheep is the one who can show
How the voice of their Master tells them which way to go.
He’ll learn what to say and to call you by name
And show you the way to the shelter again.

“You must also show what it takes to be brave
When you stand for the shearer and wait for your shave.
He will need to know this for a task He must do
The Father has sent Him, it really is true.

“The most serious lesson that He has to learn
Will be from you lambs, and this one concerns
The Passover Feast and your painful role in it
The atonement for sin, this Lamb will win it.

“So you sheep have been chosen to teach Him these things
Until His time comes and a dirge we must sing.
He knows you can do it or He wouldn’t ask.
In fact, he created you for just this task.

“Now don’t let His sacrifice make your hearts sad
Because what it will conquer will make all hearts glad.
God, with all people will be reconciled
And that will make all that He suffers worthwhile.”

And when he had said all that he’d come to say
The angel took flight and went on his way.
The sheep watched him go and then contemplated
All the angel had told them and then they just waited.

When their shepherds returned, in only a while
They were singing God’s praises and smiling big smiles.
Then up went the hand of one of the boys
Asking for quiet, he’d heard a small noise.

“What is it?” they asked him as he looked around.
But the source of the noise was not to be found.
“Must have been nothing,” he said with a sigh,

“But just for a moment, thought I heard someone cry.”

Merry Christmas

Sunday, November 03, 2013

Living in CST

No. Not Central Standard Time, but Confused State, Terminally.

So, we morning people finally get our hour of daylight back today, November 3rd. Here's how it happened at my house.

We have several clocks in our house: two in the kitchen, one in my sewing room, an alarm clock in the bedroom, one on the microwave, one on the coffeemaker, and a wall clock in the living room. Also, the ones in the computer and the cell phones.

I like to change the clocks early in the evening, rather than at bedtime, so I can start orienting myself to the change. I reset the living room clock around 5:30 while watching the comeback of the Century Cornhuskers last second win over Northwestern. That particular clock was about 5-7 minutes slow, but it didn't occur to me to correct that while I had it down and messing with the time.

One of the clocks in the kitchen is needing a new battery and the only time I think about that is when I'm glancing at it and I'll think, “I need to get a new battery for that clock.” And then, I promptly neglect to write it on a list. So I just turned that one around for the time being.

The clock on the microwave has been way off for a long time, because it bounces back to 00:00 anytime the thing is unplugged, which happens when I need to use that outlet for some other electric device, like the vacuum cleaner or electric mixer. The clock on the coffeemaker is correct, but I completely forgot to reset that one to the new time.

With help from the hubs, I got the bedroom clock reset and the alarm set for the time I actually wanted to get up today. I also like to use my cell phone for an alarm. Now the cell phone clock resets itself, but when I turned on the alarm function, I left the alarm set for the time I wanted to get up yesterday (4:30) instead of today (5:30). So, the cell phone alarm goes off at 4:30 and I look at it and think, “How come my cell phone didn't reset itself?” Well, it did, but since it can't read my mind, its alarm went off at the time it was set to go off. Then, I look at the bedroom alarm and it reads 4:30. Forgetting that we had reset it, I thought maybe it might be 5:30 and I'd better get up.

So I stumble into the kitchen to make coffee, and sure enough, the clock on the coffeemaker reads 5:30, the microwave says 3:25, the living room clock says 4:24. I know I didn't change the sewing room clock, so I didn't even go look at that one. The computer and cell phone both say 4:30 and, since they reset themselves, I have to believe them.

How did I ever get this done before I had a computer and cell phone?

Friday, May 10, 2013

Customer Service

I saw this quote on FB:

“Whoever said, ‘There’s no such thing as a dumb question’ never worked in Customer Service.” Well, I work in Customer Service, and here are a couple of things that happened recently:

Part of my job includes weighing packages and putting postage on them for mailing. A young lady approached me with a package to mail and said, “This is a birthday gift for my mother, but I don’t want her to know it’s from me until after she opens it. I want her to be surprised. Would you write her address on it for me? If she sees my handwriting she’ll know who it’s from right away.”

Always happy to oblige, while she answered a call on her cell phone, I wrote the address on the package, weighed it, applied the postage and placed it in our outgoing bin. “That will be $5.60,” I told her.

She lowered her phone, looked up at me and said, “Did you put my return address on it?”

“Ah… no,” I said.

“Well, you have to put my return address on it! What if it gets lost!?”

I wonder how surprised her mom was to receive a package from her daughter addressed to her in my handwriting?

We often get lost cell phones turned in to us and we usually let them sit on our counter and within a half hour or so, it rings and then we are able to explain to the caller that the phone they just called is in the lost and found at our store. They are usually able to contact the phone’s owner and get word to them about where their lost phone is waiting for them.

One day, a phone was turned in and after a couple of hours, it still hadn’t rung, so I picked it up, found the phone’s list of numbers and called the one labeled ‘Dad’. Dad answered and I said, “Hi, this is Janell at Customer Service and this phone was turned in to our lost and found. I found your number on the list as ‘Dad’. Did one of your kids lose a cell phone today?”

“Oh!” he said. “I’ll bet it was my son. I’ll give him a call and let him know where it is.”

“Okay, thanks. Good bye.” About 30 seconds later, the phone began to buzz and tweet and spin on my countertop. I answered, “Hello?”

“Hello?” I recognized the voice of the ‘Dad’ I had just spoken to. “Is John there?”

“Um…. no this phone is in the lost and found at my grocery store. I think I may have just spoken to you?”

“Oh! So you did. You have John’s phone?”


“Okay, I’ll try to call him and let him know.”

“Okay, thanks.”

Another 30 seconds later, the phone began to buzz and tweet and spin. Caller ID said ‘Dad’.

I elected not to answer it.

This next one didn’t happen to me, but it’s too good not to include.

This happened shortly after the USPS first started issuing Forever Stamps. One of my co-workers, Bea, (not her real name) waited on a young lady, who requested to buy a Forever Stamp. The stamp was handed over and the young lady paid for it, placed it on a letter and dropped it in the out box. She turned to leave, but then turned back and said to Bea, “Now, how will the mailman know to get that stamp back to me?”

“What do you mean?” Bea asked.

“Well, it’s a Forever Stamp, right?”


“How will I get it back when I need to use it again?”

“Ma’am, Forever Stamp just means that if you still have some of these,” holding up the familiar Liberty Bell stamp, “in your possession next time the price goes up, you won’t have to pay the increased cost. Uh… each stamp is only good for a one time use.”

My favorite one didn’t happen to me, either, but it’s too funny. It came from a computer telephone helpline worker. A caller wanted to know, “Where is the any key?”