Happy Easter/Passover 2022

I heard a flock of sand hill cranes overhead beaconing the end of winter. Sitting on my deck, I see budding trees, the crocuses and my new rhubarb plant. Yes, what looked like death is certainly now alive. Nature is such a beautiful picture of the resurrection of Christ. In the background, I love listening to Handel’s Messiah and the song, “I Know that My Redeemer Lives”. It is the perfect Easter message.I am so thankful that Cornelius existed in Christ’s time, because he gave us a picture of God’s love. Cornelius was a centurion (soldier) in the Roman Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God-fearing. But he was not a follower of Christ at that time. It says in Act 10 that he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. As a result, an angel spoke to him and said, “Your prayers and gifts to the poor have come up as a memorial offering before God. He was then instructed to get in touch with Peter who was visiting Simon, the tanner. At about the same time, Peter was praying and had the same vision three times where he was instructed to eat meat that was forbidden to the Jew. He then had a knock on his door and was instructed to go to the house of Cornelius, a Gentile. When Peter saw that God was opening the door to the Gentiles, he said, “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who reverence him and do what it right. Then he told them the good news of peace through Jesus Christ. As a result, before he finished speaking—the gift of the Holy Spirit was poured out on them.We are thankful for the Jews who faithfully and accurately penned the Old Testament with the prophecies of Christ throughout. (See Isaiah 53, Psalm 22, and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls for examples). Also reading Acts 10- I see that God hears the prayers and cries of the non-Christian and answers them if they seek Him with their whole heart. (Jeremiah 29:13) Be a true follower of Jesus Christ and follow His teachings {Matthew 25:31 and not the so-called Christianity of today that is alienating so many. For example, I looked up at the sunset and called out to a God as a freshman in college. I didn’t think He existed. But I was looking for meaning and purpose in my life. I told God if he was there, He could have my life. Then I added, “Make something wonderful happen, if you truly exist.” That night, I met Larry at a dance—-my soul mate for life. Together we have seen the hand of God on our own lives, our families’ lives, and so many others. How he speaks to you may be entirely different. Just like nature is filled with a diversity of flowers and trees, so God has many ways to call his own to himself. Most of us have a thirst for more than this life. We know deep inside that the end of life is not the end. It’s written in our hearts.

24Lily Tang, Jerry Kublank and 22 others6 CommentsLikeCommentShare

Can you trace your Roots?

Ancestry Question

Those in the family who have studied our ancestry have told me that we descend from a 15th century girl who survived the black plague in Norway. I guess mankind has been fighting diseases from the beginning of time.

My grandfather, Lauritz Gram, immigrated to the US through the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada and made his way to West Allis, Wisconsin when he was 7 years old. In Norway, his family worked in the antique business and it is said that Edvard Grief, the great composter, had a candlestick holder on his piano from one of our relatives.  The Grams were pastors and teachers in Norway. Education was important to them; all three of Lauritz Gram’s kids received a college education. He married Emma Carter, and loved baseball and Model T’s—- he was a proud owner of a 1920 Ford Motel T.   He had two boys and one girl; my father was their second child.  Lauritz made his living working for Allis Chalmers Company.  He walked daily and said his alphabet backwards to improve his mind. He was a thin, wiry man with a good sense of humor.

The name Gram is a Danish name. There was an ornate Gram building in Denmark.  But when I had an Ancestry test, Danish ancestry did not show up. It’s possible that the Norwegians lived in Denmark at one time.  

The Berge clan is from Norway near Bergen. They immigrated to Wisconsin to be farmers. It was a difficult task to cut down trees and clear the land. They settled in a little town called Valders outside of Manitowoc WI. I remember my grandfather and my Uncle Oley and Aunt Dagny. They were wonderful people who welcomed us to stay at their large farm home in the summer. My sister, Ginger, loved the farm and was happy to settle on one when she married, Jim Fay. There was always an occasion to visit the farm for family gathering, but my focus was to play with the current crop of kittens and occasionally take one home. Twinkle Toes and Cookie were a couple from the farm.

The Berge’s are related to members who served in the Civil War. There is a very interesting diary one wrote about the family losing children to the flu and almost dying after their serve in the Civil War. Deborah and I have copies of the story. We come from some very hardy and healthy people who also had a strong faith in God. Grandpa and Grandma Berge read their bible, which was on a table near their bed, daily.

My DNA Ancestry test said I was 66% Norwegian and 9 % Swedish which makes me 75 % Scandinavian. I have a grandmother from the British Isles that makes up for the 25%. Her name was Emma Carter. My husband’s ancestors are from Southern Germany and Poland. Larry’s grandfather cooked dishes from Southern Germany. We learn a lot about our relatives by the dishes they cooked. What dishes do you eat on the holidays?