"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Saturday, November 27, 2021

2021 World's Tallest Live Christmas Tree, Enid, OK



Between 30,00 and 40,000 people gathered in the downtown square of Enid, Oklahoma, last night, Friday, November 26, for the lighting ceremonies of the world's tallest living Christmas Tree. The CHRIST TREE, as it is called, is 144-feet tall. This year's Rockefeller Center's Tree is 77-feet tall. Come to Enid from now until January 6, 2021, to enjoy the downtown festivities. We'll be hosting four Christmas Eve services at the Christ Tree on Friday, December 24, 2021, at 2:00, 4:00, 6:00, and 8:00 pm. 


19 comments:

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

Hey, I didn’t know you had poetry in your blood.

Since the tree is alive, how tall will it be next year? Is it decorated by a helicopter? :)

Anon.E.Moose said...

Beautiful! I have noticed in my community lights are up earlier than normal. People are done with the fear and ready to have a true Christmas sans fear.

Well done, Enid!

Christiane said...

Am praying for a time of healing as the Light returns to our land:
https://youtu.be/qPRFk8sLIPw

RB Kuter said...

Remember to pray for the missionaries abducted and being held hostage in Haiti. 17 (16 US citizens and 1 Canadian)people abducted more than a month ago. Among these,
6 children, one only 8 months old.

Praise God that two were released last week and safe. No details forthcoming on who it was that was released or circumstances due to sensitivity of situation.

Little news is given by the media. It as though they have been shoved aside.

The sending organization for the missionaries, "Christian Aid Ministries",shared this message from a Mom of one of the hostages/grandmother of two of the children;

"Has a month ever been this long? We think back to the first few days when our hopes were pinned on a quick response and a timely release,and our hearts cry, "Lord, how much longer must this continue?"

And yet, as the saga stretches on and we reach deeper for grace and courage, we find in mining the depths some beautiful shining gems that would no doubt have been missed had we not been forced to go there. We have experienced the preciousness of belonging to a Christian community, the body of Christ.

We continue to be blessed by the prayers, Scriptures and message of encouragement coming from many. We have also been blessed by the days of collective prayer and fasting; and we see the hearts of Christians around the world drawing together as prayers continue for our loved ones and their captors.

Although we long for the waiting to end and for our loved ones to be set free, we are none the less grateful for the treasures we have found in this valley-gifts from our God and from His people."

Rex Ray said...

R.B. Ruter,

Sorry to hear about missionaries being abducted and being held hostage in Haiti.

https://nypost.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2021/11/Christian-Aid-Ministries_34-1.jpg

I assume held hostage means they’re being held for ransom.

Reminds me of my uncle Rex Ray and others being captured by bandits and held for ransom for over a month. Rex started preaching Jesus, and several were saved. Skipping the details, Rex escaped and told where the bandits were located. The Chines government sent an army and killed all the bandits. Wonder if in heaven someday we might meet some of those bandits.

RB Kuter said...

Rex Ray,the gang members in Haiti abduct locals and especially those from outside and hold them for ransom. They have been demanding $1 million ransom for each of these.

There is always a question of whether to send missionaries into hostile environments. We lost 5 IMB missionaries in Iraq when sent there shortly after that war. We have a personal friend, IMB colleague, who went to Afghanistan, was abducted and martyred. She, like those 5 and those in Haiti, were driven to take the high risk for the sake of possibly winning one soul into the Kingdom.

Guess it is of the same Spirit that drove our Lord to enter this hostile environment for the sake of saving souls, even at the high cost of His divine life.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

A while back on Wade’s Post, I said my oldest cousin’s favorite song was “This is my Father’s World”, but my uncle’s manuscript states:

“In November 1930, our five-year-old, Marian, was stricken with glandular fever. We told her she was going to be with Jesus. She said, “Mama I want you to go with me.” Then a moment before she parted, she said, “Mama which one is our house?” Her favorite song was, “Everything is Alright in My Father’s House”. We buried her in the cemetery at Hong Kong.”

Christiane said...

Hello Mr. Kuter,

"We have a personal friend, IMB colleague, who went to Afghanistan, was abducted and martyred. She, like those 5 and those in Haiti, were driven to take the high risk for the sake of possibly winning one soul into the Kingdom."

Mr. Kuter, THIS is the kind of witness to Christ that the Church needs to spread these days, instead of the culture-war scene. Your comment is a beautiful example of the strong witness to Christ rendered by the Church's missionaries.


Hello REX RAY,
that story about little Marian is also a precious witness to Christ's loving-kindness to that child at the moment of her death - a beautiful story indeed! :)

Rex Ray said...

Wade,

I put this comment in keeping with the subject on Post 11-23-21, but believe you’d not see it. So, I’ll add it here.

Wade,

I’ve been thinking about our father saying, “Man’s born to be lazy, tell lies, and steal.”

Many years after the event, I was told that a neighbor looked into the room where my twin brother, Hez, and I were in. She screamed:

“Mrs. Ray, one of your babies is about to kill the other. He’s swinging a pipe!”

(The pipe was short, and Hez had all our toys in a corner that I was crawling to get to.)


Christiane said...

Another school shooting.
Please pray for all affected.
The weight of our foolish ways falls too heavily on the young.

Brannon said...

Article on Finland putting Christians on trial for their faith.

https://thefederalist.com/2021/11/23/in-case-with-global-implications-finland-puts-christians-on-trial-for-their-faith/#.Yaa9Te-Rj14.twitter

But in reference to your blog Wade, can’t wait to get back from Ft. Bragg this December and visit Enid to see the tree!

Rex Ray said...

From Rex Ray’s manuscript:

I boarded the ship, S.S. Amidon for America. We joined a convey of about twenty ships. The ship behind us was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine. Since it was loaded with ammunition, it exploded with no survivors.

We went ashore at Ceylon for a day, and the next day our captain decided not to wait for a convey across the Arabian Sea, a distance of 2,000 miles. We made it to the Red Sea where we were safe from submarines. There we saw the great Sinai Mountain, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments.

Later, after coming through the north end of the Sues Canal, our ship joined many other ships. Most of them were flying American and British flags. Every ship was armed with anti-aircraft guns.

About dark the German planes attacked. The city of Port Said was blacked out in a smoke barrage. All guns on shore and ships turned loose everything they had. Talk about noise!

Since our ship was to anchor for three days in Port Said, some of us hired an old car and headed toward Cairo. Possible we were traveling over the same trail used by Joseph when he entered Egypt as a slave of the Ishmaelites. Then too, along these trails Jacob, his eleven sons and their families had rolled along in wagons sent them by Joseph. The Bible has always been a very up-to-date Book for me.

We got back on our ship and once again, we became alert for German subs and bombers. One Sunday afternoon, we came near the island of Malta. During the usual preaching service, I told the sailors the missionary Paul whose ship was sinking in this location, swam with others to safety, and the same Lord that cared for Paul 2,000 years ago, had protected us from Germans.

Christiane said...

I think I can trust the Finnish people to think 'for themselves'. The Finns are 'on to' the Russian propaganda meddling big time, and have been working to educate the Finnish people to recognize Russian meddling. The Finnish people are excellent in how they educate people to recognize how the Russians have tried to use social media to divide countries and destroy democratic forms of government.
The 'culture war' issues are much used by the Russian security forces worldwide to 'stir the pot' and cause division and internal strife in vulnerable countries. Finland shares a large border with Russia and the Finns have been 'on to' the Russian meddling since day one.

https://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2019/05/europe/finland-fake-news-intl/

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

“Facebook, Twitter and Google, which are all signatories to the European Commission’s code of practice against disinformation, told CNN”

CNN, CNN?? Trump had a name for CNN: “Fake News”. We listen to Fox News for a lot of reasons; one on them was Obama hated Fox.

Remember the Russian Iron Curtin? Any American that got caught on the wrong side, got put in jail. The Curtin had a dual purpose: Keep people out, and keep people in.

The American basketball team in Berlin had to fly over the Curtin to play us in basketball in Frankfurt, Germany.

Once, our family got caught on the wrong side of the Curtain without the proper papers. They got a General out of bed at 5 A.M. He was nice enough to let us drive across the border and come back with the proper papers.

We had a harder time with guards crossing into France from German even though we had the proper papers. (They wanted ‘bribe money’.)

Christiane said...

Hey REX RAY,

I hope you continue to share your uncle's story as a witness to Our Lord. Missionaries have long been on the forefront of spreading the Good News, often at their own risks, and, in my mother's cousin's case, his health.

I'm very saddened to hear the story of that fifteen year old shooter who killed four students . . . that the boy had written " “The thoughts won't stop, help me.”"
The teacher turned the information in and parents were called to school, and in the end, Ethan was sent back to class with his backpack and two hours later, he took the gun his father had bought him out of that backpack and shot many people, among which four other students were murdered . . .

where do I start to process this, REX RAY?

I watched CNN and I watched Fox News and they tell the story from different perspectives, yes. So which one is 'fake news'? Or is it just that people 'see things differently'? Or have different 'values'? Or fail to understand one another's points of view???

In any case, we have the merciless deaths of four young people. We have the note from the killer, a boy of fifteen' saying 'help me'. And we have two parents who ran and abandoned their son in jail when they realized they also might be held 'accountable'. So much pain.

I can't forget the boy who wrote 'help me' in that HE KNEW something was wrong with him and HE KNEW he needed help. Something of 'conscience' was still speaking to him and in the note, he 'reached out' when he wrote 'Help me', but it did no good because WHY?

Just more 'sacrificial blood' spilled at the altar of 'the right to bear arms'?
How very sad that this blood often comes from the sacrifice of our nation's children
while everything seems to 'go on as normal'. I don't understand, REX RAY.

Thanks for listening.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

OH, the sad events that killed innocent children.

Why did his parents make it possible for him to get the gun? Instead of his mother telling him not to do it, why didn’t she call the police?

His teacher did good by showing school officials his ‘evil drawing’.

I believe he would not have killed anyone, if officials had kept his backpack that had the gun. Instead, they gave it back to him.

Christiane said...

REX RAY,

the boy's parents bought that gun for him. They intended it for a 'Christmas' present, go figure.

All I can say is God have mercy on us all.

Thanks for responding. I am very saddened by all of this trouble. . . that it's the children who suffer so terribly and so unfairly in a world that doesn't seem to respond.

Rex Ray said...

CHRISTIANE,

Yesterday’s newspaper:

Some parents kept their children home that day because they’d been worried about online threats of upcoming violence.

30 shots were fired. (That’d mean he’d reloaded several times. I guess he finally ran out of bullets.)

The shooter’s name hasn’t been given because maybe that’d give him the notoriety he wanted.

“A much-abbreviated list:
In 1998, a 15-year-old freshman in Springfield, Oregon, fist murdered his parents and then killed two classmates and wounded 25 others.

1999 two teenagers at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, killed 13 people and wounded more than 20 others.

In 2007, a 23-year-old student at Virginia Teck University killed 27 students and 5 faculty members.

In 2012, a 20-year-old man killed 20 first graders and 6 school employees.

In 2018, a 19-year-old killed 17 and injured 17 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School at Santa Fe High School in Parkland, Florida.

Three months later, a 17-year-old at Santa Fe High School in Texas killed 8 students and 2 teachers.”

CHRISTIANE, sounds like a world without Jesus.

Christiane said...

REX RAY,

the children still have a grasp of the 'kingdom' denied to the 'older and wiser' among us


once, I wrote this on another blog, which may not make sense, but left me with some better understanding of why we have 'hope' even in the darkest of days:



"being 'open' to the kingdom of God seems far more important than any man-made activities to create some semblance of what is holy and sacred to God already, at least that seems to make more sense to me than not . . . .

not that 'being open to the kingdom of heaven ' is a totally passive experience, no;
but an encounter with what is 'not of this Earth' may actually be possible in the simple things all around us that we take for granted and in being able to 'be open' to the 'simple', we may be granted for a moment a brief awareness of something of what is in the spiritual realm, a moment of grace given to those who are humbled by what they have NOT taken 'for granted' and are seeing with 'new' eyes. Like the way children see, before they grow up and forget the 'magic' they recognized as children . . . . not something 'imagined', but 'realized' as a small child sees the world for the first time.

'ora et labora' . . . to pray and also to 'work' perhaps in the soil or on a farm; experiencing the 'sun' and the 'rain' that God sends to all mankind as 'blessing' . . .

seems to me that we are told in sacred Scripture that children especially belong to the kingdom of heaven and that they are given to see and understand that which even wise men cannot know . . . . so how can this be other than a child experiences something new with 'awe' and 'awareness' . . . . not to analyze it or to dismiss it, but to be aware that they have encountered something of wonder; and that this 'awareness' may for that moment be more of revelation to that child than those who have grown past their childhood can envision

whatever 'humility' is, it seems to open people gifted with it up to grace, not unlike experiencing a portal that opens a way into the kingdom of God for a time

when we humans 'develop' from infants into little ones and on into older age, do we replicate in our own DNA an unfolding of our journey as 'human' from a time of innocence ? Are we, in our innocence, given an opportunity to 'know' that from which later, something in us will hold on to as 'hope' and as a desire to 'return' to a place that was 'other worldly' from the 'grown-up' business and noise of our adult existences that are filled with responsibilities and at times both a frantic, yet numbing, existence ? Do we each carry within our human DNA a lingering memory that recalls to us that Kingdom of Heaven where our 'childhood' remained behind as we went on, but not without hope, into the chaos of older ways? (?)"