Tag Archives: Glorious Impossible

CHRISTMAS PLANS (1 Day and Counting)

“Christmas is that moment when GOD in His unconditional love stepped out of Heaven to come to Earth so that one day we might step out of Earth and into Heaven for all eternity.” ~ Rev Charles Stanley.

This quote may not be exactly what Rev. Stanley said this morning, but I think it is close enough. As I was working on the infamous “mocking stocking” and being “fed” my bread for the day, I had to totally stop what I was doing and do some fast writing. I had tried to just listen, but that inner nudge kept knocking me on the head – over and over. So I stopped, picked up a pencil, and began to write some notes.

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of GOD…”~1 Peter 5:6

It is hard when chaos is swirling, plans are laid out and time is short for me to surrender to that inner (sometimes painful) nudge. The good thing about being an elder in this life, I’ve learned not ignore those nudges – well – – – mostly – – – at least – – – I think.

Tonight,, I still managed to get everything on my list done. Go, me! Better yet – I found time to sing along with the Christmas carols on TV, write a few devotional notes, and feel the Holy Spirit quicken the heart that had not been focused on Him into some attentive, meditative prayer. Sure enough, when I returned to my own to-do list, the stomach didn’t hurt with anxiety. The fingers worked easier with the tiny stitches. A new picture – a better picture – formed in my little creative endeavor. Best of all, all the stockings – even the mocking stocking – are finished. Well – mostly – a few tiny details tomorrow, and that mocking stocking will be hung by the chimney with care.

Glorious impossibles happen in humble obedience.

Tomorrow night, I will watch Amahl and the Night Visitors (my all time favorite Christmas movie) and will let that bittersweet memory Christmas memory swirl over me. 

🎄Sitting on the floor as we watched Amahl.
🎄A very small TV screen.
🎄Plastic horses scattered around me.
🎄Parents sitting on the couch or in their chairs.
🎄A huge Christmas tree with bubble lights.
🎄An angel at the top with blond hair.

“Amahl, Amahl…”

Tomorrow, I will listen to the laughter of my leaves of three all gathered under one roof again and think of my oldest son far off enjoying a wonderful vacation with his family by a warm ocean. Breaking bread, singing carols, making a few crafts, listening to the jibber-jabber of the Grands. waiting for the sound of Santa’s bells in the distance which will tell me when it is time to go home and wait for the Glorious impossible.

Reading Luke Chapter 2.
Watching Midnight Mass from the Vatican.
Standing outside for as I say my Christmas prayers.
Waiting and watching and listening for when He returns 
Another Glorious Impossible.

“‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.”~Rev 4:8b   

CHRISTMAS LOST – (3 Days and Counting)

It is 8:30 P.M. It is dark, cold, rainy and miserable on the shortest day of the year. Worse – our cat is out there somewhere – missing and the house feels empty. Even the lab girls are antsy.

You have to understand – Shadow-Spooky-Sparkle has three names for a reason. She jumps at her own shadows, spooks herself just sitting on a lap and sparkles all the time with little white hairs that dot her coat. Being outside for any real length of time is unusual. Being out after dark? Whoa!

It is 8:35. We just finished another Christmas movie, so it is my turn to go to the door and hollow “Kitty-kitty” like a crazy woman. I don’t think anyone else in our neighborhood hollers for their pets as loud as we do. When they are missing, we holler. We walk the property. We are peer over the edges of the drainage ditches and into the culverts.with our flashlights.

Seeking the lost is serious business.

“For The Son of Man has come to save whatever has been lost.”~Matt 18:11

Good news comes on the darkest of nights – especially when it is cold, rainy and miserable. So too, it came tonight at 8:40. I called one more time, and Kitty-kitty answered from the darkness. She heard my voice, mewed loudly from a distance and came running up the porch steps. And – like the true prodigal story, a tuna feast was thrown in her honor.

The lost has been found.

“My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow Me.”~Jn 10:27

I’m not sure why this was the important thing to write about tonight – especially when Christmas is just 3 days away. But like Mary and Joseph found out, life experiences happen no matter what time of year it is. We tend to think the special days should follow the schedule of happiness and joy. It doesn’t. My father had his second heart attack one Christmas morning. A treasure chest memory of a different kind.

That first Christmas was just the beginning of new life – figuratively and literally . A special, dark, cold and miserable night when GOD became man in a place that most people find way too smelly to spend even a few minutes – let alone a place to give birth to GOD was the first lesson on modeling the way we should live our lives.

Mary and Joseph became servants to what Father had called them to do. No comforts of home and family. Only faith in the promises given them and in the scriptures that they had buried in their hearts their entire lives. He spoke. They heard His voice. They called out from the darkness and began to run towards Him.

The glorious impossible happened when God was born so long ago.

Christmas is only 3 days away. The lost are still out there, and He is still calling. He is using His flashlight. Peering over the edges of cliffs. Looking deep into the culverts. Walking through the woods. Calling over and over as He waits for His beloved to hear His voice and come running for the feast He has prepared.

“I wonder as I wander out under the sky,
How Jesus the Savior did come for to die.
For poor on’ry people like you and like I…
I wonder as I wander out under the sky.”  Ron-DiCianni-The-Promise-Full [Ron DiCianni artwork]

CHRISTMAS JOY (4 Days and Counting)

When it is the last day before Christmas break in a small Christian school, there is joy everywhere. Parents pop in. Presents magically appear on desks. Hugs wrapped around on the outside squiggle their way in and wrap themselves around the heart as well. Carols bounce off the walls while the story of a baby in the manger is told in a variety of ways, keeping the kids laughing and dancing and prancing and joyfully praising (and snowballs flying).

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.”~Lk 2:10

What a day to put in the treasure chest of memories and rejoice over and over whenever I pull it out and hold it again. Emotions fade away, but that core of truth always remains. In the same way great joy came that night so long ago, and I am sure the shepherds pulled that memory out from time to time to marvel over the core of what they saw and heard. Turing it in front of them. Questioning their sanity. Wondering at the blessing.

👼Do not be afraid.
👼Good news.
👼Great joy.
👼People of good will.
👼Baby in a manger.

Yup. Heard the angels. Heard the words. Saw the baby. Saw the parents. Scratched the head – maybe the beard. Blinked the eyes a few times. Went home to sleep. Couldn’t sleep. Counted sheep. Told the family. Family made some snide comments, but hugs got passed all the way around. Went back to bed after prayers had been said. After all, what does one do after a glorious impossible miracle?

Lucky for us. Luke wrote that glorious impossible miracle down. I often wonder if Luke asked Mother Mary about baby Yeshua? Or did he know one of the shepherds? One of the kings? Seems to me, lots of miracles took place just so we could continue to read about it 2000+ years later.

Glorious impossible miracles that just keep multiplying.

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.”~1 Pt 1:8-9

When the students come to our small library, we have story time, pick out new books, and usually make a bookmark. Not sure how bookmarks became a thing, but now the kids ask what will be on the bookmarks before they even come to library. So this week, I made bookmarks for them. They giggled. They laughed. They wanted more than one.

After all – 
🎅Santa is coming to town.
Jesus is coming to town.
🎄Seeing them together brings joy to girls and boys – of all ages.
👼Good news.
👼Great joy
👼To all people of good will.

As the angels sing of Glorious Joy we get to see the Glorious Impossible “as it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be…”

Four days and counting – – – wheeeeeeeeee….. 

   [Greg Olsen artwork]

THE BLEAK MID-WINTER CHRISTMAS (5 Days and Counting)

“In the bleak mid-winter
Frosty wind made moan;
Earth stood hard as iron,
Water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow,
Snow on snow,
In the bleak mid-winter
Long ago.”

When I wake up with these words drifting through my mind – even before the mind is really functioning and prayers are only beginning to form – I pretty much know what the beginning of my Christmas writings will be.

Then logic kicks in high gear. I have lots to do. I don’t even remember the rest of the lyrics in totality. Really – just a phrase here and there.
“…water like a stone…” 
“…snow on snow…” 
“…long ago.”
It’s not even winter solstice yet – let alone – “mid-winter”. What can I possible say that is better than what Christina Rossetti wrote back in the late 1800’s?

“Our God, heaven cannot hold Him
Nor earth sustain,
Heaven and earth shall flee away
When He comes to reign:
In the bleak mid-winter
A stable-place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty —
Jesus Christ.”

Every verse a treasure chest of simplicity, wisdom and beauty. Another carol that encapsulates the picture of a lonely winter night into a glorious impossible of His – “The LORD GOD ALMIGHTY – JESUS CHRIST’s” – return.

Remembering the past to honor the prophecy. She intertwines them verse after verse. In our days of blatant – in your face – words, this carol paints pictures of what was – and is – and is to come. The Glorious Impossible. 
“A breastful of milk…”
“…Cherubim and seraphim
Thronged the air…”
“…But only His Mother
Worshipped the Beloved with a kiss…”

But it is always the last verse that catches in my thoughts. These were the words that awakened me this morning. These were the words that have followed me from Christmas to Christmas. These are the words – day after day – month after month – season after season – year after year – that continue to guide my life. The Glorious Impossible continues.

What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a Shepherd
I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man
I would do my part,
Yet what I can I give Him,
Give my heart.”