Merry Christmas! Happy Resurrection!

It may seem odd talking about Christmas just a few months into the new year, but I was thinking about attempts in recent years to banish Christ from Christmas. Whether it be governments limiting or outlawing nativity scenes, or the push to change “Merry Christmas” to simply “happy holidays.”

Maybe I missed it, but I haven’t noticed as much of an outcry about using the phrase “Happy Easter.” Perhaps it’s the name of Christ that is offensive to so many?

But why would you want to banish someOne who has been throughout human history the greatest Force for good?

Now before you begin take exception to this statement, I acknowledge that Christians (as well as others purporting to know Him) have made mistakes at times and done more harm than good. Because they are flawed human beings. That’s not my point.

I’m just wondering why you want to banish someone who has contributed so much to our civil society, even if you do not believe in him as the Son of God? Why do we have a law against murder; because it is written “Thou shalt not kill.” Even if you are an atheist, why would you not want a neighbor who believes in serving others over himself?

I will always say “Merry Christmas”, “Happy Easter”, “Happy Resurrection Day”, “Happy day that Christ rose again and conquered death so that my sins, although grievous, could be forgiven and I might enjoy fellowship with my savior forever!”

And I pray that you can say this also. I pray that you have peace in your heart now and forever more. In need of a God like this? Almighty then!


The Love of God Descending

The Love of God Descending

The Love of God Descending

The Sons of men, not apprehending

The innocent, the tender babe

The manger, obscure and vague

The Magi, honored guests

The shepherds, nothing less

The horde of sinful men, destined to die

He the Savior, for them, crucified

But for now, a tender coo

The baby Jesus, delivered

For me – For you 

Contemplations of a Savior – Part I

Imagine you are the perfect Being.  Complete.  Holy.  All powerful.  All knowing across the spectrum of time.  Perfection personified within and beyond the universe.

How humbling must it have been to be born as a baby human?!  To obey and submit to flawed earthly parents.  To get along with imperfect, grumbling, jealous siblings.  To grow up in a backwater town in a conquered nation.  To talk and listen among people who for the most part just don’t get it.

To live a routine, hum-drum life as a son, a carpenter, a Jew.  To be basically invisible for most of his youth, adolescence, and young adult life – among fellow humans.


And all the while, He never sinned.  Although tempted just as we are on a daily, hourly, or constant basis.  40 days of incessant temptation directly from Satan.  Yet never to have (even once) given in to his earthly human nature – I cannot fathom such a man!

Children learn at such an incredibly young age the tools of manipulation, behavioral modification and reinforcement, and the desire to have it my way.  Me, me, me!  Tantrum, fake tears, jumping up and down.  All to get WHAT I WANT.  This is nothing more than infantile greed, lust for things, desire for control.  The Father of Lies, the Prince of the Air, the roaring lion of destruction – Satan himself – begins early to plot our downfall.  Maybe even at the moment that we are conceived, Satan is assigning demons to bedevil us for our entire earthly existence.

But Jesus, receiving mega-doses of temptation, never gave in and sinned.  And because of His faithfulness, He was able to present Himself as a spotless sacrifice for our sins on the Cross.


Unbelievable.  Amazing.  Unfathomable.

Only Jesus.

Memorable Christmases

I am at a time of transition.

I no doubt have been for some time now, but as with many things involving calendar-induced change, I tend to think I am immune.

Not that I am in a continuous state of denial about growing old, or want to revel in and bring back my college or high school days.  No thank you.  Rather, I am comfortable with my age – which just happens to be 55.  I just like to think of myself as a young 55, whatever that means.  Sure, I posted Sammy Hagar’s famous pre-Van Halen rant, I can’t drive 55 on Facebook for my birthday – but it was just a lark.  I love being a Papaw to three lovely, well-behaved…okay three lovely, beautiful, but spoiled rotten grandchildren.  (They are actually well-behaved on the whole, if you discount the Tornado path of toys and stuff through our house…)

Sorry – I got off track.  It’s just at this time of year that I sometimes think back to my own Christmases of the past.  Here’s a hodge-podge of memories, in no particular [including chronological] order.  I may come back and add to the list if I think of some special ones that I missed:

* The recon mission.  I usually colluded with my younger sister to go on search and find missions throughout the house to locate where Mom hid ours and others’ gifts well in advance of the big day.  Applied equally as well to birthdays.

Eggnog and fudge.  My dad was the eggnog connoisseur, and we always drank it without any extra enhancement.  After all, we were kids!  But the real treat was my Momaw’s incomparable Chocolate fudge.  The fudge was kept in a tin that was placed on the attic steps [where it received just the perfect amount of cool air to make the fudge to die for].

* The cool bikes.  In Christmas of 1969, my brother [1 year and 3 weeks my senior] and I received new orange spyder bikes with tiger head grips.  Shortly after Christmas, in January 1970, our family moved to a new home.  I distinctly remember riding our bikes in the chilly January weather in our new driveway.

*  The infamous bird ornament.  My dog Baron was the first of many Miniature Schnauzers in our family.  Someone (probably my Dad) bought an ornament that simulated the chirping sound of birds.  It literally drove Baron crazy, and we no doubt got some humor from it.  Not that the noise hurt his ears; on the contrary he wanted to hunt it, get it, and kill it.  That dog had to have some hound in his blood somewhere along the line.

* Post-Christmas planting.  My mother picked out a live tree every year.  And we loved the smell, and decorating it as a family. We usually kept the tree up until New Years, and then it was time to haul it outside.  Rather than tossing the tree, or grinding it up for mulch, Mom and Dad wanted to plant the tree out in the yard [we had several evergreens on the property already].  So, my brother and I would trudge out into sometimes bitter cold and try to dig a hole in an even more bitterly hard ground.  Our tree came with roots and all, which made it that much heavier to carry or pull.   Despite our efforts, I can’t recall a single tree that survived.

The train.  I loved our Christmas traditions, even if I have portrayed myself as somewhat of a Scrooge in my adult life [I am recovering].  One of my favorites was a felt Christmas tree banner that was hung on the wall each December.  It had 12 square boxes on each side of the tree for the days in the month [through Christmas Eve], and each contained a small “ornament’ held by a pin.  Each day, one of us kids [four in all] had the honor of hanging the little ornament for that day on the green felt Christmas tree.  One ornament in particular held fascination for me.  It was a little blue train engine.  Perhaps it was because my grandfather [who I never knew] was a railroader.  In any event, that became my special ornament to hang year after year.

Christmas Knick-Knacks.  Our parents have now been in an assisted living facility for a couple of years.  For a while we have been packing up things at the house.  We were amazed at the amount of Christmas decorations, knick-knacks, odds and ends, and various other Christmas items that my mother had purchased over the years.  She simply loved Christmas, and the house reflected that.  

* Keeping the Fire Burning.  My church today holds a Christmas Eve Candlelight Service each December 24th.  One tradition is that at the end of the service, we extinguish the lights and pass the flame as one candle lights another during the singing of Silent Night.  The flame is to represent that the Light of the World [Jesus] has come for all people, and we are to take that Light out into the world.  In my youth, my home church took that to heart.  Today, we turn the lights back on, blow out our candles, and turn in the candle as we exit the church,  Practical; saves money on candles.  In my youth, we kept our candles burning as we exited the church!  If it was particularly blustery night, it was a challenge to keep the candle lit until we reached the car.  Then, as we drove home we would see other cars with candles burning inside on the highway.  What a vivid image of taking Christ out into the world!  I imagine that the practice was stopped in the name of safety or risk management in the litigious environment we currently live in.  But as a kid, I loved it.  

What about you?  What are some of your favorite Christmas memories?  I encourage you to write and share on your own blogs.  If nothing else, it rekindles brain cells and is a cathartic process for the soul.

Merry Christmas to all.

A Tiny Life

baby-jesus-in-the-manger-3-728-1.jpgA Tiny Life


A tiny life

delivered into obscurity

    and humility

Yet full of the Godhead

and imbued with Divine Majesty


Set among the common things

    of life

Among animals and mud

Among men who tended sheep

    in the fields above

And yet sought with great earnest

by travelers following prophecy and a star

Lit by the Heavenly Hosts

to bring them nigh the newborn babe

    the long awaited King on High


And thus He came

A Baby King

A Light to the Nations

A Savior to the redeemed

the most innocent tiny life

to bring Heaven to earth

and peace inside



Why Me?

Why Me?

Why would You honor me?

What in my past would qualify

What in my soul was ever worthy

to be called to witness majesty

To be sure

I was raised to respect

and honor God

But soon enough

my mind devised

wickedness that called and

dragged me through the mud

And so now

in later years

of my uninspired life

I haunt the ragged hillside

keeping my flock

and my thoughts

Until Your Angel appeared

In Bethlehem,

of all places

A town of nowhere

and nobodys

And yet I think I know why

You descended from on high

to arrive as the ancient text proscribes

In Bethlehem –

The Son of God!

To save all mankind

And I –

The chief of nobodys

And my brother shepherds rise

To follow Light

through dark of night

and eventually arrive

to see the babe

His smiling face

the gift for all mankind


Inextricably Linked


Christmas inextricably linked to Easter

His birth inextricably linked to His death

The manger inextricably linked to the Cross

The Star of Bethlehem inextricably linked to the noon-day darkness of Golgotha

The flight to Egypt and safety inextricably linked to His deliberate journey to Jerusalem and death

My death to sin, the flesh, and self-will inextricably linked to new life in Him

My surrender and trust in Jesus inextricably linked to eternal life in Heaven with Him

Amen, Hallelujah, Amen!