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Blogger, Christ-follower, Encourager, Friend, Husband, Dad

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Night Before Christmas 2010

I wrote this for a Christmas banquet about a week ago and have shared it at two others since then. Since I have been asked to share it online, I thought this would be a good venue. Merry Christmas!

'Twas the night before Christmas and all over town
All of the Baptists were about to bed down
The church family had gathered for the candlelight service
"Watch the wax and the carpet!" (it made the custodian so nervous)
The songs had been sung and the hugs had been shared
The youth pastor was late, but nobody cared
The pastor's short message was so warm and tender
That when the deacons woke up, they proclaimed it a winner
So, now everyone had made it back to the house
And that pastor was all snuggled up with his spouse
When all of a sudden, with eyes open wide
The leaped to the window and gawked right outside
(Now you have to be careful with too much outside gawking
You don't want to get the neighbors to talking)
But they gawked and they gawked 'til they got cricks in their necks
'Cause right there in their front yard, old Santa had wrecked
The reindeer were wondering and starting to graze
And Santa just sat right there in a daze
He looked like his travels had worn him down to a nub
As he looked back at them from out of the shrubs
Mrs Pastor said, "Let's help him, we're all that he's got!"
But the pastor was thinking, "Well, I guess the snuggling's shot"
But he pulled himself together and brought Santa inside
They cleared off the sofa (You know that old fella's kinda wide)
They gave him some coffee and cleaned up his clothes
They gathered the reindeer (even the old red nose)
And after a few minutes of loving care
Santa's spirits revived like a breath of fresh air
He jumped up and said, "Friends, I've gotta fly!
There's many miles to go before this night passes by"
But he looked at that ministry couple with love in his eyes
And said, "I need to tell you something and this is no lie.
Kids the world over are pondering my flight
But in your life, I saw Jesus tonight
You didn't ask for presents, you just showered me with love
And I think we all know that it comes from above
So, before I go, pastor, I can say it's not a reach
To see where your heart is, because you practice what you preach."

May the same be said of all of us who proclaim that Jesus is the reason for the season. Let us not just be about words, but let our words be validated by loving action.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

We are Expecting!

It seems like only yesterday that we were calling our family and friends to let them know that we were parents-to-be. How exciting! And when that precious little girl showed up late that May evening I could not have imagined ever being more proud and happy.

And then we blinked. And we blinked again. And twelve days from now that little girl will be 22 years old. And two days ago I held the video camera (and my breath) while Joseph Dad asked my baby girl to be his wife.

Nineteen months ago he asked my permission to date her. Five weeks ago he asked my permission to marry her.

Where has the time gone? Who is this old guy that looks back at me from the mirror?

And now it seems we are expecting again ... a son-in-law. And I cannot imagine being more proud and happy.

Friday, April 2, 2010

What's So Good about it?

Good Friday. A makeup school day here in Azle, TX, after our snowbound day in mid-February. A mandatory no-pay furlough for employees of the city of Fort Worth, our big city neighbor trying to make up for a multimillion dollar budget shortfall. My guess is that today's circumstances don't qualify as "good" for any of those folks.

Rewind about two thousand years and see an innocent man brutally executed by a corrupt government pressured by religious extremists (as they might be called today) on a dark Friday on the outskirts of Jerusalem. My guess is that not many associated with him were thinking it was a "good" day.

My friend Mike Bellah blogged this morning about the idea of "Good Friday" and got my writer's juices flowing. I reflected back a few years ago to a friend who referred to one of his two jobs (the one that he really didn't enjoy that much) as his "GOOD" job. "GOOD," he said, "stands for Get Out Of Debt." It wasn't something he wanted to spend the rest of his life doing. It wasn't something that he wanted to make a career of. It was something for which he had a particular skill that allowed him to make additional income to eliminate the debt that was keeping him from wholeheartedly pursuing his calling and passion.

Good Friday. Get Out Of Debt Friday. I think that is what it means for me. It was the day that Jesus Christ paid the overwhelming, unmanageable, un-payable debt of my sin against God. As a Christ-follower, I love Resurrection Sunday. I love that death did not have the final say for Jesus and because of that, it won't have the final say for me either. But without Get Out Of Debt Friday, there would be no Empty And Shunned Tomb, Eternally Risen Sunday.

Jesus paid it all. All to Him I owe.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Oldies Station

Not long ago I began receiving word that some of my email newsletters were arriving as a jumbled mess of either "computer speak" or "Greek" depending on who was commenting. I couldn't figure out what was going on because it looked ok on my computer. Having exhausted all my technical know-how (in about 2.7 minutes), I called one of my geek support friends.

His answer: have them print it and fax it to you so you can see what they are seeing.

My response: Fax! That is so 1990's!

In the world I often operate in, email is becoming old technology. Blogs ... Texting ... IM ... Tweets ... Facebook. I think I am so cool. And then they play my music on the oldies station and I think, "Wait a minute! That's good stuff! Don't relegate me to the oldies station." I think my fax machine feels the same way.

Maybe some other things I have feel the same way too ... my hymnal ... my Bible ... my wife (just kidding about that one). There is a lot of life left in them. There is a lot of good left in them. There is a lot of wisdom, a lot of hope, a lot of grace, a lot of the presence of the One who is called the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9,13,22).

Maybe that's why some wise (and probably chronologically enhanced) person came up with the term Oldies, but Goodies.