12 Days of Christmas Words: First Week

12 Days of Christmas Word:     STAR      December 26, 2013christmas star
On the First Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: a partridge in a pear tree…”

Tra-la-la…tra-la-la…

I thought I was done with writing about words when Christmas got here. As proof, I took yesterday as a blessed day – a day to play with grandkids, hug on daughter and son-in-law, talk to friends and family, read e-cards, walk around in my new slippers (which BTW work really well, Miss Brystana ), read FB wishes and eat way too much. I probably would have jumped in the hot tub, but between the cold, blustery wind and the little nonsense of not having a manual for said hot tub, I ditched that idea, and I did not write anything. But something was off – something missing – my time with Christ was sorely missing. After watching the mid-night mass in Rome on Christmas Eve, my focus severely mal-functioned. I lost sight of the STAR.

The STAR that hung in the sky for a long time…long enough to bring angels to sing…long enough for shepherds to find a small stable…long enough for wise men to travel from afar to find a baby…long enough for me to notice…and ignore…again.

I have a friend who lost sight of the STAR over the past year and was feeling sad and down on herself today. Her tears reminded me of my own that I have shed for the same reasons, and I understood. I, too, have lost sight of the STAR. Lost sight of it so many times that Our Father God must surely wonder about me at times. Perhaps that is why it took the wise men such a long time to get to the Christ child as well. They lost their focus they stopped to get directions from a human king – they ran into storms that delayed their progress – they probably ran into a few road blocks as well or cloudy nights that cast a dismal outlook on ever reaching their destination – wherever that was. I’m sure they were as lost at times as we are today. How do you find the STAR when there are clouds?

Today’s devotions (Jewish and Christian ones both) set me up for today and refocused my gaze on the STAR and the choices we all have to make in our daily lives. It is not easy to follow a STAR to an unknown destination. It is not easy to trust God to continue to shed the Light that will guide our path to the creche. It is a choice…and when we lose our focus or when the clouds block the Light…it is a choice to look up or wait it out until once again and we can get sight of the STAR.

My husband came in tonight and said, “You STAR is out.” I laughed because he had become God’s messenger for a minute and reminded me to re-focus my lens once again. In fact, I think before I go to bed tonight, I will go out and look at my STAR one more time. I want to find the creche on Epiphany, meet the wise men, and kneel on the hard, bumpy ground at the Light behind the STAR.

12 Days of Christmas Word:      FRUIT      December 27, 2013

On the Second Day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:  two turtle doves….
Fa-la-la-la-la…la-la-la-la…

“You shall know them by their FRUIT. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Matt 7:16

fruits of the spiritEvery Christmas , my big brother and his wife send us FRUIT from FL. When the kids were at home, the FRUIT was gone in a couple of days. Now, we can make the box last a couple of weeks. ..maybe.  The juiciness of a fresh FL orange in the middle of winter stands alone…don’t ask me why…it just is. So when we see that FRUIT box sitting on our porch, we race to the door, tear open the box and sink our teeth into a really special treat.

I think I first fell in love with stories and language when I first started learning the Bible stories. The Biblical writers were very good at telling their tales to make a specific point. As I grew older, I noticed that even those folk tales, fables, and myths outside of the Bible also were used to make point. Early teachers and historians of the oral tradition, Cicero- Plato – Aesop – Homer, did the same for their students. Needless to say, great teachers still employ this technique (although these days, the stories probably tend to center around video games, pop culture, movies, etc…)

Yet, the stories from the Bible still carry weight. When we get the FRUIT box, we know that we are probably going to enjoy the stuff inside of it. We know the box. We know the FRUIT. The point is valid in our lives as well. We are known by the acts we show the world. The star, the shepherds, Mary, Joseph, the angels, the wise men, a tiny baby born in a manager would not have changed the world if they had not shown the world the FRUITS of the spirit.

So…on this Second Day of Christmas, I pray that the FRUIT you have chosen to grow on your tree blesses the world and the people around you. After all, that is what Christmas is all about.

“But the FRUIT of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” Gal 5:22

12 Days of Christmas Word:      LEARNING      December 28, 2013

“On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:  three French hens…”

Bibity, bobity, boo…

An English teacher tends to read – A LOT. Former English teachers tend to read – EVEN MORE. I wonder, if I didn’t have to stretch, clean house, jump in the hot tub, throw the ball for the puppy, play cards with the husband (I could go on  ), if I would read all day. Anyway, as I was reading today, I ran into this quote: “Helping the thinker to believe. Helping the believer to think.” ~Dr. Ravi Zacharias It made me think…and I am still thinking.

lamedheadEarlier I read about the Hebrew letter LaMaD. It basically is the alphabet letter for teaching and guidance. In Hebrew – letters have has much power as the word itself and can change the meaning of the word by its presence. It also has a number value. I’m still LEARNING about all this stuff, and am praying that I find a teacher pretty soon, so that I can learn Hebrew a little faster.

I have also LEARNED that Hebrew letters are hard to write. Today I had to copy the letter several times until I was happy with my reproduction. I can’t imagine being a scribe and copying the whole Torah – letter -by – letter…word – by – word. But that is what Christmas is all about: LEARNING. The baby whose birth we celebrated just a few days ago came to help us:

LEARN about a relationship with Father GOD.

LEARN how to talk with Him.

LEARN to recognize the Holy Spirit.

LEARN about forgiveness.

LEARN about grace.

LEARN about life after death.

LEARNING comes in many different forms. It is up to us to find the wisdom behind it and change our lives. That is the gift our “True Love” really gave to us on Christmas.

12 Days of Christmas Word:      RICHES      December 29, 2013

“On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me: four collie birds…” (and yes – the original is “collie” birds which are really blackbirds)

Yubby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dibby dum…

“By wisdom a house is built, by understanding it is established, and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant RICHES.” Prov 24:3-4

A week or so ago, the Power Ball jackpot was worth a bunch of money. Everyone was talking about it on the news, in the coffee shops, in the gas stations, around the water coolers… In most interviews, the people in Santa hats and Christmas sweaters stated what they would buy for themselves, their family and sometimes even a charity. Money seemed to be the key to a very Merry Christmas.

RICHES are often synonymous with money, power, success. Face it, when we read Proverbs 24:3-4, isn’t that our first thought? I know that it used to be mine. But what if… what if money isn’t a synonym at all? What if it is the antithesis of RICHES? After all – money was created by humans. It was and is our currency – a bartering tool that increases or decreases according to human actions. RICHES, however, is very different…RICHES (as described in Proverbs) are different – although they too increase or decrease according to human actionS – RICHES are more valuable than pearls; they are created by a Father as a gift to those He loves without end.

RICHES: the flight of a bald eagle over a lake

RICHES: gardens full of food for the winter

RICHES: a child’s trust as they fall asleep in your lap.

RICHES: family afternoon “game” day 

RICHES: friends listening to friends in their joys and sorrows

RICHES: the light in a spouse’s eyes

RICHES: a Father and Son who built a path towards home for us to walk

Proverbs has been rumored (theorized?) to have been written by a wise teacher (a rabbi?) – an Essene (a Jewish sect?) – even a Watcher (an angel?) – It is up to us to find the wisdom…the gift…the RICHES in everything we do.

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