Tag Archives: Christmas

GRATITUDE ATTITUDE 2017 #4

After a day of starting the transition into Christmas season, giving “thanks” comes much easier than when one was a youngster. One is thankful when one can climb the step-stool ladder and not fall. Thankful that when the knee pops, it still manages to stand strong enough to not let one fall off said ladder. Thankful that the inversion board can remind the spinal cord what shape it should be retaining these days. Thankful for a walk-in tub to spend a relaxing hour – – – well almost an hour. Thankful for note from a former student that makes one cry happy tears. Thankful that God is in His heaven and all is well with one’s world.

“And do not imitate this world, but be transformed by the renovation of your minds, and you shall distinguish what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.”~Rm 12:2

Except for devotions, I’ve taken a couple weeks off from “renovating” my mind with “educational, inspirational, motivational” challenging materials. Instead, I’ve been just reading for fun. Reading magazines. Reading fluff books. Reading newspapers. Working a couple puzzles here and there. Reading the back of the Oreo cookie package. (Yes, to all my students and teacher friends who are wondering – I still eat the occasional Oreo…..or two…or three…sigh)

I’ve never figured out why I go in spurts like this. It is as if there is some inner “messenger”, that pings me that it is time to: “READ SERIOUS” “READ FLUFF” “READ-THE-STUPID-BOOKS-THAT-CRITICS-RAVE-OVER” “READ NOTHING” (Well – I am thankful that last one hasn’t happened for a long time, but it has happened periodically in my life.)

But as I was typing that last sentence, I realized that “thankfulness” is ultimate renovation of the mind. Every morning when I wake up, I take a few minutes to stretch (trying not to let the critters know that I am awake because they are very distracting when they are bouncing on me) and express my awe at seeing this world anew all over again. That simple act changes the lens of the eye, making everything brighter – clearer – almost unblemished. Not an easy thing in this world these days.

Thus, while I am thankful for many things tonight, I am especially thankful for the “renovation” of my mind. It is part of the reason, I call this series the “Gratitude Attitude”. Gratitude is an attitude – – – IF we let it be. Thankful for the long line ahead of us for it gives us time to pray for those in front of us. Thankful for the lack of money because it helps us notice the pennies in our pocket. Thankful for the challenges that seem way too hard to accomplish because it makes us question, focus and hopefully – pray.

“You are from God, children, and you have conquered them [challenges/worldly spirits], because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”~1 Jn 4:4 Aramaic in Plain English 

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ADVENT LOVE #5: Blessed Memories

“Its here, in the season of lights,…I want our kids to be able to stand on the front walk with us in the days leading up to Christmas…to drink in the long, crisp winter dusk. I want them to see their tree, in their house shining through their windows. I want them to know the kind of warmth I remember coming home to as a child, the thought of Christmas, with all those lights strung around windows and doors, we might be safe in a greater sort of way. Hopeful, even….”~Drew Perry “Home for the Holidays” p28 Our State Magazine

Step by step – each day – we build a bank of memories. Some are immediately discarded into the back files of non-importance. Others stored in closer files for handy reference. And some – marked with a heart or a star or with a golden highlighter so that it can be pulled up at anytime – in any place – to be reviewed and treasured all over again.

Tonight as I tucked the Grands into sleep, I decided this was one of those memories that would be highlighted with that golden highlighter. After watching Miracle on 34th Street (original) and 2 large bowls of popcorn, we talked about the Christmas Count-down Bell that my daughter decided to continue with her children.

“Each night before Christmas,
After prayers have been said,
Take off a loop and hop into bed.
When Christmas will come,
It’s easy to tell,
For that is the night,
You come to the bell.”

We would write the poem in the bell and decorate it – sometimes wildly. Then a colorful construction paper chain finished the bell and allowed us to remember how many days we had to wait for Christmas. And somehow – the poem became ingrained in my important memory files forever.

Tonight the conversation took on a life of its own. Oldest Grand said, “I sing my prayers to God in my sleep.” Younger Grand said, “Yeah, at night, God and I talk a lot.” I said – “I don’t know if I sing, but I talk to God a lot as well. He doesn’t care when you talk to Him; He just wants to hear your voice because He LOVES you. Sometimes, I yak at Him in my dreams, but more often, I just talk to Him in the morning and at night and when some crazy person pulls in front of me because they wanted the parking space that I was getting ready to use.” The Grands laughed…I did too, but not so much when the crazy person cut me off.

“And let us pay attention to one another in the encouragement of LOVE and of good works.”~Heb 10:24

I alternately prayed for that crazy person and stomped my feet all the way into the grocery store . Then I saw one of the cashiers that I always look for when I get in line. She is bent over in so many ways that it hurts to watch. Yet, probably because we are close to being the same age and I understand pain in the joints, we always talk as she checks me out. She leans heavily on the counter as she picks things up from the cart and over the scanner. When she moves, she uses a cart just to move from the cash register to the office. Somehow, her work ethic drove that crazy person and all the other stupidness of this world completely into the discard memory pile. I pray for her tonight just as I pray from the Grands, my family – here or far away – and all the names on my war room wall – which seems to be growing at warp speed.

“You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
Trust in the LORD always,
for the LORD GOD is the eternal Rock.”~Is 26:3-4

Christmas memories can be warm and fuzzy – my first bike – my first Barbie – – – they can be scary and sad – a father having a 2nd heart attack on Christmas – a Christmas break 4 years later when I kissed him goodbye for the last time – – – holy and sacred – communion in a small upper room on Christmas Eve – learning to sing the mother’s role in Amahl and the Night Visitors just in case I was needed – Candle light service in my childhood church with my mother on one side and my children and Hubby on the other…

Blessed with peace-filled LOVE. Blessed with memories. [google image]

ADVENT LOVE #2: LIGHTS OF LOVE

“Every time we open our mouths and speak, we are eiter saying let there be light or let there be darkness.”~Glennon Doyle Melton.

God said, “Light Be!”

He created us in His image. We get to choose…light or darkness…

I love Christmas lights. It is fun to take the girls out at night and walk a short distance with colorful lights twinkling all around. Reminds me of my childhood – decorated door with red twinkling bells – Christmas display contests tucked beneath the boughs of a tall pine tree – and all the times my son called them “miracles”.

The littlest Grand was excited when I picked him up from kindergarten. He’d made a present for his sister and couldn’t wait to put it under the tree. He was sure she would want to tear the paper off right away. As we drove, we giggled and stopped – as usual – to look at the goat farm on the way. They weren’t doing much today but two were close to the fence, so we stayed for awhile. Lucky for us – no cars were following us – so it was easy-peasy.

For the past couple of years, I’ve noticed out of the corner of my eye, a little nativity set up on the same road. I’ve never seen it at night, but when we stopped today to look at it, there are a few cords, and I think that I may have to return sometime during the early evening hours to see what it looks like at night.

“…and behold, that star which they had seen in The East went before them, until it came and stood over where The Boy was.”~Matt 2:9

The Grand and I were impressed. Simple. Run down shack that had obviously seen much better times. The Grand spotted the star high above us that I hadn’t even noticed until he pointed it out. A sheep nestled close to the manger, but there was no baby yet. We were glad since our winter coats were not enough to block the chill in the air.

The nativity.
A baby in a manager.
A star over it all.

Abba opened the darkness then – He opens the darkness now – not with a fire-ball – but a single star’s light. Nothing spectacular shouting, “Here is my son” but instead a candle in the vastness – – – bright enough to open eyes of those who seek – – – dim enough to ignore. But – if they choose to follow the Light – the Light of Grace grows and grows and grows and grows – – – in HOPE, PEACE, JOY and LOVE – – – until it is so bright that the darkness fades away.

“The people who sat in the darkness have seen The Great Light, and those who were sitting in the region and in the shadow of death, to them The Light has dawned.”~Matt 4:16

Advent Peace #1: Sing a New Song

Tonight, after driving home from my daughters’, I made myself a salad and sat down to find a Christmas movie. The movie was to entertain me while I work on the Grands’ Christmas stockings. For whatever reason, my TV remote didn’t log all the numbers correctly and up popped Christmas music that had me sitting back in my chair and ignoring everything else.

Christmas Under The Stars 2016 at BYU was beyond just a seasonal show – it was a blessing.

Michael W. Smith – Amy Grant – Jordan Smith – BYU orchestra and choir – – –

Really? Who could ask for more on the first day of the Peace Advent?

“Sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth.” — Psalm 96:1

Jewish tradition teaches that when the Messiah establishes his kingdom on the earth, the world will sing a new song. Not only will it sing a new song – there will be a new note added to the musical scale. The note will signify to all Creation that balance has been restored. God, man and all creation will walk in the garden together once again.

As Christians we wait to sing that new song through Christ’s return. A Sovereign LORD bringing peace upon this war-torn earth. A Shepherd who has carried us through those wars – who wrapped his body around us, protecting his lambs from the worst of the arrows – who will continue to carry each of us close to His heart as He returns a peaceful balance to the Garden He created.

As we light the second candle of peace. We remember Christ in His first Advent, and we celebrate the second Advent that is just around the corner. We may not know the specific times, but we know to watch the signs that He taught us during His first Advent.

In his devotions for the 2nd week of Advent, Max Lucado quotes Frederick Buechner: “It is He who made us, and not we ourselves, made us out of His peace to live in peace, out of His light to dwell in light, out of his Love to be above all things loved and loving.” (p161)

As I sang those old carols tonight (and some new ones)– because who can possible watch a show with Christmas songs and not sing along??? – right??? I loved finding my voice again, and the memories those songs brought with them. But oooo…with each turn of the earth, I am getting more excited about singing that new Advent song. And of course – that sets of that crazy pondering latch in my head as I try to imagine exactly what that new note will sound like – ? – hmmmm – will all music then be re=written? – – – was there an 8th note before the fall?? when – – – -????

“O Zion, messenger of good news,
shout from the mountaintops!
Shout it louder, O Jerusalem.b
Shout, and do not be afraid.
Tell the towns of Judah,
“Your God is coming!”
Yes, the Sovereign LORD is coming in power.
He will rule with a powerful arm.
See, he brings his reward with him as he comes.
He will feed his flock like a shepherd.
He will carry the lambs in his arms,
holding them close to his heart.
He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young.”~Is 40:9-11 [google image]

#perhapstoday #singanewsong

Because of Christmas #10: Crown to Cross

Excitement is the day after Thanksgiving. It is the day to put all the fall things away. Play Christmas music all day. Do several loads of laundry. Plunk out Christmas carols on the Clavinova. Walk the girls and wave at neighbors. Get soaking wet while trying to make dirty snow turn white on several tiny fake houses.

Impossible, right? I was afraid so. When I first looked at them, I was pretty sure the paint would be coming out and this would be a several long days’ process. That was depressing, and I was pretty sure I didn’t have enough paint or time or will to accomplish that project.

“In the beginning the Word already existed.
The Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God
God created everything through him,
and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,a
and his life brought light to everyone.”~Jn 1:1-4

As I was debating my strategy for making all houses new, I began to wonder if Elohim ever felt the same way? Which led me to hitting myself in the head and saying, “Duh!” Of course, He did. He gave up His crown and took on a body just like mine. The Creator of all things left behind His crown, didn’t even get a cradle in which to rest
this new body to become human – like us.

Love. Wonder. Walking. Talking. Anger. Silliness. Hormones. Temptation. Frustration. Pain. Death of a parent, pet, friend… Political upheaval. Torture. Death.

I carried my little houses outside, hooked up the fire-hose nozzle, applied dish soap liberally and sat down to wait for the soap to do its work. It was a great day to be outside. Warm. Sunny. Birds singing. A praying mantis sitting on the railing of our deck. The girls lifted their noses and watched the birds come to the feeders while I pondered how God made “…all things new”.

“Instead, he gave up his divine privileges;
he took the humble position of a slave
and was born as a human being.
When he appeared in human form,
he humbled himself in obedience to God
and died a criminal’s death on a cross.”~Phil 2:7-8

Amazing. I whine about a couple hours of work to make fake snow look white again on little houses for a fake village. He “humbled himself unto death” to wipe away the sooty sin covering His real creations carry. Best of all, He is still sitting there, waiting for Elohim to signal the cleansing complete by the blasts of the trumpet.

Lucky for me, His plan is so much better than my own. Although – I have to admit, my little fake houses don’t look too bad tonight and tomorrow – I will decide where to place them in my own little fake kingdom.

“But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
On your own front door.”~Meredith Wilson, 1951

This song is 65 years old. I know that because I was born in 1951, and as the world has probably figured out by now – great songs and people were born in that year. However – the best year ever was the one when Christ gave up his crown and began his journey to the cross. [google images]

25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – CORNERSTONE

csscscs“Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.”~Is 28:16

I try not to make decisions hastily.  After all, decisions are just plain hard to make. Worse – if you don’t make a decision – you are still making a decision.  So one way or another – the decision is made, and you are responsible for it.

Long ago, when my hubby and I were newly married, we bought land from his parents with a little help from my mom,  We built a home out of two old barns.  It did not get finished before winter hit us.  Drafty since there was not insulation on the south side (hubby’s famous never-to-be-forgotten words ‘Wind doesn’t blow from the South’), burning green wood to try to keep warm, hauling water from a near by creek and using a porta potty. January  hit us with snow storm after snow storm and a month of  below zero temperatures .  Oh – and did I mention, we had done all of this while I was pregnant with our daughter who was born at the beginning of January? Needless to say, by the start of February, we were making another life-changing decision. We moved away.

fb86e874721ac94b848da80a8d6fe074Rabbi Yeshua went out into the wilderness before He made decisions.  As a Son of Man, he sat on the foundation that he had created and prayed. Likewise, I just feel like I need to plop my butt on my cornerstone where I can sit and ponder all the pros and cons of this decision-making process.  So yesterday I drove to the house and land we are trying to buy and sat. Bible open. Prayers on my lips.  Struggling to still my ever present internal ‘me’ voice so that I can hear His voice.

If you’ve been following this blog, you already know that we’ve been trying to make a decision – build or not build? Historically, January seems to be a critical month for us.  Maybe it is based on being married in January.  Maybe it is just the way Abba tries to get our attention, shaking our earth, reaching out in a repeating pattern until we notice and humble ourselves. Whatever it is, December/January seems to bring enough small quakes that we end up adjusting our path. We sit on that foundational stone giving thanks before we change our path once again.

Our biggest quandry we have right now is that we have figured out that the land we own is not our favorite type of land.  We like hardwoods around us. We like creeks.  We like quiet, off-the-beaten-path neighborhoods.  Our land is basically none of those things.  We could have a great house if we build —– just not where we want it.

We’ve found a couple houses on the kind of land we like.  A little woods, a little water, a little place for the girls to run. The houses are not our dream house (more like – NOT EVEN CLOSE), but with a little elbow grease and prayer, they could be exactly what we need.  We made an offer on one, but so far, it is in bank foreclosure limbo of “No way, Jose.”  The other house is empty and not even listed for sale because it is really lost in the big-government-tarp-monies-foreclosure limbo.  errr….

“The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone…”~Ps 118:22

God placed a Conerstone in Judah.  A tried stone.  A precious stone.  A foundational stone.

I’ve been thinking a bunch about Mary and Joseph after the birth of Yeshua. An angel visits them and says (basically) – ‘Get out of here. Don’t return home. Go to Egypt until the all-clear is sounded’.  Definitely that was a decision making quake to me.  Talk about faith – talk about a lot of decisions that had to be made quickly – talk about standing on a Cornerstone.

  • What road would they take?
  • How would they travel?
  • Where would they stay?
  • How would they live?
  • How in the world do you travel with a baby or a toddler (depending upon what version and belief formulated about the arrival of the wisemen).

Speaking of which, I guess it was “lucky” those wisemen brought some gold, frankincense and myrrh. I’m relatively sure that God knew they would need travel monies and enough extra to get a carpenter back in business in a foreign land. They were as homeless as I feel right now.  I’ve read this part of the story all my life, and have never even blinked twice about what it meant for this young family – not even when I was in the same position almost 35 years ago.  Now I’m blinking – more than twice.

I think this is why Our Father has been putting this part of the nativity story  on my heart so often.  In twenty-eight days, we will be pulling up stakes and walking a path towards our own Egypt.  Even if I’m not a young mother anymore, I still feel like her thoughts are traveling through me as she wondered about where  her Father God was sending them and what kind of a life they would establish in this new place. Yet – she wrapped up her child, held the hand of her husband and stepped onto the path towards Egypt.  She absolutely trusted the Cornerstone that she carried with her.

I sit a little longer on His Cornerstone today, reading the WORD and praying a little more. The quakes never happen when I am sitting on this Cornerstone or if they do, I don’t notice them.  The foundational stone sits solidly underneath me, and I know, just like the Holy Family knew, that we have nothing to dread. We just need to pack up and set our feet on His path and trust where He is sending us.

“And you are built up upon the foundation of the Apostles and of the Prophets, and he is The Head of The Corner of the building-Yeshua The Messiah.”~Ep 2:20

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – SON

547461_479958362055918_334086216_nWhen you have a sniffy, stuffy, hacking, achy, feverish, stiff neck type of cold, you don’t FEEL like writing much – or sitting – or laying down – or doing much of anything. You don’t FEEL like reading devotions. You don’t FEEL like reading the WORD. You don’t FEEL the Christmas spirit. You don’t FEEL- – – – period. You just try to get through the next minute without hacking up a lung or staring off into space wondering if you have enough tissue boxes to get through until you FEEL like going to the store.

That is – – – -until you wake up feeling sorry for yourself and check FB. One of my former students reached out and reposted a meme that I had posted on his page 3 years ago. It was the best medicine of the day – despite crying a few buckets over his thoughtful blessing. It reminded me, that even though I felt too miserable last night to figure out how to compose a sentence, Our Father was watching and inspiring His messenger to get me going in the morning.

Amazing how that works.  The cold isn’t better – but the day certainly was.

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”~Is 9:6

jesus_heart_prince_of_peace_king_kings_emmanuel_jehovah_white_bkgdLike usual. common events start me thinking and wondering. Since Yeshua was totally a physical being, did he have colic as a baby? How did he deal with colds – any illnesses? Sprained ankles? A sick mommy or daddy or family members or friends? What was it like for him as a SON  to watch his physical father die and not be able to heal him because “his time had not yet come”? As a child-SON did he know who he was already or did it slowly dawn on Him? Could I sit at his feet for an eternity asking questions, or would I eventually run out of them?

“The Angel answered and said to her, “The Spirit of Holiness shall come and the power of The Highest shall rest upon you, therefore he who shall be begotten in you shall be holy and he shall be called the Son of God.””~Lk 1:35

Had I followed the star to worship at the manager with the shepherds, angels, wise men and animals, how would I have been able to leave? How did Simeon and Anna walk away, knowing they had held this precious Son of God and Son of Man in their arms?

Totally God,

Totally Man.

Wrapped in the swaddling clothes of an infant SON.

“But that you may know that The Son of Man has authority in the earth to forgive sins, I say to this paralytic, “Stand up, take your pallet and go to your house.””~Matt 9:6

Blessings of this world seem to be few and far between these days. Yet – I don’t think they are that rare at all. Rabbi Yeshua promised to send the Helper to help us. He promised to answer the door if we knocked. He promised that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, miracles are there for us.

And best yet – He never breaks a promise! He might not answer the way we think He should, but He always does.

mary joseph Jesus 2, 7/10/07, 9:28 PM, 8C, 7930x9303 (0+1662), 138%, Custom, 1/20 s, R36.3, G14.9, B32.7

mary joseph Jesus 2, 7/10/07, 9:28 PM, 8C, 7930×9303 (0+1662), 138%, Custom, 1/20 s, R36.3, G14.9, B32.7

Today, the cold still has its crummy fingers around my body. I’m still coughing, feverish, hacking and washing my hands a million times, but believe me, I’m putting on my armor,and am already healed and rejoicing. I may still not know where I am living 30 days from now, or if I will be dealing with another cold, but what I do know is that there was a tiny baby born in a small village. He was a SON of Man but also was a SON of God. That dark night was broken by the Light of a Star and the world changed forever.Repristination began with grace soon to follow. ‘Blessings!Be!

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – THE GATE/WAY

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Since July, we’ve had this plan.  Sell the house and build a new one on our 4 acres.  It was a great plan.  Almost immediately, we had a few calls.  One visit later, we had a buyer.  They rented month-to-month so they were the perfect buyer for a couple that wanted to build a house.  We were smiling from ear to ear.

“The heart of a son of man plans his ways and Lord Jehovah orders his steps.”~Prov 16:9

It was then that we started to see some rocks in our path.  We navigated around one and then stumbled over a few others that lay half buried.  Wasn’t until we came to a boulder that was as wide as the path, that we completely stopped and took a step back.  Occasionally, it is just one of us that notices that huge stony thing that is causing a problem, and then all bets are off as to how we deal with it and get around it.  However, when both of us notice it – at approximately the same time – we tend to know it is a “G-d thing” and we better be paying attention or start to look for an entirely different path.

So for the past two weeks, we have been considering the boulder in our path.  We knew we couldn’t go over it easily.  We knew that it would take some large equipment to move it off the path. We knew that it was in our path for a reason. We also knew that Someone had designed a path just for us without the boulder. So – – – we began to look for the GATE/WAY.

“I AM THE LIVING GOD, The Gate; if anyone will enter by me, he shall live and shall go in and out and shall find the pasture.”~Jn 10;9

Pastures are always nice. That’s what I love about Our Father.  He always provides a GATE/WAY for us to get to the pasture.  The GATE/WAY has always been there because He knew before we did that we would need one.

2000+ years ago, He placed the GATE/WAY in plain sight for all to see and access. Animals gathered round the manger. Angels sang songs around a bright star. Shepherds came out of the hills.  Wisemen traveled from afar.  A new mother and father kneeled in humble adoration and awe. The world was blessed on that morning long ago.  One step.  Lift the latch and the GATE/WAY swings open to the Father who waits patiently on the other side.

images (3)A little observation.

A little searching.

A little faith.

And – a whole lot of awe!

“Jesus answered, “I am the WAY and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really know me, you will knowb my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”~ John 14:6-7

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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – TEACHER

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoTFpwHJoAjesusourjewishsaviour

The past couple of days have been filled with some teary nights. In fact the past week has been filled with some sporatic outbursts – here and there. This normally would not be a good thing, but this week has been different. It has been as if My Father has been lighting candles on the menorah within me for each day of Chanukah. And – – – as my dad said so many years ago, “…most of that light comes through the children.”

“Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us.”~Titus 2:78

This past week several of my former students have shared their memories with me about our times together. The candle they lit in this fogginess of our housing dilemma has been a blessing. A gentle light just bright enough to see the next step, trusting in a path I can not see clearly enough for myself without their gift.
“You then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?”~Rm 2:22a
The last candle of Chanukah was lit today. Since it is also the last week before Christmas break, not many students had homework, so only my 8th graders needed some time. Got to admit, it is still my favorite age group to teach. Grown-up enough for serious conversations and yet, even the most “hardened” ones still have dreams in their eyes.
Work was finished quickly, and we spent most of the time talking. Talking about books (they had just finished the Giver). Singing a Chanukah song from a child of a mixed linage (she learned it so that she could get her Chanukah gifts) while we shared a cookie she brought as a gift. Listening about the drama of the latest cheer competition. Laughing about music notes that the trumpet player could play but not name.
Wow – I have missed these types of encounters with my students, so my candle burned just a little brighter with joy.
Being a teacher is never easy. Low pay, Lengthy in-services. Long hours. Life hazards. (Believe me – between projectile vomiting, jumping bugs, germs, angry encounters (luckily for me – only a few – yes indeed – teaching can be hazardous). Most of us chose this job for one reason or another – not knowing what all it entailed. Yet – there is One who knew all of the bad stuff that went with the job description and still volunteered.Yeshua teaching
 
“You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am”~Jn 13:13
I have thought about these teaching verses in the WORD often during my career. Each one providing a little more light on the kind of teacher I wanted to be. While I did have some wonderful teachers that served as role models for me, it was a small town Rabbi that truly held me captive in the way He taught.
“Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.”~Jn 3:2b
Those verses and a few others have kept me striving to try harder, to search longer, to pray constantly. As I listened this week to Syrian Christians express their willingness to die for this teacher,I pondered these verses again.
  • Can I not try a little harder?
  • Give a little more?
  • Pray a little more often?
I am broken once again in the simpleness of the story.  A man born long ago. Humble beginnings in a cold stable and surrounded by animals and excrement. Swaddling clothes instead of a ton of onesies and a multiple outfits.
A single candle lighting the darkness. A rabbi who walked with his students A teacher willing to sacrifice all for those who followed in His steps. A professor who waits to see if we have the courage to seek His wisdom and follow His steps into the unknown.
“Teacher, we know that you are true and do not care about anyone’s opinion. For you are not swayed by appearances, but truly teach the way of God”~Mk 12:14
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25 NAMES OF CHRISTMAS – KING OF KINGS

When I was little, my mom sang “Birthday of a King” in multiple churches all over our area of OH.   At Christmas I still miss hearing her sing it as I played the piano so that she could pratice it.  Christmas memories are beyond special.

On that same thought note,  a poem strikes that same chord within me, and when I find a special one, I fall in love with poetry all over again. Since this is a rather long one, I will not write much except to say that the tiny infant whose birth we will soon celebrate in a hrist-mass is the King of…”all [my] heart and… all [my] soul and…all [my] strength and…all [my] mind;” Blessings!Be! in this Christ-mass season for He is King of Kings.Babyjesu

“Christ’s Nativity”~ Henry Vaughan (1621-1695)

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
Awake! awake!
The Sun doth shake
Light from his locks, and all the way
Breathing perfumes, doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th’ wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs
A concert make;
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt’ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn
And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as
Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him,
O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth.

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