Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Spirit

It's two days after Christmas, and I'm happily typing away in my brand new, super cozy finger-less gloves.  It's amazing how gloves without fingers can be so warm...

Anyway, I was thinking I would share a poem I wrote several years ago about Christmas.  It has to do with that feeling I sometimes get after the holidays are over.  You know -- when the gifts are all unwrapped, the food is digested, and all the hype and emotion and "Christmas Spirit" vanishes until next year.  Because the "holiday cheer" only stays during the holidays. (hence the name -- I know, genius, right?)  Then we're left with a sort of empty happiness.

The truth is, "Christmas Spirit" only last until December 25th.  After that, it's gone again.  The real spirit of Christmas, though, is Jesus.  He's the feeling of joy and peace and love -- only it doesn't have to disappear on December 26th.  It's something that can last forever, if we let it engulf us in it's radical radiance.

"Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  John 4:13-14

So, here's that poem I wrote...

Saint Nicholas gives many gifts
And brings young children happiness,
But without his presents and his toys
He would not be anything to the girls and boys.

He cannot give them everlasting joy-
A love that makes them want to employ
And use for good all that they have
To make others brighten and be glad.

But I, though a little girl may be,
Know One who gives everlasting peace;
He brings joy that stays forever,
A joy that I can take wherever.

Not just a happiness that stays
For a certain amount of December days,
But a joy that I feel all year long
No matter even if things go wrong.

Please don't copy this poem without my permission.  Thanks!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas

"So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them."  John 2:4-7


Friday, December 14, 2012

My Heart Aches Today

I am praying for everyone in Connecticut today -- for the children, the parents, the police officers and medical staff.  I pray that one day all of this pain and suffering will end.  I wait for the day we don't have to hear stories like this one anymore.

"If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."  Matthew 18:6

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Rejoice in His Laws

"How can a young person stay on the path of purity?
    By living according to your word.
10 I seek you with all my heart;
    do not let me stray from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart
    that I might not sin against you.
12 Praise be to you, Lord;
    teach me your decrees.
13 With my lips I recount
    all the laws that come from your mouth.
14 I rejoice in following your statutes
    as one rejoices in great riches.
15 I meditate on your precepts
    and consider your ways.
16 I delight in your decrees;
    I will not neglect your word."  Psalm 119:9-16

 Here's some food for thought -- when's the last time you rejoiced because of God's laws?  When have you stopped to thank God for His commands?  It's something I think we all skip over a lot.  So, maybe take some time today to echo this Psalm back to God with me...

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Matthew, Mark, Luke, John...

Have you ever looked at the beginning of each of the four Gospels and wondered at the diversity of their writers?  They each tell the most important story in the history of the world, yet they all see things differently.

Matthew begins with:
"This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham:"
He goes on to list all of the people who made up the lineage of the Messiah -- the great men and those who were not great, the born Israelites and those who came as foreigners and were accepted into the family.  Matthew wants us to see all the diverse people who make up the genealogy of Christ on Earth.  He wants to show us the great truth that he learned -- that no matter where you come from, no matter what you've done, Jesus accepts you.

Mark begins very differently:
"The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:"
Mark starts off by quoting Isaiah 40:3.  He wants to show how the prophecies made hundreds of years ago came to pass before his eyes.  Skipping right past Jesus' birth, Mark goes on to speak of His miracles and works.

Luke begins this way:
"Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word."
He then goes on to say he has carefully investigated all that has gone on surrounding Jesus' life and will try to give an accurate account of it.  Luke gives us a very complete picture of Jesus' birth -- right down to the song Mary sang after meeting with Elizabeth.  Luke's concerned about getting all the facts written down straight and true for his friend, Theophilus, whom he's writing his Gospel to.

Lastly, John writes:
"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
I love John's opening words.  He continues, after verse 1, to say that the Word came and dwelt among us.  This is a reference to Jesus' name, Emmanuel -- God with us.  The great, awesome, mighty, Creator of the Universe came to our tiny earth as a helpless baby.  Because He loved us.

So, if you read through the Christmas story this December, take note of the author.  Read through the verses with open eyes and a wide open heart.  It has something profound to tell you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Only 18 Days Left!

Hello, Everybody!  It is only 18 days until Christmas.  Yikes!  Today is also Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.  Not only THAT, but it is also time for This Week's Music!  All in one day!!!!


I wanted to direct you guys over to a great blog that is trying to help raise $20,000 before Christmas for children in poverty.  You can read all about it at Lizzie's blog.

Now to --

First is a beautiful song by Audio Adrenaline.  It goes right along with helping the less fortunate this Christmas season.  If you've never been to , I encourage you to go check it out!  It's a great cause.

I finally cracked and decided to post a Christmas song.  It's from the Trans Siberian Orchestra.  I hope you like it  :)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My Top Five Favorite

Hey guys!  I thought I'd write a Top Five post today.  And, yes, I know the Head Phil just did one of these -- but I had the idea first!  I just didn't have a chace to post it until today.  So.

Anyway -- here you have it...

My Top Five Favorite Christian Authors

1.     Paul the Apostle (with the influence of the Holy Spirit), because he is just so cool.  The layer upon layer of meaning and truth that his epistles have is truly amazing.

2.     J.R.R Tolkien, because there is NOTHING like the Lord of the Rings.

3.     C.S. Lewis.  His allegories are phenomenal -- rich, powerful, and truly transcendent of time.

4.     John Bunyan, who wrote Pilgrim's Progress while he was in prison for his beliefs.  His book has been translated into many languages and has been loved for generations.

5.     Lisa McKay, the writer of My Hands Came Away Red.  Although she isn't nearly as well known as these other guys, her heart-rending, bittersweet book has greatly inspired me to care deeply about the difficulties of people living in poverty.

What are your favorite authors, and why?