Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas. Show all posts

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Monday, December 30, 2013

A Christmas Carol


"I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" is a Christmas carol based on the poem "Christmas Bells" by American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The song tells of the narrator's despair, upon hearing Christmas bells, that "hate is strong and mocks the song of peace on earth, good will to men". The carol concludes with the bells carrying renewed hope for peace among mankind.

On July 9th, 1861, tragedy struck the home of America’s most popular poet. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s wife, Fanny, was near an open window sealing locks of her daughter’s hair in a packet, using hot sealing wax. It was thought that a spark from a match or a candle caused her dress to catch fire and engulf her with flames. Her husband, sleeping in the next room, was awakened by her screams. He desperately tried to put out the fire and save his wife. He was severely burned on his face and hands.

Tragically burned, she slipped into a coma the next day and died. His grievous burns would not even allow him to attend her funeral. He seemed to lock the anguish within his soul. Because he continued to work at his craft, only his family knew of his personal suffering. They could see it in his eyes and observe his long periods of silence. His white beard, so identified with him, was one of the results of the tragedy — the burn scars on his face made shaving impossible.

Although already famous and a legend in his own time, he still needed the peace that God gives to His children. On Christmas Day of 1864, just three years following the horrible accident, he sat down to try to capture, if possible, the joys of the season. He began:

“I heard the bells on Christmas day.
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

As he came to the third stanza, he was stopped by the thought of the condition of his beloved country. The Civil War was raging full swing. Earlier, the three-day battle at Gettysburg saw 50,000 casualties. Days looked dark, and he probably asked himself the question, “How can I write about “peace on earth, good will to men” in this war-torn country, where brother fights against brother and father against son?” But he kept writing – and what did he write?

“And in despair I bowed my head:
‘There is no peace on earth’, l said,
‘For hate is strong, and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!”‘

It seems as if he could have been writing these words for us today! Wadsworth then turned his thought to God, the only One who can give true and perfect peace, both in the heart and on the earth, and continued writing:

“Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Thus we have the marvelous Christmas carol, “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. A musician, J. Baptiste Calkin, wrote the musical setting that made the carol a favorite still today.


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Trivia


Starla Halvorson sent me this Christmas Trivia. Thank you Starla!

1. What color is Santa’s belt?

2. What were Frosty the Snowman’s last words?
a. I’m melting!
b. I’ll be back again some day
c. It’s too darn hot
d. What’s happening?
3. What Christmas carol contains the line: “Sing choirs of angels, sing in exultation”?

 4. How many “geese a-laying” did my true love give to me?

5. What did the Grinch use to pull his sleigh?

6. What popular children’s cracker today was introduced in 1902 as a Christmas ornament?

7. Name Santa’s eight reindeer.

8. What Christmas figure did Robert May create in 1930 as a Christmas promotion for Montgomery Ward department store in Chicago?

9. What popular Christmas candy had its debut and was given out by a choirmaster in 1670 to quiet the noisy children?

10. What movie was released on December 20, 1946 and was a box-office flop at the time?

11. What famous bit of Christmas cheer do these letters stand for?

12. What enduring Christmas classic took just six weeks to write?

13. Which of these states has a city named “Santa Claus”?
a. Alaska
b. Colorado
c. Indiana
d. Maine
14. Whose hair earned her $20 in “The Gift of the Magi”?

15. What is the best-selling Christmas song of all time?

Merry Christmas to you!

Wising you a Merry Christmas!

Hear these songs that I picked specially for you!

1. Angels we have heard on high....

Wait... not quite like that....
You are supposed to sing...
Glo-o-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-o-O-o-o-o-o-o-O-ri-a.... in Ex-cel-sis... De-o!
Gloria in Excelsis Deo!
(Latin for "Glory to God in the highest")




2. Oh Come Let Us Adore Him.
Give Him all the Glory!



3. Joy to the World..
To the wide entire world!




4. Hark the herald angels sing..
Let us sing along..




5. God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen
Comfort and Joy...




6. Last Christmas..




7. Finally... a splendid Medley..that is worth bookmarking.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Walking with Mary - Day 6



We asked Mary about her experience of meeting Angel Gabriel. In a nutshell, this is what we understood.

Mary was highly favored. God was with her. Mary was a young woman of outstanding moral and spiritual character.

Mary was submissive to God. She worried so much about how to break the news of her pregnancy. Several emotions churned through her mind and many thoughts crossed her mind. She expected Joseph to treat her badly when she shared her pregnancy news. She was afraid she may lose Joseph in that process. She must have counted to be a social outcast, with no idea how she would raise her Child.

Yet, she told Angel Gabriel - "May it be to me as you have said" (Luke 1:38).

As a woman of faith, she ran many miles from Nazareth to the hills of Judea - she had to see Elizabeth!

Yeah, we did not get an opportunity to come spend time here yesterday - remember, we were with Joseph and Mary, on the road. 

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Walking with Mary - Day 4


We are walking on the road that took Joseph and Mary on that momentous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

Now, there are two routes by which they would have taken:
- One through the Jezreel Valley, then through the hills of Samaria into Judaea. This is more of a straight-line route, but is physically demanding, with constant ups and downs through the hills. This route also went directly through Samaritan country, and Jews had no dealings with Samaritans those days.

- Second is travelling southeast across the Jezreel Valley that connected with the Jordan Valley. Then, all the way to Jericho, through the Desert of Jueda, into Bethlehem. This is the most probable route which Joseph and Mary most likely traveled.

My research tells me both routes to be more or less ninety-two (92) miles long (80 miles was an approximation).

Speaking about weather, it can get quite chilly at night as the season is early spring. Considering the Jordan Valley to be below sea level temperatures would be mild and pleasant.

It will be a tiring journey for anyone, and special care and consideration should be reserved for Mary, who is pregnant approaching her due date. We gotta worry where we would camp each night, and also about food and water.

How about one of us get the food and water. The donkey can carry only so much luggage. Shall one of us carry all those luggage and tent material, so that it is bit lighter for Joseph to walk.

Food for thought: If we have shortage for food and water, are we willing to sacrifice one meal a day for the sake of this couple? If there is shortage for place to sleep, are we ready to stay guard during the night? How about taking some load off of them - any volunteers?



Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Walking with Mary - Day 3


As Mary approached her due date, a rather "unfortunate" thing happened. The Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, issued a decree say, a census should be taken of everyone in his empire. In order to accomplish this, people had to go to their ancestral hometown to register their names.

As Joseph and Mary belonged to the lineage to King David, Augustus' decree required them to make the approximately 80-mile trek from their home in Nazareth to David's hometown of Bethlehem. This difficult trip further connected Jesus' life with the expectations of a coming Messiah from the lineage of King David.

It is during this 80 mile trek that we are walking with Joseph and Mary - to get to know them better. Joseph is walking, and Mary is seated on the donkey. As we are going very slow, we will take another 22 days to get there. We will stop for the night and also take several stops. We ought to have extreme patience - remember, Mary is approaching her due date.

Food for thought: What are some of those conversations we can have, with Joseph and Mary, so that we grow in wisdom? 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Walking with Mary - Day 2


We know that in another 23 days we will celebrate Christmas. During the Old Testament times, there were prophecies regarding the birth of the Messiah, foretold by Prophet Isaiah and Prophet Jeremiah. They spoke about it few hundred years ago. As time went by, people lost track of those prophecies as they did not know the precise time of His arrival - LORD has kept it as a secret. 

Then there was this announcement to Mary and the dream to Joseph. Wonder who they were? Tap here to read more about their profiles. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

More blessed


Corinne was a little girl who was all alone in the world. Her father and mother were both dead. Corinne was so poor that she no longer had a room to live in; neither did she have a bed to sleep in. All Corinne owned were the clothes that she was wearing. As regards food, she had nothing more to eat than a small piece of bread that someone had given her.

Corinne was forsaken by all the world but hoped that God would find a way to help her.

One day she left her home village. Corinne hadn't walked very far when she saw an old man sitting by the wayside. "Oh, my dear child, give me something to eat. I'm so hungry," he murmured to her. Corinne, without hesitation, gave him her piece of bread.

When she had gone a little further and the church spire of her village could no longer be seen, she came upon ayoung child. He only had a shirt on and begged, "Could you give me something to cover my head? I'm so terribly cold." Corinne, taking pity on the child took off her bonnet and gave it to him.

Further along the road Corinne observed another child by the woods. She only wore a vest and was trembling with cold. She pleaded, "Dear girl, I'm so terribly cold without a skirt. Haven't you a little skirt for me?" Corinne, herself, only had her vest and skirt but without hesitating she took off her skirt and presented it to the freezing child and walked on.

Meanwhile it had become evening. It was dark in the woods. Then another child came towards her and asked, "I'm so cold, haven't you a vest for me?"

Corinne considered this carefully; she thought it's dark here in the wood. Nobody will see me. It won't matter if I have no clothes and she took off her vest, too, and handed it to the child.

As Corinne stood there without any clothes, the stars started to fall down from the sky. They were all hard, shining pennies and although she had just given away her vest, she realized she had new one on. It was made out of the most delicate fabric and much nicer than her own. Corinne held out the vest with both hands and collected as many of the pennies as she could.

From then on she was rich and lived without any worries at all.

Moral: It's more blessed to give, than to receive.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Phone Conversation



Child: Dad, we want to talk to Jesus.

Dad: No, no. I'm much too busy. Please leave me alone, for I have work to do. Jesus is just born now. When he grows older, we will see.

(Phone bell ringing - 4 rings)

Jesus: Hello. Did you call me?

Man: Called you? No. Who is this?

Jesus: This is Jesus, I heard your prayers, so I decided to have a chat.

Man: I do indeed pray. It makes me feel good. I am actually busy right now! I am in the middle of something, and my life has become hectic, and I can't find free time, and I'm always rushing.

Jesus: Sure. Activity gets you busy, but productivity gets you result. Activity consumes time, whereas productivity utilizes it.

Man: I understand. Though... I still can't figure it out! Why is life so complicated now.

Jesus: Stop analyzing life! Just live it! You only live once! Analyzing makes life complicated.

Man: Why are we constantly unhappy then

Jesus: Your today is the tomorrow that you worried about yesterday. You are worrying because you are analyzing. Worrying has become your habit. That’s why you are not happy.

Man: But then how can we not worry when there is so much uncertainty?

Jesus: Uncertainty is inevitable, but worrying is optional.

Man: Then, there is so much pain due to uncertainty.

Jesus: Pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional.

Man: If suffering is optional, why do good people always suffer?

Jesus: Diamonds cannot be polished without friction. Can gold be purified without fire? Good people go through trials, but don’t suffer. That experience, makes them better... not bitter.

Man: You are saying this such... experience... is useful?

Jesus: Yes. In every situation, experience is a hard teacher. She gives a test first, but then the lesson after.

Man: Frankly, we are in the midst of so many problems, we don’t know where we are heading.

Jesus: If you look outside you will not know where you are heading. Look inside. Looking outside, you dream. Looking inside, you awaken. Eyes provide sight. Heart provides insight.

Man: Sometimes not succeeding fast seems to hurt more than moving in the right direction. What should I do?

Jesus: Success is a measure as decided by others. Satisfaction is a measure as decided by you. Knowing the road ahead is more satisfying than knowing you rode ahead.


Man: In tough times, how do you stay motivated?

Jesus: Always look at how far you have come rather than how far you have to go. Always count your blessing, not what you are missing.

Man: What surprises you about people?

Jesus: When they suffer they ask, “why me? When they prosper, they never ask “Why me” Everyone wishes to have truth on their side, but few want to be on the side of the truth.

Man: Sometimes I ask, who I am, why am I here. I can’t get the answer.

Jesus: Seek not who you are. Determine who you want to be. Stop looking for a purpose as to why you are here. Create it. Life is not a process of discovery but a process of creation.

Man: How can I get the best out of life?

Jesus: Face your past without regret. Handle your present with confidence. Prepare for the future without fear.

Man: One last question. Sometimes I feel my prayers are not answered.

Jesus: There are no unanswered prayers. At times the answer is NO.

Man: Thank you for this wonderful chat. I am so happy to start the day with a new sense of inspiration.

Jesus: Keep the faith and drop the fear. Don’t believe your doubts and doubt your beliefs. Life is a mystery to solve not a problem to resolve. Life is wonderful if you know how to live.

Man: Thank you so much.

Jesus: You are always welcome. Have a good day my friend. Always remember, God’s Word is the Word for YOU.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Computer Christmas


'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the shop,
The computers were whirring; they never do stop.
The power was on and the temperature right,
In hopes that the input would feed back that night.

The system was ready, the program was coded,
And memory drums had been carefully loaded;
While adding a Christmasy glow to the scene,
The lights on the console, flashed red, white and green.

When out in the hall there arose such a clatter,
The programmer ran to see what was the matter.
Away to the hallway he flew like a flash,
Forgetting his key in his curious dash.

He stood in the hallway and looked all about,
When the door slammed behind him, and he was locked out.
Then, in the computer room what should appear,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

And a little old man, who with scarcely a pause,
Chuckled: "My name is Santa...the last name is Claus."
The computer was startled, confused by the name,
Then it buzzed as it heard the old fellow exclaim:

"This is Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen,
And Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen."
With all these odd names, it was puzzled anew;
It hummed and it clanked, and a main circuit blew.

It searched in its memory core, trying to "think";
Then the multi-line printer went out on the blink.
Unable to do its electronic job,
It said in a voice that was almost a sob:

"Your eyes - how they twinkle - your dimples so merry...
Your cheeks so like roses, your nose like a cherry,
Your smile - all these things, I've been programmed to know,
And at data-recall, I am more than so-so;"

"But your name and your address (computers can't lie),
Are things that I just cannot identify.
You've a jolly old face and a little round belly,
That shakes when you laugh like a bowlful of jelly."

"My scanners can see you, but still I insist,
Since you're not in my program, you cannot exist!"
Old Santa just chuckled a merry "ho, ho,"
And sat down to type out a quick word or so.

The keyboard clack-clattered, its sound sharp and clean,
As Santa fed this "data" to the machine:
"Kids everywhere know me; I come every year;
The presents I bring add to everyone's cheer;

But you won't get anything - that's plain to see;
Too bad your programmers forgot about me."
Then he faced the machine and said with a shrug,
"Merry Christmas to all," as he pulled out its plug

.

Christmas at Gas Station



The old man sat in his gas station on a cold Christmas Eve. He hadn’t been anywhere in years since his wife had passed away. It was just another day to him. He didn’t hate Christmas, just couldn’t find a reason to celebrate. He was sitting there looking at the snow that had been falling for the last hour and wondering what it was all about when the door opened and a homeless man stepped through.

Instead of throwing the man out, Old George as he was known by his customers, told the man to come and sit by the heater and warm up. “Thank you, but I don’t mean to intrude,” said the stranger. “I see you’re busy, I’ll just go.”

“Not without something hot in your belly.” George said.

He turned and opened a wide mouth Thermos and handed it to the stranger. “It ain’t much, but it’s hot and tasty. Stew … Made it myself. When you’re done, there’s coffee and it’s fresh.”

Just at that moment he heard the “ding” of the driveway bell. “Excuse me, be right back,” George said. There in the driveway was an old ’53 Chevy. Steam was rolling out of the front.. The driver was panicked. “Mister can you help me!” said the driver, with a deep Spanish accent. “My wife is with child and my car is broken.” George opened the hood. It was bad. The block looked cracked from the cold, the car was dead.

“You ain’t going in this thing,” George said as he turned away.

“But Mister, please help …” The door of the office closed behind George as he went inside. He went to the office wall and got the keys to his old truck, and went back outside. He walked around the building, opened the garage, started the truck and drove it around to where the couple was waiting. “Here, take my truck,” he said. “She ain’t the best thing you ever looked at, but she runs real good.”

George helped put the woman in the truck and watched as it sped off into the night. He turned and walked back inside the office. “Glad I gave ‘em the truck, their tires were shot too. That ‘ol truck has brand new .” George thought he was talking to the stranger, but the man had gone. The Thermos was on the desk, empty, with a used coffee cup beside it. “Well, at least he got something in his belly,” George thought.

George went back outside to see if the old Chevy would start. It cranked slowly, but it started. He pulled it into the garage where the truck had been. He thought he would tinker with it for something to do. Christmas Eve meant no customers. He discovered the block hadn’t cracked, it was just the bottom hose on the radiator. “Well, shoot, I can fix this,” he said to himself. So he put a new one on.

“Those tires ain’t gonna get ‘em through the winter either.” He took the snow treads off of his wife’s old Lincoln. They were like new and he wasn’t going to drive the car anyway.

As he was working, he heard shots being fired. He ran outside and beside a police car an officer lay on the cold ground. Bleeding from the left shoulder, the officer moaned, “Please help me.”

George helped the officer inside as he remembered the training he had received in the Army as a medic. He knew the wound needed attention. “Pressure to stop the bleeding,” he thought. The uniform company had been there that morning and had left clean shop towels. He used those and duct tape to bind the wound. “Hey, they say duct tape can fix anythin’,” he said, trying to make the policeman feel at ease.

“Something for pain,” George thought. All he had was the pills he used for his back. “These ought to work.” He put some water in a cup and gave the policeman the pills. “You hang in there, I’m going to get you an ambulance.”

The phone was dead. “Maybe I can get one of your buddies on that there talk box out in your car.” He went out only to find that a bullet had gone into the dashboard destroying the two way radio.

He went back in to find the policeman sitting up. “Thanks,” said the officer. “You could have left me there. The guy that shot me is still in the area.”

George sat down beside him, “I would never leave an injured man in the Army and I ain’t gonna leave you.” George pulled back the bandage to check for bleeding. “Looks worse than what it is. Bullet passed right through ‘ya. Good thing it missed the important stuff though. I think with time your gonna be right as rain.”

George got up and poured a cup of coffee. “How do you take it?” he asked.

“None for me,” said the officer..

“Oh, yer gonna drink this. Best in the city. Too bad I ain’t got no donuts.” The officer laughed and winced at the same time.

The front door of the office flew open. In burst a young man with a gun. “Give me all your cash! Do it now!” the young man yelled. His hand was shaking and George could tell that he had never done anything like this before.

“That’s the guy that shot me!” exclaimed the officer.

“Son, why are you doing this?” asked George, “You need to put the cannon away. Somebody else might get hurt.”

The young man was confused. “Shut up old man, or I’ll shoot you, too. Now give me the cash!”

The cop was reaching for his gun. “Put that thing away,” George said to the cop, “we got one too many in here now.”

He turned his attention to the young man. “Son, it’s Christmas Eve. If you need money, well then, here. It ain’t much but it’s all I got. Now put that pea shooter away.”

George pulled $150 out of his pocket and handed it to the young man, reaching for the barrel of the gun at the same time. The young man released his grip on the gun, fell to his knees and began to cry. “I’m not very good at this am I? All I wanted was to buy something for my wife and son,” he went on. “I’ve lost my job, my rent is due, my car got repossessed last week.”

George handed the gun to the cop. “Son, we all get in a bit of squeeze now and then. The road gets hard sometimes, but we make it through the best we can.”

He got the young man to his feet, and sat him down on a chair across from the cop. “Sometimes we do stupid things.” George handed the young man a cup of coffee. “Bein’ stupid is one of the things that makes us human. Comin’ in here with a gun ain’t the answer. Now sit there and get warm and we’ll sort this thing out.”

The young man had stopped crying. He looked over to the cop. “Sorry I shot you. It just went off. I’m sorry officer.”

“Shut up and drink your coffee ” the cop said.

George could hear the sounds of sirens outside. A police car and an ambulance skidded to a halt. Two cops came through the door, guns drawn. “Chuck! You ok?” one of the cops asked the wounded officer.

“Not bad for a guy who took a bullet. How did you find me?”

“GPS locator in the car. Best thing since sliced bread. Who did this?” the other cop asked as he approached the young man.

Chuck answered him, “I don’t know. The guy ran off into the dark. Just dropped his gun and ran.”

George and the young man both looked puzzled at each other.

“That guy work here?” the wounded cop continued.

“Yep,” George said, “just hired him this morning. Boy lost his job.”

The paramedics came in and loaded Chuck onto the stretcher. The young man leaned over the wounded cop and whispered, “Why?”

Chuck just said, “Merry Christmas boy … and you too, George, and thanks for everything.”

“Well, looks like you got one doozy of a break there. That ought to solve some of your problems.”

George went into the back room and came out with a box. He pulled out a ring box. “Here you go, something for the little woman. I don’t think Martha would mind. She said it would come in handy some day.”

The young man looked inside to see the biggest diamond ring he ever saw. “I can’t take this,” said the young man. “It means something to you.”

“And now it means something to you,” replied George. “I got my memories. That’s all I need.”

George reached into the box again. An airplane, a car and a truck appeared next. They were toys that the oil company had left for him to sell. “Here’s something for that little man of yours.”

The young man began to cry again as he handed back the $150 that the old man had handed him earlier.

“And what are you supposed to buy Christmas dinner with? You keep that too,” George said. “Now git home to your family.”

The young man turned with tears streaming down his face. “I’ll be here in the morning for work, if that job offer is still good.”

“Nope. I’m closed Christmas day,” George said. “See ya the day after.”

George turned around to find that the stranger had returned. “Where’d you come from? I thought you left?”

“I have been here. I have always been here,” said the stranger. “You say you don’t celebrate Christmas. Why?”

“Well, after my wife passed away, I just couldn't see what all the bother was. Puttin’ up a tree and all seemed a waste of a good pine tree. Bakin’ cookies like I used to with Martha just wasn’t the same by myself and besides I was gettin’ a little chubby.”

The stranger put his hand on George’s shoulder. “But you do celebrate the holiday, George. You gave me food and drink and warmed me when I was cold and hungry. The woman with child will bear a son and he will become a great doctor.

The policeman you helped will go on to save 19 people from being killed by terrorists. The young man who tried to rob you will make you a rich man and not take any for himself. “That is the spirit of the season and you keep it as good as any man.”

George was taken aback by all this stranger had said. “And how do you know all this?” asked the old man.

“Trust me, George. I have the inside track on this sort of thing. And when your days are done you will be with Martha again.”

The stranger moved toward the door. “If you will excuse me, George, I have to go now. I have to go home where there is a big celebration planned.”

George watched as the old leather jacket and the torn pants that the stranger was wearing turned into a white robe. A golden light began to fill the room.

“You see, George … it’s My birthday. Merry Christmas.”

George fell to his knees and replied, “Happy Birthday, Lord Jesus”

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Angel Quotes



”Good news from heaven the angels bring;
Glad tidings to the earth they sing:
To us this day a child is given,
To crown us with the joy of heaven.”
– Martin Luther

”Love came down at Christmas.
Love all lovely, love divine.
Love was born at Christmas.
Stars and angels gave the sign.”
- Christina Rossetti

"The earth has grown old with its burden of care.
But at Christmas it always is young.
The heart of the jewel burns lustrous and fair
And its soul full of music breaks the air
When the song of angels is sung.”
– Phillips Brooks

“While shepherds watch'd their flocks by night
All seated on the ground
The Angel of the Lord came down
And Glory shone around.”
– Nahum Tate

”A song was heard at Christmas
To wake the midnight sky:
A savior's birth, and peace on earth
And praise to God on high.
The angels sang at Christmas
With all the hosts above,
And still we sing the newborn King
His glory and his love.”
– Timothy Dudley-Smith

“Late on a sleepy, star-spangled night, those angels peeled back the sky just like you would tear open a sparkling Christmas present. Then, with light and joy pouring out of Heaven like water through a broken dam, they began to shout and sing the message that baby Jesus had been born. The world had a Savior! The angels called it 'Good News,' and it was.”
– Larry Libby

“So here comes Gabriel again, and what he says is 'Good tidings of great joy ... for all people." ...That's why the shepherds are first: they represent all the nameless, all the working stiffs, the great wheeling population of the whole world.”
- Walter Wangerin Jr.

“The simple shepherds heard the voice of an angel and found their lamb;
The wise men saw the light of a star and found their wisdom.”
– Fulton J. Sheen

.

Christmas Angels



Here's what those Christmas Angels remind us every Christmas:

To seek the best in ourselves at all times no matter who is watching or not watching. Integrity is a virtue they wish to remind us to practice at all times

They act as role models to help and give to others. They constantly remind us to help and give without expectation of anything in return

Angels remind us to 'lighten up' in our lives and have a little fun. They know that families who laugh together stay together. Laughter is healing and those Christmas angels love to see the lighter side of life

No matter whether you believe or do not believe in Angels, they certainly add to the magic, fun and joy associated with the celebrations and festivities of Christmas

.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas


Once upon a time... there were few shepherds and few wise men. It is the story of Christmas who found it.

The Shepherds: They were social nobodies, yet God sent them a supernatural birth announcement through the angels. They believed God's Word, searched in faith to find Jesus, and they did. They found Christmas.

The Wise Men: These guys were pagans from another culture. They studied the stars for insight. God spoke to them right where they were in life. They stepped out in faith to follow a star that appeared in the sky, understanding it meant the birth of a special King. They found Christmas when they found Jesus.

The shepherds found Christmas because they believed the Word of God. The wise men found Christmas because they sought Jesus.

The question: Do you believe? Believe it fully to experience the miracle of Christmas. 

May the spirit of Christmas
And the echo of the carols
And the lights of Christmas Tree
Bring happiness and Joy
into your life and home
Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

Merry Christmas!



Credits: RFTH

The Tablecloth



Sharing miracles is one of the greatest blessings we human have in this journey.  Here is one that never tires of being told.

The brand new pastor and his wife, newly assigned to their first ministry, to reopen a church in suburban Brooklyn, arrived in early October excited about their opportunities. When they saw their church, it was very run down and needed much work. They set a goal to have everything done in time to have their first service on Christmas Eve.

They worked hard, repairing pews, plastering walls, painting, etc, and on December 18 were ahead of schedule and just about finished. On December 19 a terrible tempest – a driving rainstorm hit the area and lasted for two days.

On the 21st, the pastor went over to the church. His heart sank when he saw that the roof had leaked, causing a large area of plaster about 20 feet by 8 feet to fall off the front wall of the sanctuary just behind the pulpit, beginning about head high.

The pastor cleaned up the mess on the floor, and not knowing what else to do but postpone the Christmas Eve service, headed home. On the way he noticed that a local business was having a flea market type sale for charity so he stopped in.

One of the items was a beautiful, handmade, ivory colored, crocheted tablecloth with exquisite work, fine colors and a Cross embroidered right in the center. It was just the right size to cover up the hole in the front wall. He bought it and headed back to the church.
….
By this time it had started to snow. An older woman running from the opposite direction was trying to catch the bus.. She missed it. The pastor invited her to wait in the warm church for the next bus 45 minutes later.

She sat in a pew and paid no attention to the pastor while he got a ladder, hangers, etc., to put up the tablecloth as a wall tapestry. The pastor could hardly believe how beautiful it looked and it covered up the entire problem area.

Then he noticed the woman walking down the center aisle. Her face was like a sheet.. “Pastor,” she asked, “where did you get that tablecloth?” The pastor explained. The woman asked him to check the lower right corner to see if the initials, EBG were crocheted into it there. They were. These were the initials of the woman, and she had made this tablecloth 35 years before, in Austria.

The woman could hardly believe it as the pastor told how he had just gotten the Tablecloth. The woman explained that before the war she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria. When the Nazis came, she was forced to leave. Her husband was going to follow her the next week. He was captured, sent to prison and never saw her husband or her home again.

The pastor wanted to give her the tablecloth; but she made the pastor keep it for the church. The pastor insisted on driving her home, that was the least he could do.. She lived on the other side of Staten Island and was only in Brooklyn for the day for a housecleaning job.

What a wonderful service they had on Christmas Eve. The church was almost full. The music and the spirit were great. At the end of the service, the pastor and his wife greeted everyone at the door and many said that they would return. One older man, whom the pastor recognized from the neighborhood continued to sit in one of the pews and stare, and the pastor wondered why he wasn’t leaving.

The man asked him where he got the tablecloth on the front wall because it was identical to one that his wife had made years ago when they lived in Austria before the war and how could there be two tablecloths so much alike? He told the pastor how the Nazis came, how he forced his wife to flee for her safety and he was supposed to follow her, but he was arrested and put in a prison.. He never saw his wife or his home again all the 35 years in between.

The pastor asked him if he would allow him to take him for a little ride. They drove to Staten Island and to the same house where the pastor had taken the woman three days earlier. He helped the man climb the three flights of stairs to the woman’s apartment, knocked on the door and he saw the greatest Christmas reunion he could ever imagine.

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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Present



For the past one month, I've been meeting numerous G.I's at the airport. I had the privilege of buying lunch/dinner for some of them and to dine with them.

After hearing their stories, I felt warm at heart and could see their enthusiasm to get home early for Christmas. To many kids all they wished was their Dad/Mom serving in Iraq to come back home alive and be there for Christmas.

I wish many families were lucky this year.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Lawyers' Seasonal Greetings




From us ("the wishor") to you ("hereinafter called the wishee"), please accept without obligation, implied or implicit, our best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, politically correct, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral, celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all ... and a financially successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2004, but with due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures or sects, and having regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith, choice of computer platform or dietary preference of the wishee. By accepting this greeting you are bound by these terms that:

This greeting is subject to further clarification or withdrawal

This greeting is freely transferable provided that no alteration shall be made to the original greeting and that the proprietary rights of the wishor are acknowledged.

This greeting implies no promise by the wishor to actually implement any of the wishes.

This greeting may not be enforceable in certain jurisdictions and/or the restrictions herein may not be binding upon certain wishees in certain jurisdictions and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wishor.

This greeting is warranted to perform as reasonably may be expected within the usual application of good tidings, for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first.

The wishor warrants this greeting only for the limited replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wishor

Any references in this greeting to "the Lord", "Father Christmas", "Our Savior", or any other festive figures, whether actual or fictitious, dead or alive, shall not imply any endorsement by or from them in respect of this greeting, and all proprietary rights in any referenced third party names and images are hereby acknowledged.


Monday, December 26, 2011

Choice


Let's not make the eternally fateful error of worshiping a babe in the manager and rejecting the Christ of the Cross.