January 6th Feast of the Epiphany – Three Kings Day

Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the day the Three Kings (Or wise men) actually found Jesus in Bethlehem. Once again, the actual dates are not known for sure but it was twelve days after Jesus was born that the Wise Men found him. They were Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar.

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They had followed the star until reaching the manger where Jesus rest. They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh as gifts for the Son of God. As such, many Christians do not give their gifts to their children until the 6th of January, the day Jesus received his gifts of the Magi.

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Of course most children would drive their parents insane these days waiting that long and at least in my house by then, the cats would have ripped open every gift under the tree. Oh, and if you have a real Christmas tree it might be a little droopy by the 6th.

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However, Christmas is really short anyway so if you like extending it for as long as you can, you can justify holding out to the 6th. All joking aside, these are the days Christians cherish, and should. To think that the birth of Jesus is all about just one day is to not truly understand what we worship.

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How to celebrate – If you can, keep your lights up until the 6th so that Wise Men might find you! Give gifts on the 6th to keep the holiday traditions. Never stop seeking the Lord (for many of us that is Jesus).

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December 6th Miner’s Day

If there ever was a dirty job it’s definitely being a miner. Hour after hour under ground digging for any number of varieties of ore. It is one of the oldest professions, starting even before recorded history when cavemen dug down in caverns for flint to make fire, weapons and tools.

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Next came gold and turquoise and malachite (which is used to make copper). Then bronze and iron and of course coal. Since then ever mineral required by man has to be mined from somewhere.  It is a proud profession and a dangerous one, both while performing the duties that need to be done to extract the materials and after retirement when the years of breathing in the air filled with dirt and other minerals can cause lung cancer and other breathing disorders.

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It’s also back breaking work, made only a little easier by the invention of new machines to help with the chipping away at the gifts the earth provides. In many ways, little has changed since the first caveman went down into the caverns. You can see how the men above looked in the past, the men below are modern day miners.

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Miners return from their shift at the Ka…Miners return from their shift at the Kalinina coal mine in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk, controlled by pro-Russian rebels on December 1, 2014. Official statistics shows the country needs a million tonnes of anthracite coal per month to feed its power stations. By November 24, only 1.8 million tonnes were left in the reserves. Russia announced it was stopping coal supplies to Ukraine last week, claiming “force majeure” but offering no explanation. AFP PHOTO / ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images

Here in the US Miner’s Day was made into a resolution by the the US Senate under the leadership of the Memorial Association of West Virginia and it’s head, Roy Lee Cooke, in 2009. It is a day to remember the men, women and children that worked in the mines so that you could have many of the modern items you use daily.

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How to celebrate – Visit a mine and see the working conditions for yourself. Thank any miner you may know for their hard work. Try and list as many products as you can that come from mining. You might be surprised how many there are.