Monday, December 8, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thoughts on Christmas

I was pondering these lyrics this morning~

Where are you Christmas?Why can't I find you?Why have you gone away?Where is the laughter you used to bring me? Why can't I hear music play? (Lyrics by James Horner)

It used to bother me that some stores left the word Christmas out of their advertisements, but it really doesn’t anymore. In fact, in light of the trampling death of the Wal-Mart employee in New York, I’m not so sure that we should be so insistent on associating shopping with Christmas and in the process associating shopping with Christ. More and more I want to separate shopping and Christmas. I want to celebrate Christ’s birth by giving, yes, in that Christ’s birth represents God’s gift to humanity. I’m not so sure that giving “things” to people who already have everything they need, is the best way to celebrate God’s gift through giving. No, I’m convinced that God’s gift would be better celebrated through taking care of real needs in the lives of those less fortunate, and in loving acts to the lonely, the sick, the imprisoned, and the soldiers at war. You can leave the words Merry Christmas out of every sales flyer as far as I’m concerned; in fact, I think I would prefer it. Instead, call it what it is—Shopping Frenzy. I want Christmas to mean something else entirely.

As Dr. Seuss so aptly put it, “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store? What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Same Kind of Different as Me

Here's a post I wrote in July and never posted.

If you have not yet read Same Kind of Different as Me, by Denver Moore and Ron Hall, I highly recommend that you do. In fact, this is an excellent book to listen to on CD, and hearing the story told is even better than reading it. My ten year old son and my twenty year old son both listened to it with me and they both loved it. It is a true story, with the feel of a really good novel. It really challenged me.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My hammock

I absolutely love the hammock in our backyard. I love to stretch out in the shade on a summer day, listening to the voices of children playing, feeling the gentle breeze, smelling the clean summer air, looking straight up into the tall hickory trees above, pondering the Creator and the Creation. Of course, I love it all the more if my hubby is in the hammock too and I am snuggled under his arm. It's a cozy place to just be together without words or to chat about life. I can see the hammock outside the window, beckoning me, but alas, the summer is gone.

Written using this writing prompt from the One Minute Writer.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Basket Weaving 101

I originally wrote this in January but never posted it.

My pastor's sermon last Sunday night was from Exodus about Moses' mom putting him in a basket and sending him down the Nile. I have been thinking about all the things he said ever since. What did it take for her to put her baby son in a basket and put that basket in a river with crocodiles? Of course, my first thought was fear, that maybe she was afraid of him being killed by the Egyptians if he was discovered.

But my pastor suggested that she had great faith. Faith that God loved that little boy even more than she did. How many times do we give our children to the Lord in prayer only to take them back again days, hours or even moments later? I'm thinking she did some serious praying as she lovingly wove that basket and coated it with tar and pitch to make it waterproof. But then she actually placed her precious son inside and then placed that little vessel in the Nile. And our pastor pointed out how completely God took care of Moses. He was nursed by his own mother, raised in the Pharoah's home as a son with the best of everything including an understanding of the Egyptian culture and an education that would both prove beneficial.

Could I do that?

Can I do that?

Will I do that?

I think I need to "weave a basket", "coat it with tar & pitch" and put my sons inside and then "let go" and "let that basket go down the Nile", trusting God that He loves them even more than I do, and that He holds their lives in His hands.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Life lessons.......the parade

I took my 10 yo son to a parade the other night. I was sitting on the curb with a friend, and my son was standing on the road in front of us, a gallon size Ziploc bag in his hand, hoping to fill it. To his left were some boys about his age, and to his right was a group of younger children. Whenever someone went by throwing candy, they tended to throw either it to the group on the left or the group on the right, but rarely to my son in the middle.

As if this weren't "bad" enough, the boys to the left were leaning towards my son quickly grabbing up any candy that came towards him before they grabbed the candy in front of them. My son kept looking at me with a distraught look, upset with the "injustice" of it all. Then one of the boys to the left shoved my son as he attempted to quickly grab candy that went between them. The whole senario reminded me of why I don't like this sort of thing in the first place. It just promotes greed. There was a part of me of course, that wanted to play the part of momma bear, but thankfully I behaved myself.

I summoned my son and looked him in the eyes and told him I wanted him to try something. I told him that from here on out, whatever candy he was able to get, I wanted him to offer some of it to the boy who shoved him. At first he looked at me like I was crazy, but he obeyed. The first time he gave that boy a sucker, the boy looked at it as if maybe it was broken or something, but noticed it was fine. He took it and shot his friend a puzzled look. My son continued to give him candy. And then the strangest thing happened: the boy and his friend started giving part of the candy they'd get to my son, and they were quite generous about it. The next thing I knew, they were talking together, sharing and exchanging favorite candies and introducing themselves.

Funny what happens when we love our enemies, when we turn the other cheek, when we just love people regardless of how they treat us.

I would love to end the story here so that you could leave my blog thinking nice thoughts about me. However, just then the last entry of the parade approached. This is the entry from the local candy factory that throws out full size candy bars. My friend and I stood up and went to the road with the children. The next few seconds are a blur but I think we might have knocked out a few children in our frenzy to nab a Heath bar.

My son just shook his head.

Friday, January 25, 2008

William Bronner Burgess

I just wanted to share a message that blessed and challenged me today. Saturday night, a precious two year old boy, Bronner Burgess, drowned in his family pool. His father, Rick, of the Rick & Bubba (radio) Show, spoke at his memorial service on Tuesday. Listen to what he shares. Let it move you. Let it light a fire in you. Be blessed, be a blessing.

Rick Burgess speaks at Bronner's service