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Owen County Historical Society News: Displaying old toys brings Christmas nostalgia

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By Bonnie Strassell

 “We are a blessed people, chosen by God, and given the opportunity to respond to the offer of His grace.”
 Burlington pastor, Todd Toole offered these words of thanksgiving and promise at the historical society’s annual Thanksgiving dinner Nov. 10. 
At times evoking laughter from the audience, the gregarious, silver-haired minister reminisced about some of his childhood years in Poplar Grove where his father, Gayle Todd, pastored the Poplar Grove Baptist Church.
Like all young boys, Todd had his moments of mischievousness; and  at times found himself in a situation which, though leaving him contrite, nevertheless refined his character.
One day as he tried to catch a ball on the fly, Todd managed to knock down the small, slender president of the WMU (Women’s Missionary Union). His family had only been at the church a few weeks, and after rushing to the hospital behind the ambulance, Todd was astounded when this caring Christian woman apologized for running into him. Refusing to allow her to take the blame, Todd asked for her forgiveness.
With this story, he illustrated how much more forgiving  our Heavenly Father is when he pardons us from sin.
Brother Toole said the most important thing in our life is our relationship with Jesus Christ; and serving Him guarantees us that the best is yet to come. Everything we have, everything we own, everything we do, pale in comparison.
Brother Todd ended his program with words of the Apostle Paul taken from the book of Romans:  “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39).
The words of Brother Todd Toole reminded me of the story featuring a Christian woman who, nearing death, requested that a fork be placed in her casket for all to see.
When asked the reason for such a strange desire, the woman replied that at all the church dinners everyone was encouraged to hold onto their forks for dessert. The best was yet to come. So, too, when death approaches, a Christian does not despair – for he/she is assured that the best is yet to come.
As the holiday season approaches, the historical society is looking forward to decorating and sharing holiday history with our Owen County friends.
Decorating the museum has always been a cherished tradition, and this year we plan on expanding that tradition by decorating the windows in the I.O.O.F. Hall.
We would appreciate the kindness of anyone who would graciously loan us old toys to display under our trees.
We also make another humble request. This year has taken its toll on our members. Several are seriously ill and others have gone through several surgeries. All this has served to slow down our efforts to find volunteers to work in the museum and to help decorate for the holidays. If anyone is willing to donate some of their time, please contact us at the museum 502-484-2529. No special skills required – just a gracious, giving heart.
The historical society is sponsoring the efforts of members Christina Rice and Margaret Murphy.
Christina is a driving force dedicated  to cleaning up Owen county cemeteries, and Margaret is devoted to raising money to erect a state highway marker for Harry Clark Karsner.
Clark brought aviation to Owen county and changed the lives of thousands by broadcasting wire-recorded sermons from his specially equipped plane.
His hanger remains on the side of Highway 127 and in neon still boldly proclaims: “Christ Is The Answer.”  
Both of these noble endeavors are vital to the preservation of Owen County history.
Those wishing to donate may reach Christina Rice at (502)-226-1019 for the Claxon Ridge Cemetery Fund and Margaret Murphy at (502)-484-3932 for the Clark Karsner State Highway Marker Fund.
During this holiday season of giving, please remember these worthy efforts which leave a lasting legacy to future generations.