Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

All hearts come home at Christmas

Memories of Christmases past bring people vibrantly back to life – people who have long since passed to other realms. And any less-than-perfect memories of most of these people have faded and are now surprisingly insubstantial, leaving only their true essence to flicker in holiday candlelight.

Wounded people wound people. It isn’t intentional; it becomes instinctive at an early age. The only loved ones who will ever hurt you deeply are those you love deeply (and who love you to the uttermost limits of their wounded abilities to love).

Forgive them. It frees you to love them again, and it frees them, wherever they are, to find some peace.

You can do this with living people, but it’s usually easier to start with people who have passed on. Forgiveness is key to "the peace that passes all understanding." Start with forgiving yourself for any part you had in the mutual wounding and animosity, whether intentional or unintentional.

If we can all get just this far, imagine the repercussions for a world at war! Swords into ploughshares, lethal missiles into loving missions, a world that knows it must hang together or all in it will eventually perish in the same moment.

The world has too-dangerous weapons to allow our egos to be in charge of anything anymore. Surrender to peace and see where it takes us. We’ve never tried it before worldwide – and yet it’s what we all crave – peace to pursue our lives and care for our loved ones…


Friday, December 21, 2007

Wahoo! We’re only working half a day on Christmas Eve here at On-Hold Concepts (, and we don’t have to get here until 9 am on the 26th! That’s terrific!

The company owner gave me an iPod Shuffle for Christmas, so last night I set it up and downloaded some of my favorite songs from decades past. How the technology allows so many songs on one teensy weensy gadget is beyond me, but I’m enjoying my iPod Shuffle tremendously! There’s a lot more room for songs, but it took me three hours last night just to choose the fifty I chose! I bought a few Johnny Mathis, a few Robert Goulet, a few Elvis, a few Kenny Rogers, some Simon and Garfunkle, and lots of singles by many, many artists – Celine Dion, Dan Fogelberg, Amy Grant, Michael W Smith, Tree 63, Casting Crowns, Josh Groban… and on and on. Whee!!! It’s great to be able to pick and choose off albums, because I usually only like a few of the songs on any one album.

One item got onto the ipod automatically – the Sci-Fi Pulse interview I did with Rico Dostie last year about DeForest Kelley. It’s over an hour long, and needs to come off, because it isn’t something I’d listen to more than once every blue moon (if ever; I saved it to email to others). I can’t figure out how to isolate it so it won’t start playing… but will figure it out soon! In the meantime, I just push "next" whenever it comes around. But it’s taking up a lot of space on my iPod, so I need to find out how to delete it from there!

Yesterday’s holiday party was great fun. It was also a retirement celebration for one of the ladies who worked here for almost twenty years. And we enjoyed a "white elephant" time after a wonderful dinner, which was a lot of laughs. The boss couldn’t be there – that was the only bummer. He was at Seattle-Tacoma airport picking up his 89 year old mother, who had been stranded in the Dallas Airport all night long! She flew from Houston to Dallas and then her flight was grounded. Her trip should have taken three hours – instead, it took over eighteen, so she was very weary and beyond ready to be arrive – and Chuck was right ready to pick her up after such an
unfortunate and unforseen ordeal! Poor gal! I bet she’ll think twice about flying anywhere, ever again, at her age! I’D think about it at MINE!

The Realtor will stop my my condo tomorrow morning at 9. He canceled last night because a storm was supposed to come in. It didn’t… but boy, was it FRIGID this morning. The sheet of ice on my windshield (all over the car, actually) was THICK! It took fifteen minutes of running the car to get the ice to melt away I could see out and drive. That’s unusual around here…

Christmas Day scant hours away now. Wheee!!! Monday night I’ll stay at Jackie’s (it’s a tradition, so we’re all there when the kids awake and dash toward the tree). Just think… next year at Christmas time, God willing, I can sleep in my own bed on Christmas Eve and just walk upstairs when I hear the scuttling of little feet. Now, THAT’S lovely to contemplate!

In case I don’t get to this blog between now and Christmas, please accept my warmest Christmas greetings for a blessed day!



Thursday, December 20, 2007

O Holy Night....

My favorite Christmas songs are O Come Emmanuel and Mary, Did You Know? My mother’s favorite Christmas song was The Little Drummer Boy. (Mary, Did You Know hadn’t been written by the time she died, or I have a sneaking suspicion it would be her favorite, too…)

If you don’t know the words or the songs, you can look them up by doing a search on O Come Emmanuel + lyrics in your search engine. Same with Mary, Did You Know? And if you don’t know the words, please do the search and read them. If you can find a musical rendition on line (they exist; I’ve heard them), listen to them if you haven’t heard them.

Both of them make me cry the first time I hear them every year…

I think The Little Drummer Boy resonated with Mom because she was alive during the Great Depression and knew great need and of so many peoples’ inability to "give" anything of "earthly" value to the Christ Child. When the little drummer boy asks if he should play his drum for baby Jesus, and Mary nods, and he plays, Jesus smiles… that gets me, too. Jesus wants our hearts and our love, because he knows our obedience will follow… and his blessings will follow that, in abundance!

Before I was born again, I thought Christians must live awfully boring lives. Not only boring, but judgmental and nit-picky, too! Boy howdy, was I wrong! I have been more alive during the past nine years than I ever was before, except perhaps as a very small child, 5-10 or so. (I was terribly sick and scrawny until I was five and don’t remember much of those days except for Mom rubbing my back and singing songs to me as I lay on the couch.)

The (practicing) Christians I know are full-out surrendered to letting God’s spirit direct their paths. When I allow that, I bless and am blessed. When I pull back into my "old" self-protective, reactive ways, I suffer, and those around me suffer, too, even though I try to isolate when I’m feeling low. Others suffer because they don’t get the "Christ in me" when I pull back. They always notice and always ask if anything is wrong when I get quiet or uncommunicative.

If you ask almost anyone to describe me in one word, the word is "enthusiastic." That thrills me, because it comes from the word "entheos" which means "God in me." The Jewish people have Emmanuel – "God with us." Christians enjoy Entheos – "God in us" (via the Holy Spirit).

I know that when I give The Holy Spirit carte blanche with my mind, emotions, will, intellect and my personality, people get blessed. And when I get tried, or stressed, or miffed, the "old" me takes over and becomes a giant pill – or can, if I succumb to the temptation.

The great thing about being born again is that the experience of becoming a blessing rather than a bother is so enjoyable that it encourages itself! I can’t stay mad anymore… or bored… or ticked… I start giggling and laughing whenever I decide I have a "right" to be proactively cranky or isolationist. I used to feel "pride" and what I considered "righteous indignation" when I was miffed. Now I realize that my Adamic nature is trying to grab hold of me again, and I respond by thinking about that… forgiving it… and getting bored with it. The process always returns me to ebullience and joy. Every time. Being cranky and judgmental just takes too much energy! Joy gives and gives and gives -- and rarely gives out unless I’m close to exhaustion!

I haven’t had even ten Christmases yet in my life where Jesus was the sole reason for the season. In a way, I’m luckier than most (nominal) Christians who more or less take Jesus for granted. Since He has become my dearest friend, all I can think of is how blessed I am and what a blessing He is. And I know I want to be like him "when I grow up," and as I grow into the fullness of this new experience of being an adopted child of the Most High God.

Christmas is my favorite time of year. And it doesn’t have a thing to do with presents. It has everything to do with Presence!

Thank You, Father God, for loving us so much that you sent your only son to die as a substitute for all of us, who have fallen so far short of our mandate to be your image-bearers and to reflect Your light and love. I try to fathom a love that great. I don’t know of a single terrestrial father who would give his son in the way you gave yours to save all of us from the penalties of our transgressions against Your Word and direction… and even if there were such a father, his son could not accomplish what yours did at Calvary. He canceled our sin debt and threw open the Holy of Holies to each of us so that we can elect to walk with You again in the Garden forever. It had to hurt to do that… it had to be hell to see your son endure all He did to win us back. I will not forget Your love and Your sacrifice. You love us beyond our comprehension or understanding…beyond our own abilities to love! One day we will love as you do. Until then, help us reflect as much of You as our dirty lenses will allow… and clean and polish and de-smudge us in every way possible so that the reflection off us will reveal Your Face and Your Love. It is in the precious Name of Jesus I pray. Amen, amen, and amen!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Can't Imagine Anything Better to Send You Tonight Than This Wonderful Link....

Enjoy and consider...

... how best to bestow your dash!!!
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"We live in a world of theophanies. Holiness comes wrapped in the ordinary. There are burning bushes all around you. Every tree is full of angels. Hidden beauty is waiting in every crumb. Life wants to lead you from crumbs to angels, but this can happen only if you are willing to unwrap the ordinary by staying with it long enough to harvest its treasure."

-- Macrina Wiederkehr