Monday, December 22, 2014

All He wants for Christmas...

Once again, I marvel that I am alive to celebrate another Christmas.

No, I'm not dying.

Well, yes, I guess we all are.

Rather, that by God's grace I have survived another year.

With a daughter who's a Paramedic, I know how often people don't.

By now you are probably thinking, "Well, this is a not so merry Christmas message!"

It's not meant to be.

Because Christmas isn't about merry. Jolly. Holly. Whatever.

It begins with the messy birth of a baby.

And travels on through the slaughter of innocents.

And ends with a horrifying crucifixion on a cross.

Christmas drew a dividing line between hopeless and hope.

Between lost and found.

Death and life.

He left His Home in Glory to give us the greatest gift ever...

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Hey, you! Whoever you are...

I was one of four girls in our family.

Which meant lots of emotion and words and activity.

One way my parents knew to get our attention was to yell.

"ArleneDeeDeeDebbieSusie...who ever you are!"

I hated it. Why couldn't my parents take the time to figure out who they wanted?

I swore I would never do that to my kids.

Then I had kids.

The first time I did it, I cringed.

"JeremyJasonJackiJonathan...whoever you are!"


It was so easy to do. And it got the job done.

But it definitely lacked something...

I was thinking about this last week while volunteering at Operation Christmas Child.

You sign in, fill out a name tag, get oriented, and you're off and running.

For one day you work in a warehouse the size of a football field, with hundreds of other volunteers.

All wearing name tags.

I'm sure it was an extrovert's delight...being surrounded by chatty, singing, cheering people.

But for an introvert? I loved my little assigned spot on the assembly line where I could do my small part unseen...quietly...anonymously.

Except for one problem. I had a name tag. With my name on it.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

When you just can't lift your head up one more time

Today was the last day of my year long adventure into "Grand Jury Duty".

Not just "Jury Duty" mind you.

No, I get "Grand Jury Duty".

Which was anything but grand.

If I had any preconceived notions that I lived in a safe, quiet county, forget it.

Shot that one down.

How about the goodness of mankind?

Ha! Let's try the depravity of mankind...that works better.

Drugs. Violence. Rape. Abuse. Murder.

Case after case...295 of them today. With all the sordid details included.

I wanted to weep. Wail. Lash out.

I. Can't. Do. This. Anymore.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Doing away with the baby Jesus

I can hear it now.

Cries of "Heretic!" "Abomination!" "What are you thinking?"

Now that is a really good question!

Maybe I'm not thinking. Or, maybe I am.

Confession: I have always struggled with connecting with the baby in a manger. Not that I don't love the image.

It does make an inspiring sight, sitting high on a shelf over my TV where I can't miss it.

Living nativities? Gotta see 'em.

A spotlighted creche in someone's front yard? Infinitely preferred over Santa and his reindeer.

And a deeper confession? I own like, six nativity sets!

So, what is my "problem" with the baby Jesus?