Tag Archives: Fredrick douglas

Christmas Reflections 2018 (0 Days and Counting)

To all family, friends and world that cares, I am wrapping up the 12 Days of Christmas Countdown. Mocking Stocking and all the others are fini. Yea! (I may complain – but I really do love seeing the results.) Family are in the air and on the freeway and should arrive soon. Life is so blessed.

“…gave tongue to many interesting thoughts, which had frequently flashed through my soul, and died away for want of utterance.” ~Fredrick Douglas.

Words from an article often strike a chord and continue reverberating over and over in my soul. This quote is one of them. A few words swirling around – begging to be remembered – words lost in the fogginess of a million others that pass through on a daily basis – for lack of utterance — or action — dropped into the emptiness of not being thoroughly examined for the wisdom contained in a simple thought.

“…interesting thoughts…”

I bet the shepherds, wisemen, Mary, Joseph or even the animals had lots of interesting thoughts on that blessed night so long ago. Wouldn’t you love to know the first human thoughts that flashed through Baby Jesus’s soul as He took His first breath and opened those newborn eyes on the world He had created? 
I know I would.

Countless thoughts in a world of thoughts that never made their way past the mind of the soul to become concrete words full of wisdom’s gift. Thoughts that “…died away for want of utterance.” What would our world be today if Mary or Joseph had let the words of the angels just flash through their soul and die? Or the shepherds? Or the wisemen? Or even the animals gathered round that night? What would have happened to the blessing of Grace if not one person would have…

“..pondered them in her [their]heart…?”~Lk 2:19 

From the beginning of our creation, Our Father has always sought our thoughts – our choices – in all that He does here on earth. Why in the world He has so much love and confidence in us still humbles and shakes me to the core. He trusts me – and you – to be a person that recognizes the ‘thought that flashes through the soul’. He trusts me – and you – to be a person that will not let that thought die away for “want of utterance”. He loves us so much that He sent His Son to teach us – once again – His thoughts.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty GOD, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”~Is 9:6.

This reflection, written at the beginning of December, for our Christmas letter WHICH never made it into the mail until last week. LOL (Procrastination is not a Habit of Grace). Merry CHRIST-MASS to all of you from our home to yours with love.

[personal images]

VOiCE

“In the circle of successful living, prayer is the hub that holds the wheel together.  Without our contact with God, we are nothing.  With it, we are little lower than angels, crowned with glory and honor.”  Conrad Hilton in his autobiography, Be My Guest.”

This quote was one of the first things I read this morning.  I was surprised.  I had no idea that that Conrad Hilton (think Hilton Hotels) had written an autobiography, or better yet, that he was a prayer warrior.  Believe me, if I had known he had written an autobiography, I would have been using parts of it to teach my students every year as we worked on our autobiography unit.   I often use quotes or  portions of books when I teach: Ben Franklin – Fredrick Douglas – Eli Weisel –  Roald Dahl – Maya Angelou – Taylor Caldwell – various presidents (yes, even President Obama for those of you who are wondering) and, not to mention, pop culture idols (Michael Oher, I Beat the Odds).  Nothing like using the words of successful people to motivate students.  So Conrad Hilton, I will be adding one more book to my bucket list as soon as I finish this.

I know I have said this before, but I still miss teaching.  I liked teaching about writing –  which is weird because my first year of teaching – I remember skipping all the writing portions of the English book.  It made me uncomfortable.  They didn’t teach me how to grade writing in my course work during college…then again…maybe I just wasn’t listening that day.  I wasn’t the greatest student (I think I mentioned that a few times in class – if any of my former students are reading this).  Eventually, it became one of my favorite things to teach…especially when we were talking about VOICE.  Every writer has a voice and watching students develop their voice was always fun.

“Then the LORD spoke to you out of the fire.  You heard the sound of words but saw no form; there was only a voice.”  Deut 4:12

Moses is wrapping things up in Deuteronomy.  He wants to make sure that this tribe of people that he has been in charge of for the past 50 years, remembers what is important when they get to the Promised Land.  He knows they depend on him, and he knows that he won’t be with them as they enter this beautiful new land.  In a sense, Moses is writing his autobiography, just like we write our autobiography every day.  Maybe we don’t physically put a pen to paper and write, but it is recorded in the Book of Life and God hears our voice.  The good news is He is always speaking to us.  “It just – some of them [us] don’t hear so well,”as Racetrack said in Newsies (I think I remembered that quote right).  In the Bible though, David heard His voice real well:

“The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;  the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!”  Ps 29:3-9

God spoke all things into being.  He sent His WORD to save us.  He left a book for us to read His words.  And if we are listening, He still speaks to us.  If we turn off the T.V. – turn off the computer –  put down the book, the phone, the gaming device, and maybe we can find some time to be still.  Can you hear the silence?  Let that slide by and listen to His voice today.  When we are in contact with God, writing our autobiography with Our Father’s Forgiveness, Grace and Love, the inflection changes in our voice – just like it changed the consistency and confidence of Conrad Hilton’s voice.

(Google images)hilton