I will Keep Christmas in my heart all year long

I have a reputation of sorts at work.  I have been known to whistle/sing Christmas carols pretty much any time of the year.  I do not necessarily have any one favorite song for the season so at least there is some variety.  This time of year has been special to me for a very long time.I don't remember exactly when, but i do know it was after i knew the truth about the guy in the suit.  To me the season is awe inspiring in that God chose to step down from His throne and take on the aspects of man...  Songs like O Holy Night and Mary Did You Know bring me to a point of worship like few other songs do.


It's also this time of year i miss the Cross centered messages from my old church, Covenant Life in Gaithersburg, MD, the most.  I still follow Pastor CJ Mahaney's blog. Yesterday's post was yet another inspirational message for me. The more i learn about the Holiness of Christ, the more i learn and about my own depravity (let alone the depravity of man as a whole), the more i am amazed that God took any interest in me at all.  And then, as i draw closer to Christmas day and celebrate the birth of mankind's Savior, and i meditate on God coming to earth... the more i am moved by the initiative Jesus took to come down and become man... to reach out to me.  There are many times i feel like the woman at the well, or even the leapers in the streets, and yet there He is... reaching out... touching me...
Christmas is about God the Father (the offended party) taking the initiative to send his only begotten son to offer his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that we might be forgiven for our many sins. (from CJ's blog yesterday)

I definitely do not have a corner on the market regarding the things of Christ, but i would encourage you to read the Gospels and just marvel at all that Christ did.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ [5] took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed [6] to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit.  And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.  But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.  She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”  All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us).  When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered.  This was the first registration when [1] Quirinius was governor of Syria.  And all went to be registered, each to his own town.  And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David,  to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, [2] who was with child.  And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth.  And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.  And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”  And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” [3]

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.”  And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.  And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child.  And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.  But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.  And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
 And at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men [1] from the east came to Jerusalem,  saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose [2] and have come to worship him.”  When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;  and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.  They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.  And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”  After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.  And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.  And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

And when the time came for their purification according to the Law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord  (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”)  and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the Law of the Lord, “a pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.”  Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him.  And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ.  And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him according to the custom of the Law,  he took him up in his arms and blessed God and said,

“Lord, now you are letting your servant [4] depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.”

And his father and his mother marveled at what was said about him.  And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is opposed  (and a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin,  and then as a widow until she was eighty-four[5] She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Matthew 1:18-25, Luke 2:1-21, Matthew 2:1-12, Luke 2:22-38 - all verses from the ESV)
May the Spirit of God meet each and everyone of you this holiday season.  May the Holy Spirit fill each of us with a renewed sense of awe and wonder in all that Christ accomplished for us on the Cross, and even more that He would relent and approach us in the form of a baby, born to a virgin.


Eclectic Eccentricities - in other words yet more rambling 8)

Wow what a weekend.  On Friday many of my co-workers at the "widget factory" were running around freaking out about the snow to come.  I would get accumulation prediction updates on the quarter hour.  By the end of the day i was getting pretty annoyed and began acting like a sarcastic Chicken Little. Probably not the best Christian response i know, but i really believe such hysteria is what contributes to such poor driving and panic shopping that drive most of us crazy.  I still remember some morning-drive DJ's from the 80's (Don & Mike if memory serves - from WAVA 105.1 (now a Christian music station)), poking fun at the Washington DC metro drives and would "urge" everyone to go out and buy bread, milk and toilet paper before the shelves were cleared of such commodities.  Well, i had to apologize on Monday... there really was a lot of snow.

This past weekend my beloved and i took the family out of town for a mini-vacation of sorts.  What a mess we came back to. I had invited my friend RAM over to watch the Sunday Night football game ~ the Panthers versus the Minnesota Vikings, but after arriving home on Sunday afternoon and seeing how bad the roads were between the interstate and my house we felt it better for him to not come over.  In the end i was glad he didn't come over.  1) He is a Vikings fan and the Panthers had a really good fourth quarter, 2) and i was concerned for the road conditions.  He probably would have come over if i had asked him to.  But for me, as a Carolina Panthers fan, it was nice to see the Panthers win a prime-time game at least once this season! It was sort of a Christmas present.  8)

With all of the snow and the change in my schedule i was at a loss as to what i was going to do for my Music Monday offering.  On Sunday, on my way home, one of my coworkers calls me up and asks to take Thursday off (i am sort of the team lead).  This would mean that i would have to work that day (i had already scheduled that day as a "use-it-or-lose-it" vacation day.  So in order for it to all work out i took yesterday off so that he could have Thursday... well, that totally threw me off. So, this morning i had two old classics that i've probably used before, but as i was catching up on my blog reading i read about the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. This is what inspired me at my fellow ADD blogger:
In 2007, one of their members, Mark Wood (a graduate of Juilliard), came to our county and combined the orchestra members of all of the counties elementary, middle and high schools and put together a concert that is still talked about today. The schools had been individually practicing the pieces for 2 months. The idea was to teach kids that "Orchestra Rocks".  Afterwards he signed autographs and posed with each kid for a picture.
 To me that was just too cool.  I also really like their music which helps, and even though i've already used this song once this year... i just had to put in TSO's version.

Despite the brutal defeat of the New Orleans Saints by the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday, i am still a rider on the 2009 Band wagon.  Geaux Saints!  One thing i noticed on Sunday night is that i enjoy the games when i am really unconcerned with the results.  I mean, eleven out of twelve teams that make it to the post season end their year with a losing game.  So, even though the Panthers have nothing left to play for, and i am rooting for the Saints to go all the way, i still want the Panthers to win on January 3rd, and i will not lose a lot of sleep if the Saints don't come back to the Superdome with the Lambardi Trophy.


The Dream is dead for at least another two years

The Panthers have lost their 8th game of the season to the New England Patriots. It is now officially impossible for them to reach 9-7, and thus impossible to have back to back winning seasons for the first time in franchise history. At the end of the day it is just a game, and one in which i have no direct contribution so i really can't complain all that much. There is a lot of media speculation about players and coaches, etc. I will leave those things to the "professionals". In the mean time i will continue to cheer on the New Orleans Saints. 13-0 is a big deal. I will ride their bandwagon for now. 8) I did get back to some writing the latter half of last week. It was nice to get finger to keyboard once more... even if it started yet another story thread! Let me see... i have two "in-hive", one story out in the "wastes", and the new one goes back inside. In all i have links to three of the "main" houses of Hive City, three"out-landers", the 'Enforcers', and one other affiliation to which i would rather not speak. 'Tulip', my on-line encouraging pen-pal (well, fellow writer), just laughed at me. She told me, "I thought you were going to commit to your 'novel'!" Well... i have... sort of... i just got... distracted. When i showed the new piece to DS1 he told me, "I don't get it". *sigh* Well, it's a good thing i do not have illusions of grandeur. This has brought me up to a total of about 800 words for the month. I am still a little behind my daily goal, but at least it was some progress. I'm still disappointed that i can't count blogging into my word count totals. Over the weekend the Lord has opened my eyes some more. He was showing me just how selfish i can be. I hate to say this... but it actually came as a shock to me. I had thought myself to be pretty self sacrificing. Isn't amazing just how blind to our own sin we can truly be!?! It's sort of like dressing a burn wound. The bandages have to be applied in order to ward off infection, and yet in order to prevent the wound from festering the bandages have to be removed - which often has the unfortunate side affect of bonding with the healing skin. Even though this latest 'revelation' is no where near as painful as that, it's still quite uncomfortable. Still, "Faithful are the wounds of a [God]..." especially when they are designed to help us be made more into the image of His Son. Better to go to heaven sore and healing, than into the "pit" whole. Praying for His grace to continue to work in me to effect change, and not just in this area but also the one regarding personal discipline. What a sluggard i am without Christ in my life.


They are feeding my addiction

Yesterday the "Flair" application on Facebook announced that they have added new "boards" to display your flair on AND you can now display more than one board! That means i can arrange everyone of my 550 pieces of flair - 53 pieces per board! \o/ So, i will need a minimum of eleven backgrounds to display them all... but knowing me there will be more than that so i can organize them by subject. LOL
My writing has been moving along, albeit slowly. I have gotten to a point where i need to work out a complicated scene before i can move on. Some writers skip around in their work... and i am not sure i can do that... but maybe in a way i am. I have an on-going story line that i've tied in to my "novel", and there is a part that is a background piece for the novel and i've been working on that is almost finished... but to jump ahead in the "novel" outline... that part i am not so sure about. Which sort of reminds me... i have a personal goal of 3,000 words a month of writing. Doesn't matter what piece i work on (and i currently have four in various stages), i just have to write 3,000 words. I am way off pace for December... i'd better get to work soon. My friend from High School, Ram, has been itching to get together to do some tabletop wargamming. The guys has been a really good sport about my style of hang back and shoot. He continually attempts to storm the gates. I can't help it. It is my natural instinct based off of my Infantry training. Anyway, i made a promise to him that i would deliberately take a force that makes me get out of my comfort zone. This time i will play a force styled after the Eldar Harlequins using the Escher rule set. I've always had a fascination with Mime's, and dancing troupes of old. There is just something fascinating about mesmerizing forms of twirling dancers arrayed in colorful costumes and masks. We shall see how this works out. I am not one to venture far from my comfort zone all too often. LOL Of late i have been really trying to work over in my head the verses from Matthew 7:21-23...
"“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (ESV)
I believe God is really working on my heart in this area. Especially in regard to the part where the people are saying, "...did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do mighty works in your name?" I feel that many American "Christians" are like this. (Especially in light of what i have been seeing in the churches i have attended lately.) We get busy with various programs, we get caught up in how many people are showing up to events, or how many people are "brought into the kingdom", but we never actually teach them what it takes to have a personal RELATIONSHIP with Christ. I need to confess something here... i was saved into a church that did do that, but i never made the hard changes in my life where i disciplined myself to pursue daily devotions. I think this is what God is trying to show me now. I believe He is telling me, "take the log out of your own eye", especially before i get to work doing things in His name. Unless there is the foundation of a relationship - it is all in vain... He is not in the work. And nothing that is void of God will last or have any real meaning. Confession is one thing... especially on a blog that very few read... but i need to put words and faith into action... "Lord Jesus, please help seal this on my heart. Please help me to make the hard changes. Not because my efforts to spend time with You contribute in anyway, but because of what You have done. Lord Jesus thank You for your tender mercies that are indeed new every day. I confess that i have been lazy in my relationship with you. I've done a lot of talking and very little listening. Lord, please help me to break this bad habit and to make a change. Lord i desperately want to know you more... and more importantly... to be known by you. You have told us that if we turn from our sins and humble ourselves you will hear our prayers. Lord God you have also said that if we ask for anything in Your name the Father will give it. Heavenly Father... i ask for this in the name of my Lord Jesus' name, and for His glory. Amen. "


Welcome to my 750th post!

It's hard to believe that it has almost been four years since my first blog (6-Jan-06). This humble blog has not stormed the world wide web by any means (nor was that my intention). It has maybe a dozen visitors from random web sources from various search results, and only a handful of "faithful" followers. But that's ok. I mostly write for me, and i enjoy writing, and if God uses it for whatever reason, then that is awesome. It started out pretty slowly... just text, but as time has gone on i've learned how to link sites, insert pictures, and even spruce up around the edges. I even have a friend who has offered to help me spice it up even more. I am very grateful for his offer. He commutes over 3 hours a day, he is heavily involved at our church, not to mention the every day tasks of being a husband and father - so whenever he has time - i am very grateful. That reminds me... i've had a couple of people tell me that they enjoy my ramblings and have been encouraging me to not stop. I actually do like to post several thoughts so... i guess that format will continue on for a while. For today i am taking a turn from the "2nd Cup of Coffee" blog. For your reading pleasure i present this week's Random Dozen: 1. Which physical trait do you now accept--maybe not love, but accept--and no longer feel extremely self-conscious about? ~ Wow, what a way to start it off! For me it's the fact i have a voice that is, well... let's just say not as deep as i would prefer. 2. This week Meredith Baxter Birney, best known as the mom on the favorite 80s sitcom "Family Ties" came out of the closet, which led me to formulate this question: Who do you think is/was the best TV mom? ~ To be honest... i never gave it much thought... since i have been put on the spot i would have to say Kim Brown from 'The Unit.' She's smart, tough, and does what she needs to do for her family. 3. Do you speak any foreign languages? Are there any you'd like to learn? ~ To my shame i do not. I know a sprinkling of phrases or words from several languages, but i could not find a bathroom in any non-english speaking country in the world. 8( I would like to learn Spanish, and Japanese. Just not sure i am disciplined enough to actually do something about it. 4. Who is your personal hero? ~ I have three. One living, and two long dead. The living one would be CJ Mahaney. I admire this man for his humility, his humbleness, and his willingness to laugh at himself. He has overcome his own personal lack of higher education and set himself to study and verse himself in all things Christ. One of the long dead hero's i would like to present is Thomas Jonathon Jackson, aka "Stonewall". This man also over came the loss of his immediate family and lack of educational opportunities to rise up and make something of himself. And like CJ once God awoke his heart and mind to the things of the gospel he "sold out" heart-mind-and soul. The last person who is my personal hero is the First on the list. He is Jesus Christ, my Lord, my Savior. He literally is my all. While we aspire to be like our hero's, until He called me i never gave Him a second thought, and now He is working with His Father in heaven to make me into His image more and more everyday. 5. What is one holiday food that you find extremely difficult to resist over- indulging in? ~ This one is easy. Pumpkin Pie. Especially my beloved's homemade pie (made with Libby's pie filling). I could eat that until i get sick. I will eat her pie in place of breakfast, lunch AND/OR dinner! 6. Tell me about a Christmas decoration that has special meaning or sentimental value. ~ I am not a really sentimental kind of guy. I cannot think of anyone ornament that stands out above the others. For me the one i care the most about is the star we place at the top. It is always placed last. 7. How do you feel about snow? ~ Snow is a mixed bag for me. I hate being cold, but i hate being wet AND cold even more. But as i've gotten older (i.e. wiser - i hope) i've learned how to bundle up and dress in layers better (another benny from being in the Guard). When i was on active duty i grew to enjoy being out in it. While colder, it is a lot like being out in the rain... which i love. 8. On average, how many hours of sleep do you get each night? Not that I'm jealous of any number over three or anything. ~ Hmm... this is a hard one since it's hard to keep track. In general i believe it's about 6 hours total, but usually in 2-3 hour chunks. 9. Tell me about your first crush. ~ That would be my beloved. Ok, no one is buying that? Um... it was the daughter of one of my mom's "friends". It didn't last very long, or get very serious. 10. You're stuck in a room for 2 hours with only a chalkboard and chalk. What will you write/draw? ~ I honestly have no clue! 8) It all depends on my mood, things that i am currently thinking about... things i was doing prior to be locked away... etc. 11. Do you dress for the current temp or for the day's forecast? ~ Another thing the Guard taught me is you do not dress for the current temp, but the temp it will be at later in the day. This is because it was not possible to change the layers, etc., and you had to economize loads. The only thing that i will do regarding current weather is to make sure i am dressed for rain/snow, etc. 12. Favorite Christmas movie is? ~ Another easy one for me: A Christmas Carol. I like the story of how Ebenezer Scrooge changes once he sees his life in perspective. I have been known to watch almost any version of this classic, but my all time favorite is the one Patric Stewart has done for A&E. Mr. Stewart is excellent in this rendition of the movie. I've always wanted to see his one man show version, but money and distance are the biggest factors.
That is all i have for today. I pray that this finds each of you enjoying God's Amazing Grace.


Random thoughts

Well, it's Tuesday and i am still adjusting to some new things at work. My mind spins like a top when new things get introduced and it takes me a little while to get them all back "in control". This means that although i wanted to stop doing rambling blogs i am going to keep on doing them for a while. 8) I just can't seem to help myself. Every once in a while i feel inclined to write Haiku poems. I don't know why really, but i have fun writing them. Here are three that came to me yesterday.
Mountains standing firm Rolling Thunder still afar Summits fade too soon
From leeward to peak Power building till release Thunder in the valley
A flower in bloom Pleasant aroma wafts over Intoxicating
Did you ever notice that there are some foods that are really good, but for some reason unless it is from the region it is known for it's just not as good? For example, when my Father lived in San Francisco i was first exposed to Sour Dough Bread. My mouth still waters when i think about the smell and the taste. I still LOVE sour dough, but it's just not as good. The same can be said for things like Chicago Deep Dish Pizza, Philly Cheese Steaks, or New York "Nathan's" Hot Dogs. All of these foods/dishes are offered around the country, but until you have tasted the original - you have just not enjoyed the true dish. For me... i still need to tracel to Dublin, Texas to get my hands on a true Dr. Pepper - made from the original formula. 8) I have never had a good experience with what's known as "White Elephant" parties. For the uninitiated this is a party where everyone brings a gift that was found around the house/apartment/loft/whatever, that is no longer needed by the original owner. It is then wrapped so no one else knows what it is. The game consists of everyone taking a turn where they can either "steal" a previously chosen (and unwrapped) gift, or take a "new" one from the unwrapped pile. Once a gift has been "stolen" three times it gets "locked" and is no longer eligible to steal. One the last unwrapped present has been opened, the first person to go gets one last chance to steal a present. Oh, and if your present gets stolen, you cannot steal it back - but you can steal a different present, or take an unwrapped present from the pile. Ok, back to what i was going to say. My presents have been things like, VHS exercise tapes, or "yard sale starter kits", i've even opened a walking leg boot (you know, for when people sprain their ankles and such). One year i received a quirky television show theme song CD. Not bad, but afterwards the host of the party came over and informed me that the CD had belonged to him and that he had loaned it to "Joe Snuffy" and they had never returned it. So this year, i informed my beloved that i no longer wished to participate in the game. Anyway, after the dust settled i ended up with the best present i had ever had from one of these things - and i had not even played! It was a Coca-Cola suncatcher, and the winner of it! A friend had won it and when i mentioned that i thought it was pretty cool he gave it to me. 8) That was really nice of him. It's hanging in my cubicle as i write. Ok, last but not necessarily least - because when i ramble it is really in no particular order. Yesterday i had the urge to re-listen to Susan Boyle's "Britain's Got Talent" appearance. The first one that really caused such a stir in "cyber-land". What a great story, and she really does have an incredible voice. I can no longer embed the video from You Tube, but you click on the link here to watch it for yourself if you'd like. When i watched it last night she still brought chills to my arms listening to her. I'm not sure i will go buy her album though. It's not because of anything about her, or the music industry or anything... i just don't buy a lot of music - iTunes or otherwise. After i watched Susan's video again i re-watched a clip from The 5th Element. The one where the Diva is singing her Opera. I am not sure what it is about that song, but it moves me as well. The human voice is by far the most powerful and beautiful musical instrument when played by someone who truly knows how to use it.


Music Monday - 20091207

This week i have two songs i want to offer for my usual Musical offering to the blog-o-sphere. The first one keeps coming up on the radio and it seems to be resonating within me of late.
BREATH OF HEAVEN by: Chris Eaton / Amy Grant I have traveled many moonless nights Cold and weary, with a babe inside And I wonder what I've done Holy Father, you have come And chosen me now To carry your son I am waiting in a silent prayer I am frightened by the load I bear In a world as cold as stone, Must I walk this path alone? Be with me now Be with me now Breath of heaven Hold me together Be forever near me Breath of heaven Breath of heaven Light up my darkness Pour over me your holiness For you are holy Do you wonder as you watch my face If a wiser one one should have had my place But I offer all I am For the mercy of your plan Help me be strong Help me be Help me Breath of heaven Hold me together Be forever near me Breath of heaven Breath of heaven Light up my darkness Pour over me your holiness For you are holy Breath of heaven Hold me together Be forever near me Breath of heaven Breath of heaven Light up my darkness Pour over me your holiness For you are holy Breath of heaven Breath of heaven Breath of heaven
I am not sure why - completely -but lately i really do feel like i am walking my path with Christ alone. I am in NO way comparing myself with the "favored one", but i just do not seem to be in sync with those around me spiritually... and i know this is not really a good thing. At the same time i feel the joy of the coming celebration of the birth of Christ. I imagine the wonder of it all. Can you imagine what it must have been like to be in Mary's sandals? What all of creation must have felt like in anticipation of the birth of the Christ! This is a really beautiful song. The other one that i want to present today is "The LIttle Drummer Boy". While not overly 'spiritual' in that it does not speak to Christ's birth directly, more that it speaks to the response of creation... more importantly to man's response.
Little Drummer Boy Come they told me, pa rum pum pum pum A new born King to see, pa rum pum pum pum Our finest gifts we bring, pa rum pum pum pum To lay before the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, So to honor Him, pa rum pum pum pum, When we come. Little Baby, pa rum pum pum pum I am a poor boy too, pa rum pum pum pum I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum That's fit to give the King, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum, On my drum? Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum, Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum Me and my drum.
When the time comes is there really anything that we could bring that is as valuable as gold? All that we can bring is all of ourselves. Our hearts, our minds, our abilities. The only adequate gift is all of ourselves.


Ramblin' Bloggin

What a whirlwind of a week. I took a few extra days off to enjoy with the family over the Thanksgiving break. It was busy, but nice. When i came back to my regular routine things were a crazy mess. The result is that my ADD brain is having trouble keeping everything sorted out. For the most part i am keeping up, but i have to compartmentalize practically everything. 8) Not to long ago i came upon a new blog. Well, not new, but new to me... you get the idea. "Brain Cramps for God" (I love that mental picture... one of a finite human being, like me, 'wrestling' over the things of God mentally. So much so that i get a "brain cramp"... i think this was the same mental picture that the author has, but i've never verified that.) Anyway... the author has made some really good points about how the "church" (the generalization of the church in America anyway) really has lost sight of exactly what we are supposed to be doing. Instead of focusing on the gospel of Christ, and loving our "neighbors" as Christ loves the church. I am not saying that abortion or homosexuality is ok in the sight of God, just that we have lost sight of so much within the body of Christ. Love the sinner, but not pointing out that sin is sin. i really need to roll this over in my mind more, but i find myself agreeing with this man and the pastor he often quotes. We as a "church" need to wake up and preach the gospel to ourselves more. We need to disciple within the body more... we need to get the church back on her knees, praying to God, we need to be merciless in our own examinations and willing to stamp out sin on our own lives. Then, as the fruit of the Spirit is lived out in front of the world, only then will we be able to show Christ's true love to the world around us and then He will make a real difference. Just like Jesus said, "For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me." (Mark 14:7, ESV) We will also always have sin in the world... until Christ returns and the victory complete within creation. You cannot legislate morality, but you can influence each other. We need to start with ourselves to put ourselves in a better position to be used of God, as He moves - not as we move. Ok, the only other thing i have on my "slate" to share with others is regarding my train of thought on "Stonewall" Jackson. I recall thinking, as i was reading Stonewall Jackson: The Man, the Soldier, the Legend (this is an EXCELLENT book by the way), that he might have actually been an 'Aspie'. A lot of his characteristics are strikingly similar to what i have learned to be 'identifiers' for Aspergers. He had difficulty in social situations, he had trouble relating with others, and quite a few things struck me as familiar in this regard. Well, recently i came across an article that seems to indicate that he did indeed, most likely, have Aspergers. This is no way tarnishes my opinion of this man. I still admire him for his incredible faith in the "Almighty Creator", for his amazing skill as a leader of men, and now for one more thing that i can relate to regarding him as a human being. He was by no means perfect, but a man who was devote in his faith. (I relate to him on so many levels... one of which is that i think i am in the wrong "denomination" - but that would be of my own pursuit... and i am confident that i am where God has placed me.) I hope that anyone who stumbles upon this blog a blessed and grace filled weekend.