100 YEARS AGO ON CHRISTMAS EVE

100 year ago tonight at a Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York this couple came together in the covenant of marriage. Walter Bangert of Avon, South Dakota and Nora Hughes of County Mayo, Ireland were married.

These are my Grandparents... my mothers parents. A fun story indeed... Nora came from Ireland at the suggestion of her cousin, Sally, to get work. There were some wealthy people in New York that were glad to hire a girl to help around the house. During the waning days of World War I, she found herself on a ship leaving the Emerald Isle, with the hopes that she would one day return home. Walter was a sailer in the US Navy... a long ways from the fertile soil of Dakota. The Bangert family were early residents of Bon Homme County, Dakota Territory. Walter served on board a ship in World War I. Sometime near the end of the war, he and friend were walking down the streets of the city and they passed two attractive young ladies. After they passed, Walter turned and gave the little Irish lass a wink and she had turned to look as well... you could say the rest is history. 

 On Christmas Eve 1918 they were married and life together began... But times were different then. After the wedding Walter had to head back to his ship and Nora returned to the mansion where she was employed. But in the near future they would head to Dakota...Nora would never return to Ireland and Walter cherished his little Irish lady.

They would raise five children of which one, Voreta (Vicky), would be my mother. Grandpa and Grandma Bangert loved the Lord dearly and I believed that I was very blessed to have them as my grandparents. And you know what... I saw Grandpa Walter wink at Grandma on more than one occasion. Happy Anniversary to a special couple.

GOD WITH US

Emmanuel: God with us
Emanuel: My Grandpa Reinhold's name 
At Christmas time, I cannot help but think of Grandpa often as I hear and read of the coming of Jesus, born in a stable two millennia ago. The Hebrew spelling, Immanuel, still meant the same and was to be proclaimed.... "God with us".

Many of us mistakenly perceive that Jesus started there in Bethlehem. Not True. John chapter 1 states simply that Jesus has always been. John 3:16 states, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life." Because Jesus came to earth as a man, We have the opportunity to come into a very special relationship with God through Him. Salvation is offered to all that will repent and accept the gift. Jesus came to earth so that we can realize in a very personal way... "God with us".

So many have chosen to ignore the privilege and benefits of having God with us. And the benefits are huge... Jesus stated that He came so that we may have life and have life more abundantly. What a blessing that is. "God with us..." Yes, at Christmas time many will ponder "God with us" and yet many will choose not to be with God because they reject Jesus. How sad.

A recollection that my Dad would tell of his dad, Emanuel, was during my Grandpa's final days on this earth. He spent some of his final breaths singing softly the words of the old hymn...
Some golden daybreak Jesus will come
Some golden daybreak, battles all won
He’ll shout the victory, break through the blue
Some golden daybreak, for me, for you.

God with us... Something to ponder during this Christmas season. As we think of Jesus coming to earth as a baby and realize someday He will return and call us to be forever with Him if we have received the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ?

Photos are of Grandpa Emanuel Reinhold, Grandma Hazel and my Dad Tige.