Saturday, December 22, 2007
On the other hand, if you are in a Church and antsy as all get out, get out. If God is prodding you to get into the battle you can't do it sitting in church. So get out and get in the fight.
It's creative discontent to want more. If you are living happily at a church, happy to just show up for an hour on Sunday and happy to sing a couple songs, throw a couple bucks in the plate and sit still for a couple minutes of sermonizing, you are inert. You aren't growing. There is no evidence of Christianity in your life.
But, Willow Creek has said there is a process they have uncovered. It's a spectrum. I think it's a good one. If a Church is doing it's job it will prepare the saints until they become dissatisfied and engage. How does that happen? Probably never within the Church door.
This chart is from the book REVEAL.
Where are you in this spectrum? Work to grow until Jesus is the center of your life and you are so uneasy in Church that you run into the battle. Oh, it's good to get together with the family from time to time but the real joy is on the edge.
Get up, get strong and get out there.
The challenge for churches is to find ways to engage the dissatisfied. Come, follow me out to the mission field. Ask God for creative ideas. He'll provide them.
I have a great story about a company with true compassion. A story about employees who are empowered to make decisions on the spot and a company that supports those decisions.
My husband was a businessman who traveled five days a week. He chose to fly Southwest Airlines because of their convenient flights, on-time record and exceptional customer service.
As spring break approached, my daughter and her college friends booked a "package deal" to Las Vegas with another airline. Halfway through her trip, my husband had a heart attack and was taken to surgery.
Sadly, there was so much damage, we were told he would survive only a couple of days. I called my daughter, explained the situation, and she headed for the airport to get the first flight home.
The "package deal" provider told her it would be no problem, they could put her on the next flight -- for $856. She was frantic, as she did not have enough money to pay for the flight.
She approached the Southwest Airlines ticket counter and talked to the customer service representatives. She told them her dad only flew Southwest, and now he was dying and she was trying to get home to see him one last time.
They jumped into action and offered free tickets to whomever would give up their seat. A seat was obtained and she was on the next flight home . . . at no charge! Once she arrived at Midway Airport, a man holding a sign approached her. He was a driver who would take her to the hospital, all arranged by Southwest Airlines!
Although her father died the next day, she was able to say her final goodbyes.
Extraordinary story? Yes! Extraordinary company? Yes! Yes! Yes! I will forever be grateful to them for their kindness during our darkest days. Their kindness affected the rest of my daughter's life, as she had the time to say goodbye to her Dad, who she loved so much.
Southwest Airlines and their employees have the best customer service around. They are allowed to think with their hearts and not always worry about the bottom line. Can it possibly get better than that?
Laurie Gustafson, Hickory Hills
Clever stuff so I posted it here too.
I Bring the Gift of Me
By David Burge
The holidays are a special time for all Americans. It is a time when we gather together with friends and neighbors to celebrate and share the festive spirit of the season. Some of us celebrate Christmas, some Kwanzaa or Eid; others, like my running mate Jeff Goldstein, Hannukah. In my family we gather around the p'canclhu, and re-enact the transmogrification of Loumbogu, the hundred-headed goat-thing of Su'yocra Tantchohg.
But no matter what traditions we follow, this is a time to look back on the many blessings we share as Americans. Like you, I am grateful for our freedoms and opportunities and material abundance. Above all, as a candidate for President of the United States, I am especially grateful for the opponents that our political process has provided me. Let's pour a glass of eggnog and gather by the fire for a review, shall we?
|Old CW|| |
New New CW
Unstoppable ice queen riding atop sedan chair to inevitable victory
Panic on the Titanic; staff eunuchs now flinging poo from the deck
YouTube and 50 cc's of Botox, stat!
Audacious icon of hope with 100-watt smile
Stedman Graham, without the gravitas
Silky-smooth progressive Southern lawyer
Metrosexual millionaire ambulance chaser
Love child? Huh.. I assumed he was gay
Seasoned establishment DC solons
These people were actually elected to something?
|Dennis Kucinich|| |
Pixiesque voice of authentic antiwar liberalism
Santa Claus conquers the Martians
Reverend Huck's personal pulpit
Hugh still believes!
Likeable governor with repertoire of tasty bass licks
|The GOP Jimmy Carter||The GOP Marshall Applewhite|
Gutsy centrist Churchill of 9-11
|The Barry White |
of Conservative Alpha Males
Alpha Males don't play that
|Screw this, I got a Fall NBC series in development|
Maverick centrist war hero with Tim Russert on speed dial
|Hundreds of media friends stumped by lack of traction||Enjoy your gold watch with our deepest esteem|
|Cranky libertarian iconoclast||Unifying conscience of the insane left and insane right||Mein fuhrer!|
See what I mean?
But, as a candidate to be the President of all Americans, I also realize my list of scary, floundering, inept blessings are not equally shared by all. That's why I would like to present a special gift to you: the gift of me, candidate Dave. Sure, you're saying, "I could find a better president than you by randomly picking through the phone book." Maybe, but there's also an outside chance that the name you randomly pick out of the phone book might be one of the names above, and is that really a risk you're willing to take?
Oh, I realize I might not seem like much of a gift at this point, like those 3-packs of tube socks and fruitcakes you'll be throwing in the Christmas garbage next week. But when you get inside that voting booth next year and read the slate of alternatives, you'll be grateful you packed me away in the closet for an emergency write-in.
And next December, when you turn on the TV and see my U-Haul pulling up to the White House, and the panic starts setting in again, just come back to this post and consider what might have been.
December 21, 2007 | Permalink
First, the tree must be sacrificed to be glorified. Yes, there are those who have living Christmas trees. One that can be planted after it's been decorated. Not really a satisfactory experience. We did one year. But there is wisdom involved in a tree that was created for one purpose. Then when the fullness of time has come the tree is cut down before it's glorified.
Second, It was on an ugly tree that Jesus was Sacrificed. A tree that was raw and unadorned except for his blood. A tree that represents a curse "cursed is every one hangs on a tree". Galatians 3:13. That curse is the ornament of our sin laid on Jesus. Then as we think of Jesus at Christmas we beautify a tree as a reversal of the curse. What satan meant for evil in bringing Jesus to the cross is now made beautiful. When you look at the tree it will speak not only of Jesus birth, it speaks of the Tree that bore his body and it speaks of the Glory when he comes again to bring us to that stream beside which is the healing tree of life. As we decorate the Christmas tree we can ponder all of those trees past present and future.
Third, it is in fact God who say he is to be represented in the pine tree and the fruitfulness it represents. He declares thru the Prophet Hosea in 14th chapter that He is like a PINE TREE:
8 O Ephraim, what more have I to do with idols?
I will answer him and care for him.
I am like a green pine tree;
your fruitfulness comes from me."
Who is discerning? He will understand them.
The ways of the LORD are right;
the righteous walk in them,
but the rebellious stumble in them
Those three reasons are not meant to put guilt on anyone who has an artificial tree, but to let you know why I believe as Martin Luther did in the Green Christmas Tree.
Friday, December 21, 2007
I read this, It's good, you read it. It'll help you.
For centuries, atheism has been the rake lurking around the edges of the Christmas party, but now it's slurping from the punch bowl in the middle of the room.
Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris are selling atheist manifestos by the bin, and teens are soaking up blasphemous bits on Comedy Central and HBO. The movie version of Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass is peddling a villainous Catholic Church to kids. And the Christmas concert at public schools has long since morphed into the Winter concert.
In terms of cultural clout, it's a good time to be an atheist in America.
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible by Robert Hutchinson fires back at this icy trend with history, statistics, logic, humor and even a few rabbit punches. If counter-terrorist Jack Bauer were to take up Christian apologetics, he might have penned something like this.
Hutchinson begins by sketching out the mindset of the new atheism.
"For secular fundamentalists, religion in general, and the Bible in particular, are not just wrongheaded but actually dangerous," Hutchinson writes. "That's because religion and the Bible stand in the way of everything they value most in life -- primarily unlimited sex, of course, but also the power to reshape society into a kind of secular utopia free from traditional ethical restraint."
Hutchinson's book is not only a compact, well-argued defense of the Bible but also of Christianity and Western civilization. He doesn't tie up all the loose ends but comes awfully close. Hutchinson dispatches numerous alleged Biblical errors or contradictions, examines recent archeological finds, demonstrates why science developed as a direct result of Christianity and exposes faulty logic, most notably by sexual libertines. One quibble: He gives a tad too much respect to authors such as the late John Boswell, whose error-riddled book on alleged church blessings of same-sex unions, Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality, is characterized as a "classic."
Hutchinson traces how Christianity uniquely lifted women's status but decides not to include a critique of the trendy New Age "herstory" of goddess-based religions.
Some of the strongest chapters are devoted to rebutting the assertion that human rights are a product of secularism rather than God-given and guaranteed by the advance of Judaism and Christianity. Citing Freedom House reports, he notes that where Christianity has taken root or had cultural influence (as in Iceland and Costa Rica) individual freedom has advanced. Where it has not, human rights are virtually non-existent (Saudi Arabia or China). Russia, which is still rated "not free," is only 15% Christian.
The book is peppered with pullout quotes, some of which are counter-posed. Here's an "Atheist 'Wisdom' Versus the Good Book" entry:
"Woman's destiny is to be wanton, like the bitch, the she wolf; she must belong to all who claim her."
The Marquis de Sade.
"My soul doth magnify the Lord
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior.
Because he hath regarded humanity of
His handmaid; for behold from henceforth
All generations shall call me blessed."
The Canticle of Mary from the Gospel of Luke.
Ouch. Or how about Joseph Stalin's famous remark that, "a single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic," contrasted with "Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:29-31).
For believers, this is great fun. For atheists, it's probably more like getting a filling without Novocain.
Hutchinson makes the case that the history of Christian Europe is the history of freedom's rising, informed by the Bible's insistence on human dignity. Despite atheists' charge that the Bible endorses slavery, both Old and New Testaments are full of sound reasons to oppose it. The Bible acknowledges the fallen nature of man and tempers the worst without endorsing the practices.
"The truth is that the savage cruelty of slavery has existed on a massive scale all over the world for most of human history -- and still exists today in parts of the Islamic world and Asia -- and yet it was first officially banned, by force of law, only in Christian Europe," Hutchinson writes. "No culture on earth questioned the morality of slavery until Christians did the questioning."
The current, romanticized look back at pagan cultures as more tolerant and civilized is utterly false, Hutchinson asserts.
"The golden age of ancient Greece and Rome, celebrated by the 'enlightened' pagans of the eighteenth century, was built almost entirely on slave labor: By some estimates, fully one-third of Roman society was made up of slaves who could be killed at will by Roman householders."
The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Bible is chockfull of such corrective history and should prove an invaluable tool, especially for students confronted daily by balderdash of all kinds.
This is from Dana Blankenhorn.
The Energy Fraud of 2007
The Democratic Congress labored mightily, they said, all through 2007, and they brought forth...this?
No new efficiency standards before 2020? A huge subsidy for ethanol, guaranteeing higher fuel prices? No breaks for alternative energy, and the tax breaks for oil stay in place?
Really? Well, if that's a War Against Oil, I got some waterfront property here in Atlanta to offer you. Trouble is, by 2020 it might just BE waterfront property, only sitting in a desert, and filled to the rim with refugees from what used to be Florida, and New York City, and 10,000 other places.
The only thing worse than this so-called energy bill is the self-congratulatory nonsense spouted by the Democratic "leadership" on its behalf.
Memo to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Steny Hoyer. See you in hell, man. No, I mean that literally. Because that's what you're turning the whole planet into with this piece of garbage.
The Arctic ice cap is melting even faster than Al Gore warned it would. The Himlalayas may be glacier-free within a decade. Need a Clue what that means to the ocean level? It'll be on your front porch by 2015, Nancy, and over Steny's head a few years after that. Good luck finding a new place.
No wonder Vladimir Putin is Time's Man of the Year. In the great Energy Wars, he's the winner. It's we Americans (Gore included) who are the losers.
Now I would like to think things aren't as bad as all that. There are ample market incentives for solar, for wind, and for geothermal power. The problem is this bill slows the switch from carbon to hydrocarbon (through its ethanol mandates) and thus leaves us vulnerable to a reverse price-shock.
That is, should the "fear factor" be taken out of the current market and the price of oil drop to, say, $60/barrel, a ton of alternative energy plans no longer make sense. And fear of that happening (because it's rational) keeps investors away.
We'll be revisiting this issue, assuming someone with sense is elected President. But how good an assumption is that? And it won't be with my help, either. No more checks from me to the Democratic National Committee, or to any Democrat who doesn't personally commit to overturning this monstrosity.
Now I see why some would prefer Russia, where "my despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocracy."
That a far sexier automobile would be a Prius because it would be owned by an environmentally conscious hottie.
Wow, the 40+ marriage of Gene and Peggy might never have happened were it not for a hot customized black and green straight 8 1953 Pontiac Chieftain 2 door sedan that I wowed her with.
I'm glad I'm not out hustling girls today, I can see it all now, cruising up and down the Main Street of Ellendale silently (no rumbling hot pipes) with my Prius. Yelling out the window, Hey Baby, you work out? Wanna go for a ride?
Yea, that'll work.
She is a wonderful woman for whom I am so thankful.
Happy Birthday Sweetie. Let the next decades be as fruitful as the last 6.
You are a magnificent woman.
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Count me in that number. They are horrible failures. I'll add in Homeland security. And the education department of the USA.
This is why I don't want the government doing things they can't do.
Let the airlines handle safety inspections and test them for efficacy and then wack the ones who don't do it well. That'll work.
And, let charities handle flood, hurricane and other relief. National Guard. States rights.
Why is the Federal Government involved>
Fema and the TSA. Dumb and Dumber.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
When you say, We'll See, you are being double minded, wavering, driven by circumstance, tossed about, unstable and without faith. Let that man not think he will receive anything of the Lord.
I don't know how to say it any more clearly. Now that you have the word of the Lord, what are you going to do with it? "We'll See" is a death sentence to the Promise of God in your life.
First Corinthians 12:3
I make known to you, that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, "Jesus is accursed"; and no one can say, "Jesus is Lord," except by the Holy Spirit.
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
38"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us."
39"Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40for whoever is not against us is for us. 41I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
You who are critical and demeaning of others who are doing the work of the Kingdom different from the way you do it, are you better than Jesus?
Incidentally, in writing this, I am the first among sinners and repent. So should you - repent!
If the Spirit of God had spoken to you in this, REPENT. The Kingdom of God is at hand. He who is not against Jesus is for US.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I know this, some of these days I am going to publish the 20 ways the modern left takes it's lockstep marching orders directly from Nazism. Every day I find another parallel. False religion (human global warming), Eugenics (abortion and euthanasia), Mind Control (opposition to homeschooling/vouchers in favor of public school indoctrination), Elimination of the 2nd amendment (first thing Hitler did), Government control and ownership of almost everything making every citizen beholden to the ruling powers, Control of opposing media (bringing back equal time doctrine) and as I think about it the whole concept that the Left is Neo-Nazi begins to make more and more sense. I hear the sound of goosestepping hobnail boots growing louder and louder. Hat tip to Neiman.
1. You have to be against capital punishment, but for support abortion (Capital punishment for an innocent fetus) on demand.
2. You have to believe that businesses create oppression and governments create prosperity.
3. You have to believe that guns in the hands of law-abiding Americans are more of a threat than nuclear weapons technology in the hands of Iranian despots and North Korean communists.
4. You have to believe that there was no art before Federal funding.
5. You have to believe that global temperatures are less affected by cyclical documented changes in the earth’s climate and more affected by soccer moms driving SUV’s.
6. You have to believe that gender roles are artificial but being homosexual is natural.
7. You have to believe that the AIDS virus is spread by a lack of federal funding.
8. You have to believe that the same teacher who can’t teach 4th-graders how to read is somehow qualified to teach those same kids about sex.
9. You have to believe that hunters don’t care about nature, but loony activists who have never been outside of San Francisco do.
10. You have to believe that self-esteem is more important than actually doing something to earn it.
11. You have to believe that Mel Gibson spent $25 million of his own money to make The Passion of the Christ for financial gain only.
12. You have to believe the NRA is bad because it supports certain parts of the Constitution, while the ACLU is good because it supports certain parts of the Constitution.
13. You have to believe that taxes are too low, but ATM fees are too high.
14. You have to believe that Margaret Sanger and Gloria Steinem are more important to American history than Thomas Jefferson, Gen. Robert E. Lee, Thomas Edison and A.G. Bell.
15. You have to believe that standardized tests are racist, but racial quotas and set-asides are not.
16. You have to believe that Hillary Clinton is normal and is a very nice person.
17. You have to believe that the only reason socialism hasn’t worked anywhere it’s been tried is because the right people haven’t been in charge.
18. You have to believe conservatives telling the truth belong in jail, but a liar and a sex offender belonged in the White House.
19. You have to believe that homosexual parades on public streets displaying drag queens, transvestites, and bestiality should be constitutionally protected, and manger scenes at Christmas should be illegal.
20. You have to believe that illegal Democratic Party funding by the Chinese Government is somehow in the best interest of the United States.
21. You have to believe that it’s okay to give Federal workers the day off on Christmas Day but it’s not okay to say “Merry Christmas.”
Last but not least
22. You have to believe that this message is a part of a vast, right wing conspiracy.
lan Blacklock, a photographer with the New Zealand Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, was certainly surprised when he looked into the afternoon sky from his home in the capital city, Wellington.
‘It wasn’t a great leap of the imagination to see a reindeer.’
So, don't worry so much about things you can do nothing about. Conclusions, Oil is going to drop like a rock, there is nothing holding it up there. It's a good thing to prosper. There is no blessing in being poor but you can be blessed in poverty and blessed out of it. And, your ADHD may not be ADHD but normal. Quit taking those pills.
From today's Wall Street Journal.
Soaring Oil Is Seen to Be Running on Fumes
PORTFOLIO -- JANUARY
Economics writer John Cassidy has a message for consumers who are contemplating giving up their sport-utility vehicles to save on gasoline: not so fast.
Oil prices, which hovered near record levels this fall, are to set plunge 50% or more in the next two or three years, Mr. Cassidy says. The downturn could be even steeper after that -- $30 for a barrel of oil is a distinct possibility in the future, he says.
Mr. Cassidy, who writes about economics for Portfolio and the New Yorker, bases his prediction on one essential idea: the steep rise in crude prices during the past four years has been prolonged enough to fundamentally alter the behavior of oil producers and consumers.
Many economists have forecast a pullback from the $90-$100-a-barrel levels of the past few months to $70-$85 next year as producers increase output to meet demand and a slowing U.S. economy reins in consumption. Most oil watchers also say burgeoning demand from big developing economies like China and India will keep prices from falling too far.
In Mr. Cassidy's view, the supply picture will soon shift from shortage to glut as energy companies go after hard-to-reach crude reserves that until recently weren't considered economically viable. "When experts claim that oil is running out, what they really mean is that cheap oil is running out."
Alternative fuels, such as ethanol, nuclear power and solar energy, are popular and are abundantly available, he says. Skeptics, says Mr. Cassidy, should remember that the oil market has experienced sudden plunges before. Production cuts in the late 1970s caused a run-up in prices that suppressed demand, and sent once-lofty prices into a slump that lasted for most of the 1980s.
Pentecostalism Sets Path To Draw Guatemala's Poorest
• CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR -- DEC. 17
For a growing number of impoverished Guatemalans, it is a matter of faith: God doesn't want them to be poor.
In a traditionally Roman Catholic country with one of the highest poverty rates in the Western Hemisphere, a conversion is afoot -- nearly 20% of Guatemala's population is now Pentecostal, the highest proportion in Latin America. The growth of Pentecostalism has come about thanks in part to a new entrepreneurial ethos being preached from the pulpit known as "prosperity theology," reports Sara Miller Llana in the Christian Science Monitor.
The movement is more often associated with middle- and upper-class worshippers at some North American megachurches, but it has caught on at even the more traditional Pentecostal churches in Guatemala. Worshippers are told that being poor isn't a blessing, and at churches like Showers of Grace, a megachurch in Guatemala City, worshippers are offered business classes and are taught how to manage their money.
Concentration on the Job May Call for Distractions
• NEW SCIENTIST -- DEC. 15
For people who find it difficult to concentrate at work, some scientists suggest the problem is too few distractions, not too many.
Scientists used to think that the act of concentrating itself might screen out distractions. But researchers such as Nilli Lavie at University College London believe that making a deliberate effort to concentrate isn't enough to filter out irrelevant information.
Instead, the brain becomes more engaged in tasks as the visual demands of the problem increase and effectively block additional stimuli. In practical terms, the research could be used to improve children's textbooks, or to add textured backgrounds or moving images to enhance dull slide presentations.
Monday, December 17, 2007
The officer quickly hands the compact back and tells the driver she can proceed on her way. “What about my ticket?” she asks. “I didn’t know you were a policewoman”, responds the officer.
We don't preach the Condescension of Christ much anymore. It is an important issue. He stepped out of his place in the Godhead and put on flesh laying down his divinity for 33 years. All the wonderful things he did on earth, he did as a MAN, not as GOD. A man empowered by the Holy Ghost just as we are to be.
I have wondered if when Jesus was 3 years old he knew who he was. When was it revealed to him what the fullness of his position in eternity really is? I don't have an answer, but, what about us, when do we get a glimpse of what our place in eternity really is? This is the place where I come to a divide with some of my brethren regarding original sin and the Book of Life. I believe a baby aborted by it's mother goes immediately to heaven. No original sin there. I also believe that a person's name is written in the lamb's book of life from creation, that it is satan's job to accuse us before God and for Jesus intercession to acquit us by his blood as we appeal to him. He can say, Yes, it's true but I paid the price for that condemning sin.
So, the cradle and the cross, the stable and the stripes on his back, the empty manger became an empty tomb for our sakes.
The angels sang at his birth, they are still singing, and they sang as he rose again with a song of the tomb saying he is not here, he is risen.
Joe Farah who is Catholic wrote a touching piece I reprint here from World Net Daily:
By Joseph Farah
'Joseph with Jesus' by Guido Reni, 1635
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,
To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.
And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.
And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.
And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.
He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
Luke 1:26-33 (KJV)
A week from today, Christians around the world will be in full Christmas mode – attending churches, saying prayers, singing carols and exchanging gifts in remembrance of the birth of their Lord and Savior, Jesus of Nazareth.
We will also be reading from the familiar passages in the Gospel of Luke that describe the circumstances of the Virgin Birth – an event like no other in the history of the world.
There have been movies and books about these events. But most have focused, understandably, on the notable obedience and sacrifices of Joseph and Mary in bringing the baby Jesus into the world.
But, have you ever thought about what that experience was like for Jesus?
We all know how Jesus sacrificed himself for us at the end of His mortal life – the excruciating tortures he endured, the humiliation, the death on the cross. But at this time of the year, I often think about the sacrifice He, the co-creator of the universe, made temporarily to give up His omniscience, His omnipotence, His almighty powers and His seat at the right hand of God and to live inside the womb of a young Jewish girl named Mary and to submit himself to the protection of an obscure Jewish carpenter named Joseph.
He literally stepped down from heaven into a fallen world of danger and deception. He even, presumably, had to disengage from His own divine consciousness to become a helpless embryo. He had to be born under trying circumstances following a rough 70-mile walk by his parents from Nazareth to Bethlehem.
He gave up all the unimaginable riches and untold wisdom of the universe to be born in a barn and laid in an animal trough.
But, most of all, try to imagine what it was like sitting at the right hand of the Father in heaven contemplating this idea of becoming utterly helpless and, for at least a period of time, presumably, clueless!
Like any other child, Jesus was born not knowing how to walk or talk. How many of us would be willing to trade our own lives and consciousness as even as adult mortal human beings to re-enter the world that way, again?
That's what Christmas represents to me. It is every bit as awe-inspiring as contemplating Jesus' death and Resurrection.
We often talk about and ponder the Ascension. But what about the Condescension that took place when Jesus became, first, an unborn baby and later on that day in Bethlehem, a vulnerable little infant who would be hunted down by Herod – who would grow up to die an ugly death on the cross?
Believers acknowledge the sacrifice Jesus made on Calvary. But, truly, we ought to consider the sacrifice He made the day He willingly stepped down from heaven in the Virgin Birth, which might also be termed the Miraculous and Mysterious Condescension.
Merry Christmas. And thank you, Jesus!
The angel Gabriel appears to the virgin Mary in 1898's 'The Annunciation' by Pennsylvania artist Henry Ossawa Tanner
Sunday, December 16, 2007
I had to be sitting in the living room to enjoy it. BUT, now low and behold I bring good tidings of great Joy.
Unto you is available free online Christmas Classic Music from XM.
All you need do is go to this website: http://www.xmradio.com/
Follow the listen online link, give them your email address and make up a password. Then they will send you an email with access. After you activate your account you are good to go.
You will get a few days of this music free. It's worth it. While I type this It's playing on my computer.
And until you run out of email addresses you can keep getting this free till who hung the pup. I'm on my second. I have 3 to go. So, I'll get easily thru Christmas.
My sis Carol sent me this note regarding the XM she has in her car and how driving to Aberdeen with her folks, playing and singing along and how nice it was. This is beautiful:
I have XM in my car and I, too, listen to the Classical Carols station (or FOX NEWS) when I'm driving. Yesterday I took Mom and Dad to Aber. to do a little shopping. We listened to the Classical Carols station all the way down. As we were driving into Aber. I started to sing along (Redlin style) to "Oh Come All Ye Faithful". In a minute, Dad was singing with me. Then Mom joined in. It was a glorious moment and one I will treasure forever. When we got back home, it was dark. We decided to drive around town and look at the Christmas lights. We listened to the C.C. station as we drove and really got in the spirit. As we drove through one section of town with no lights on for blocks, Dad said, "It looks like the Christmas spirit hasn't rained in on this section of town yet." You know how he would have said it. It was priceless.