Friday, December 26, 2008


Since 1985, I have written a poem or writing to put in our Christmas cards. This is what I wrote for 2008.



It was a normal day. The sun came up as usual.

People woke up. They went to work.
There were meals to fix. Children to tend.
There were lessons to be learned and laws to be observed.

Bethlehem was busier than usual. So many strangers coming into town.
The inns were full and the streets were jammed.
This was good for the merchants, but not so easy on the travelers.
The travelers were tired. Some were confused and lost.

People came home from work. They prepared for rest.
It had been a normal day. Bethlehem and the whole world went to bed.
Each person thinking tomorrow they would do it all over again.
But before the next sunrise, there would be a change.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:11

Few people even noticed the change.
They just went on with their lives. As if, the sun had come up as usual.

Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel which being interpreted is, God with us. Matthew 1:22-23

My prayer for you, this Christmas, is that you will notice the change.
That you will celebrate this birth.
That you will reach for the hand of a baby.
That you will take the hand of God.


I hope you had a Blessed Christmas,


Friday, December 19, 2008


TODAYS SCRIPTURE: LUKE 1 -- parts of verses 5 - 25 - the Birth of John the Baptist Foretold (please read verses 5 - 25)

(Zechariah went into the temple of the Lord) Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, …… "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to give him the name John. ….. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from birth. ….. Zechariah asked the angel, "How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years." The Angel answered, …… And now you will be silent and not able to speak until the day this happens, because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time." …….. When his time of service was completed, he returned home. After this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant and for five months remained in seclusion.


As I was preparing the Sunday School lesson for this week, I had to laugh at the image of Zechariah coming out of the temple. The people were waiting on him. What did his face look like? It says they realized "he had seen a vision in the temple, for he kept making signs to them." Were his eyes big with wonder? Was he standing taller? Did his face show puzzlement? What signs did he make to help them understand what had happened.

And then it was time for him to go home. Can you picture Elizabeth opening the door and saying, "How was your day at the temple dear?" Then, and this is where my imagination really took over, can you picture Zechariah trying to explain - without speaking - that she was going to have a baby?

Remember, Elizabeth was "well along in years." The pregnancy would be the easy part. Of course staying "in seclusion" for five months would be a bit of a stretch. Pregnancy is followed by a delivery and a delivery before the medical breakthrough of blocking the pain with drugs. Then would come changing diapers. Potty training. The terrible twos. Dealing with a teenager. And all the time making sure this child John did not drink any wine or fermented drink. Plus the fact that he would be filled "with the Holy Spirit even from birth."

Now wouldn't you think Elizabeth would be just a bit upset? And scared?

If Bill came home and told me that he had a vision, a visit from an angel, and that I was going to be pregnant, I would probably take him to the emergency room. Why? Well first, I would think he was hallucinating. Second, he would need stitches from the injury he received when I whacked him with a ball bat.

Elizabeth had quite an adventure, which began because she and her husband were "upright in the sight of God, observing all the Lord's commandments and regulations blamelessly." Can you picture Elizabeth as she finally figured out her husband's game of charades? Did she have a smile on her face as she realized she was going to have a baby?

Are you ready for verse 25? Was Elizabeth upset? No. "The Lord has done this for me," she said. "In these days he has shown his favor and taken away my disgrace among the people." She wasn't upset. She was thrilled. She was thankful. Humble.

Then Elizabeth was visited by Mary and the baby "leaped in her womb." Luke 1:41


Can you imagine what Elizabeth must have felt like? Now go a little crazy. Act out this lesson. Try being Zechariah telling the people. Then try explaining to Elizabeth what was going to happen. Remember, you cannot talk.

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


Dear God, As we prepare to celebrate the birth of YOUR SON, we see so many people being prepared to play their part. Mary would be a willing servant and mother to YOUR SON. Elizabeth would deliver the child who would prepare the way for Jesus. The shepherds would hear the good news and then visit the Christ Child. The wise men would travel far, to honor a baby that had been placed in a manger. YOUR SON came to earth for all - the humble servants like Mary. The upper class like Elizabeth. The poor like the shepherds. The rich like the wise men. Thank you, Heavenly Father. Thank you for sending YOUR SON for me. Amen


Friday, December 12, 2008



But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."


I am writing this Wednesday evening and I am excited. This has been one busy day. Terri, our daughter, and I are going to bake tomorrow. Almost every Christmas, we bake. We bake cookies. We make candy. We talk. We laugh. We celebrate together.

So today, I shopped for all those supplies. They are waiting on the kitchen counter. Along with the measuring cups. The mixer. The recipes. Waiting until Terri gets here. I have done some prep work. I have one batch of cookie dough in the refrigerator and have the party mix done. The rest will happen tomorrow. I am s-o-o-o excited.

I am excited because, not only is this a day with Terri, it is a time we share the fruits of our work with others. A time when we knock on friends doors and say, "Merry Christmas."

I also received a phone call today from our minister. I had told him I had an idea for a Sunday message. Amazing as it sounds to those who know me, occasionally they do allow me to be the speaker. He wanted to know if January 4th would work. I said, "YES."

You see, this is a message I have been working on since April 2008. If you go back and read my blog for April 25 and September 26, you will know what message I plan to deliver. One grandson has offered to help me put together a power point presentation. I am excited because I will tell the congregation about my nine-month adventure of finding God in unexpected places.

I am glad I will be talking after Christmas. You see, I want to ask the congregation where they find Jesus. If they find Him in unexpected places? After all, who would have thought to look in a stable for the Son of God?


Are you excited about the Christmas season? Do you have a tradition that you look forward to? Do you find Jesus in your celebrations?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


It is almost Christmas. Almost your Birthday, Jesus. And I am excited. The shepherds had to go to a stable to find you. The wise men traveled a long distance. How lucky I am that I know where to find you. Your Holy Spirit is with me always. I find you everywhere I am. Amen

Friday, December 05, 2008



He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.


So do you have your Christmas decorations all in their places? Isn't it funny how you put Santa in the same spot each year? And the tree sits where it sat last year. And the nativity rests in its familiar location. The angels know where to go as soon as you open the box and the lights could hang themselves. That is how it always is. Once you find just the right spot, you "set Christmas up" the same each year. That is unless you move.

That is my dilemma. I did put the Advent candle on the television. That is the only Christmas display that stayed where it had always been. Our 43-year-old nativity will go on the table beside the front door. With angels around it.

But where do I put the Christmas tree? And Santa? And the snowmen?

The tree we put up on the loft area, overlooking the living room. We like it there. The lights shine down on us. It makes a colorful glow because I am a multi-color person and have never gone in for just one color of lights.

I am beginning to find spots for the snowmen and think I know where to put the Santas. It will be interesting to see if it all works together to make a festive season. I am having fun (and Bill is tolerating) "setting Christmas up" and finding new locations for our favorite Christmas decorations.

Know what? Next year we may decide to put the tree in a new location. And the snowmen might be grouped differently. And who knows where Santa will recline. Yes, things can be moved around but it is wonderful that we can rest assured that God "set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved."


Are your decorations up? What is your favorite? What decoration would you hate to break or loose?

Please use this as a beginning of your prayer. Finish in your own words, words from your heart.


The Christmas season has begun. Dear Jesus, I am so excited to begin this time of celebrating your birth. To think that you came to earth for me is such a humbling thought. Let your birth be the foundation of my celebrations. Keep my belief in Your Holy Birth on such a strong foundation that it can never be moved. Amen