Saturday, December 22, 2007

A Silent Night Tale

Sunday is Christmas Eve Eve. It's the Eve of the Eve of Christmas day. I learned that one from Silent Night a Mouse Tale. It was the story about a mouse who fell into a pump organ and the only way to get him out was for his family to knaw a whole throught the pump to get him out. Because of the ruined Organ, the choir director, of the church where the organ belonged, didn't know how he was going to be able to lead his choir for the Christmas Eve service. With no musical instrament there would be no real music.
That day the choir directors friend went to see a new born baby. He was so inspired by the birth of this child that he wrote a poem about it. He showed the poem to the Choir director and the director took it and put words to it. On Christmas Eve with only a guitar for a musical instrament a little town in Germany heard the words to one of the most beloved Christmas Carols of all times.
"Silent night, Holy Night,
Alll is calm, All is bright
Round yon Virgin mother and child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep in Heavenly Peace.

Now I don't really think about the part with the mouse falling into the organ is a true story, but I do know that that day when the mice ate through the organ it was a gift from God to do so so that we could be given a wonderful and very beautiful song.

"Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia;
Chirst the Savior is born!
Chirst the Saviour is born!

How well do you know the Christmas story?
So often People have forgotten the fact that Christmas is so much more than finding people Christmas gifts. As I work at my story, I see people coming in daily going crazy because they have this that and the other thing going on and they have completely lost sight of the fact that 2000 years ago a young woman was promised to be the mother of the Messiah and that Her soon to be husband took on himself the burden of proclaiming himself the father of this child even though he knew he was the Messiah. This Child was God Himself.

Silent night, Holy night
SOn of GOd, Loves' pure light
Radiant beams from they holy face,
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

Presents don't really matter. Turkey dinners, Christmas Parades, cleaning house for all the family that is coming over shouldn't take the place of the most important part of Christmas.
It's the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. It's the reason we have presents and Stars or angels on the tops of our trees. It's the reason why at Christmas time there is just something special about sitting back and enjoying the day and remembering the story of Shephards and angels and Wisemen and stables with a smelly manger. It's because we have a God who loved us so much that when we turned our back on Him, the only way we would actually look His way was to send himself as a tiny, fragile, very independant baby to be born in a smelly barn with smelly animals to be visited by smelly shephards so that one day he could die on the cross to take away our sins.
Silent night, Holy night,
Wonderous star, Lend thy light,
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Saviour is born,
Christ the Saviour is born.

Can you say as the last verse of Silent Night says this night Christ the Savior is Born Christ the Savior is Born in you life?
May you receive the most wonderful gift of all tonight. The one that was given first so that we could Celebrate Christmas today.
"For God so Loved the World, that He gave is only begotten Son,
That whosoever believeth in Him Should not Parish,
But have Everlasting Life."
"And you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Searching for a special Christmas Present

I have decided to give myself a Christmas Present this year.
Now before you go laughing at me or telling me that I am crazy or something like that let me tell you a little about what I am about to do.
First of all I am going to tell you a story.
About Fifteen years ago (man that makes me feel old) give or take a year or so I became best friends with a girl who was very much like me. We thought a like in a lot of different ways. We loved everything for playing Murder Mystery (our own made up game) to Tigers. Silly thing is we both decided on a career in writing.
One day my friend and I decided to become sisters. My brother wanted to be in on the action so the three of us put our bare feet in a puddle of water and proclaimed each other siblings. Mud Siblings for Life!
My friend and I even promised each other that no matter what happened in our lives and we grew apart we would find each other and be in each others weddings. What did we really know we were 12, 13 years old?
Then it happened! As is the call of many pastors and their families they were called to another church. What devistated me was the fact that she moved to a totally different state leaving me behind. Then when she moved to Florida it was even worse. We had both become teenagers and were really bad at writing letters. Then I moved. And we lost contact with each other.
I never forgot her. She was always on my mind. I would tell people about my Best Friend from way back and say how much fun we had together. I even went so far as to ask people who had been near wear she lived if they had ever heard of her or her family before, one person thought the name sounds familiar, but nothing positive.
Then the other night I was really inspired when I discovered that you can pretty much find anyone on the web. So I tried and wouldn't you believe I hit the jackpot. There was a face of a woman that looked so much like the 14 year old girl I had a picture of. She was doing something so similar to what I was doing I couldn't believe it. It was amazing to me. I made for sure that she was my long lost mud sister. I had no doubts about it when I was done.
Now I am about to send a very special letter to her. And pray that it will be a really neat Christmas present for her and for me.
Odd isn't it. When you're little you don't really think a whole lot about what is going to happen to you or your friends when you grow up. You know what you are going to be when you grow up and you assume everyone is going to grow up with you and you will never lose contact with them. You never realize the people you miss until you really start naming them off. I still think about a lot of different friends I had and wonder what has happened to them. All the way back to Kindergarten I had friends that I think about and pray that they are alright. Maybe it is just my nature. I don't really know. I don't really think that I am the only in this world that does that either. I hope not because then I would feel weird.
But one thing is for sure I hope this is the year I gain back a friend I never wanted to lose in the first place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Excitement in the air!

I did it!
I really never thought I would do it, but I have successfully written my story. Okay so it's only the rough draft and there is a lot that I have to do to make it readable, but still the fact that I finished this story after almost three years of trying to write it. It's just amazing.
I normally put things off and never finish them, but this summer when my friends from my Writers conference encouraged me to finish writing the story I knew I had to try. So I made the goal of December 31. Now I will just put it way for a few weeks, actually until after the New Year, before I will read it on paper, find mistakes, put discriptions in there places, clean up the conversations. I am really bad with conversations for some reason. They sometimes feel forced.
So anyway. Here I am finished with a story and let me tell you I feel great about it. You should try this sometime. You might be suprised at how awesome it feels to set a goal and get it done.
I'll keep you posted as to how to comes along. My next big goal is to have it completed by July and the Writers Conference. I will probably make myself littler goals in between now and then.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Snowmen introductions

I have several new snowmen this year. As a matter of fact I am expecting some new ones to be coming in very soon. I did well this year, I only had to buy three. The rest of them were either given to me or in the case of my very first one of the season I bought some Christmas Presents and got a snowman free.
The three that I bought are a family of snowmen with rhinestones on them. A small tag along I got for my birthday looks just like them except it is smaller. My very first one I got this year is a Hallmark Ornament. A very cute one that I got free because I bought my nieces Christmas Presents at Hallmark. I got a snowman head that sings Jingle Bells and lights up. The rest are on their way. They just haven't made it off the kitchen table of the person who is supposed to give them to me yet and into the car. Once I have all of them I will take a picture of my entire collection.
I have 19 now. 20 if you call the salt and pepper shakers seperate snowmen. My only real concern is were I am going to find room to put them at the end of the Winter season, because yes I don't think snowmen are just a Christmas decoration. I keep them up until Easter. My Hope chest is offically full with room to stuff only the smallest of things in it. I have had to resort to my barrel from school I brought home with me.
SO I know talking about my snowmen collection is deveating me from my recent inspirations, but that's ok. Snowmen still remind me of snow and winter and Christmas.
As a matter of fact as I am sitting here thinking, I have started to ponder on snow. I know a lot of people don't really like snow because it's cold and it means that you can't go outdoors as much, but Think about snow for a moment.
Isn't it a beautiful thing? I am sure I have mentioned snow before and the beauty I see in it. The sparkle from the sun after a fresh layer has fallen. The clean whitness of it. The clean smell it leaves in the air.
Snow really is an amazing thing. All it is is frozen shavings of water. Really. It isn't really frozen water because frozen water is ice. No it is shavings. Every one of these little shavings has a different size and shape then the next one. It can come in all kinds of forms. Big, Small, Clumped together, tiny little ball like things that look like styrofoam. It can come down just as soft as you please or it can come down so hard you can't see more than your hands in front of you and sometimes not even that. And yet inspite of it's smallness you can make things out of it. Snowmen for one, snowballs, snow forts, igloos, Amazing sculptures. It also has the amazing properties of insolation. It keeps plants covered from the winter frost and can save a persons life by keeping him warm if he buries himself in it (and it's wet and cold too). It has nutrients in it that for some reason regular rain doesn't have that helps the plants grow in the spring. It can make the ugliest landscape sparkle with little diamonds and it provides water where there isn't any. You can go skiing, sleding, boarding, sliding on snow and not care if you get wet.
And to top it all off snow is just a reminder of what God can do for a person who has excepted Christ as His Savior. He can wash away all of their sins and make his heart as white as freshly fallen snow.
Now isn't snow beautiful?

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Tag Your it.

1) Wrapping paper or gift bags? Paper although when I want to be lazy I use bags.
2) Real tree or artificial? Artificial..I would prefer a real tree. But then money doesn't grow on trees.
3) When do you put up your tree? Usually the weekend after my birthday, this year it was the day after.
4) When do you take the tree down? The week after Christmas, just as long as it is down before the New Years Eve Party.
5) Do you like eggnog? Don't even thing about putting that stuff near me.
6) Favorite gift received as a child? I have no idea
7) Do you have a Nativity scene? My mom as several, but I am looking for my own family heirloom.
8) The hardest person to buy for? My Dad
9) The easiest person to buy for? Caylin and Katiann
10) The worst Christmas gift you ever received? Cheap O toys that are worth a dollar.
11) Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Mail. Even though I love emails, Christmas cards are so much more personable.
12) Favorite Christmas movie? The Miracle at Bourex
13) When do you start shopping for Christmas? End of October, Beginning of November
14) Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I don't think I have other than from the White Elephant Christmas Party.
15) Favorite things to eat at Christmas? Ginger Cream Cookies and Homemade Fudge.
16) Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored.
17) Favorite Christmas song? I Wonder as I Wander and What Child is This
18) Travel at Christmas or stay home? Usually end up at my Grandmother's house.
19) Can you name all Santa's reindeer? Sure Can and I don't have to sing the song to do it.
20) Angel on the tree top or a star? Star
21) Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? Christmas day
22) Most annoying thing about this time of year? When people say Happy Holidays and write Merry xmas. Grrr!
23) What is the "corniest" family tradition you do or miss doing?We through Wrapping Paper at each other.
24) Ugliest Christmas decorations ever invented? Totally the Blowup Lawn Decorations hands down.
25) Which looks the best...theme trees or homey trees? Homey
26) What does Christmas mean to you? A God who was willing to come down to earth as a baby and grow up knowing that he would one day die for the sins of the whole world.
Who ever reads this has been tagged and most either write the answer in their own blogs or send an answer on this blog.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

One Little Candle

"You are the light of the world, A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick: and it gives light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify you Father which is in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16

Candles are a very special part of Christmas. If you notice they are everywhere right now. Most are the battery opearated ones that sit in the windows of houses. My own church has them in the windows of the Sunday School building. It's amazing the difference those little lights can make. I remember the year we didn't have those lights because the lady who provides them every year was called into active duty. It was dark and almost sad to even look at it.
But how important is one candle compared to a whole lot of them?
My sister-in-law remarked the other day about something that got me thinking. Every year she went to camp as a girl. One year they did an expierement by turn off all the lights and them lighting one candle right in the middle of the room.
Now you would expect that the candle would make enough light to shine in the middle of the room, but the amazing thing is dispite the fact that it was a small candle in a large room, everyone in the room could see no matter where they were.
As Christians are we shinning our light in the middle of the room?
DO we think that because we are the only light of Christ in our work place or home or even class room we can't help others around us see in the dark room?
Just as that little candle in the middle of the cabin that summer night shone brightly casting light on all four walls, we as God's Lights to the world should shine our lights so that everyone can see. And the most amazing thing about letting your light shine is that while you are willing to shine your light, others will see that same light and start to shine their own lights that they have hidden.
If you have ever done an expierment with fire, you know that if you put a fire in a glass jar, it will quickly poof out because it has not Oxygen. The same with our lights. If we cover our lights so that no one can see them, they will sufficate and disappear.
I love the illustration my father gives every year on Christmas Eve about on light shinning in the world. As we sing "Silent Night" at the end of the Candle light service, we all stand in a circle around the church and light our candles. Then we turn out the lights and sing while our candles are burning. Then while the lights are still out we blow out the candles leaving the original candle that helped light all the rest of the candles still going. Then we are remind about the Light of the World and how before Christ came into the world there was now hope, but when he was born in the stable and laid in a manger and visited by both the poor and the rich, he brought with him hope by being the Light of the World.
And as he trained his disciples and they in turn introduced others to Christ, the used the Light of Christ to bring light and hope to the rest of the world.
This Christmas let's be a candle shining in the middle of the room introducing everyone else to the Light of the World so that they can light their own candles spread the Light of Christ.

Monday, December 03, 2007

You can blame it on me!

I Love Snow.
Mostly I love the first real snow storm with lots of beautiful white, sparkling snow.
I really love it when the snow storm comes around the week of my birthday.
Every year I wish for it and most years I am disappointed with just mud and brown grass.
This year I got my birthday wish. Snow and lots of it.
It's beautiful! I just love it because it gets me into the mood for Christmas. Okay so I have been in the mood for Christmas since Thanksgiving, but really If you know me you know that I love to sing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas" It's just a natural thing in December. Of course everyone thinks that Snow shouldn't come until the day before Christmas. Pooh on them! Any time after December 1 and before December 5 is good by me.
So with that said. If you don't like the snow we are having (and any of you who are reading this and aren't from the Northeast will not understand) you can blame it completely on me because I wished for it. As for anyone who might be in the Northwest. Don't blame me for your weather. I didn't wish for that. Someone else who is having a birthday wished for that one.
And for those who are in the Southeast and Southwest who aren't worrying too much about this weather, just which short sleeve shirt you are going to wear tomorrow, I hope that maybe some time before Christmas you will be blessed with a snow storm like ours.