Sneaky Snow

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Snow is sneaky.

His cousin rain comes a-thumping, bumping, flashing and a-crashing, a sort of wet Beethoven’s Fifth symphony on steroids.

But snow comes quietly. Millions of the little fellows parachute in during the night, keeping absolute radio silence. They all settle into their places without a word, waiting for the signal. The cloud bombers move on, just as the other conspirator peeks over the horizon.

They hear you moving around in the house and if you could understand snowflake language you might hear, “Okay, guys! Get ready, here he comes.”

When you finally pull back the curtain, millions of flakes all yell in unison, “Surprise!”

And for an instant you’re stirred inside, even if you don’t like snow.

Snow is a pain but it’s almost worth it for that morning greeting, as well as the finishing touch it adds to the top of pine trees, and the Christmas-card look it gives to a winter landscape. Even ugly places seem beautiful when snow buries them.

Lots of things that God does seem quiet and out of the way, until the seed grows into His great will. See the Bethlehem manger for confirmation.

At this writing (last Sunday morning) we’ve got a landscape full of snow in north central France and more on the way according to those who are never wrong–the weather predictors on television (this last phrase is read with a slight note of sarcasm). Before I gripe anymore about cold, wet feet, artic temperatures, hazardous driving conditions, and blah, blah, blah … I want to stop.

Thanks Lord for the snow. It sure is beautiful.

And thanks Lord for my Coffee Stains friends. Their feedback and interaction put a lot of joy in my life. Merry Christmas friends.

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-12

Hmmm …
Christmas–that magic blanket that wraps itself about us, that something so intangible that it is like a fragrance. It may weave a spell of nostalgia. Christmas may be a day of feasting, or of prayer, but always it will be a day of remembrance–a day in which we think of everything we have ever loved.” ~ Augusta E. Rundell

Merry X-mas?

Sometimes I get mad.

I’m bothered when businesses call a Christmas tree a Holiday tree because they don’t want to offend anyone. It’s a “holiday gift” you see and not a Christmas gift.

We don’t want to offend anyone—except Christians. It’s all right if you want to change something you’ve been doing for 400 years because it’s no longer politically correct to mention the name of Christ in public.

If you don’t like it. Shut up. That’s the way it is.

Why do people so hate the name of Christ that they can’t even bear the word “Christ-mas”?

Can I make a suggestion? Since the Christmas/holiday season represents giving, why don’t we give the holiday to the PC people? I’ve got a strong feeling that it’s not what it was anyway. I wonder if the “Grinch” hasn’t stolen Christ-mas a long time ago.

Then we can celebrate Christmas, but really celebrate it. Really, really, celebrate it!

We might even get together with other Christians on Christmas day.

The way it is, we’re buried under a huge mound of pressure to buy gifts that many can’t afford. Santa and his reindeer whoosh through the air and create a sucking current that vacuums out the contents our wallet.

I wonder if the Lord isn’t sometimes a bit perplexed to have His name attached to some aspects of Christmas.

Someone has calculated that we spend 450 billion dollars for Christmas (in the USA). Think of this: one of the biggest problems in the world is the lack of clean water.

Women must walk miles to get water in many of the world’s villages and often that water is nasty. If we spent just a fraction of the loot that we spend on Christmas to dig wells for these people we could solve the water problem for millions in the world.
(See: )

What if we were to act in the Spirit of Christ instead of simply buying whatever is “cool” this year. By our actions we would teach our kids that Barbie and Ken aren’t more important than Christ, that Ipods aren’t more important than hurting people.

It wouldn’t really matter what the world called the day if we’d get busy preaching Christ by our actions. We’d be celebrating the One who came to save us from our sins and others would glorify Him because of His generous heart expressed through us.

Let’s really get even with the PC crowd. Let’s celebrate CHRISTMAS this year. Let’s rejoice in the One who was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life, showed His mission and his love by his miracles, who died for our sins and rose again the third day. Let’s celebrate the One who rose to the right hand of the Father, who hears our prayer, who pardons sins, who adopts us into His family and grants us eternal life.

We’ll get ‘em.
We’ll praise the Lord instead of loading up on more junk. Of course, the junk factories would all sell even less and we’d prolong the financial crisis, but hey …

Seriously, we’ll give each other gifts to remember the greatest Gift. Why don’t we all stop a minute and evaluate this Christmas season. Think what you can give to, who you can serve, how you can tell the Good News of His salvation to someone who doesn’t know Him.

That would put the “Christ” back in xmas with a humongous exclamation point!

No really, I mean it. Don’t just nod your head and say, “You’re right David.” Write yourself a note to think this through. Talk with your family. Sure we’ll give gifts to those we love, but be moderate. Talk to the kids about needs, about the reason for the season, about how we can show the love of Christ by our actions.

Let’s make this a season that Jesus the Christ can be proud to add His Name to.

“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.” (Luke 2:10, 11 NIV)



Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.
Gilbert K. Chesterton

Christmas Dreamin’

Check out our podcast (on the right of this page): Three Keys for Negociating the Crisis
Joseph had parked the donkey in front of the hotel, so he could go in and get a room. His teenage wife daydreamed as she waited for him to return.

To say the young lady was pregnant understated the case considerably. She was nine months, two weeks, miserable, heavy, stay-out-of-my-way-or-else pregnant. After several days of bumpy travel to get to Bethlehem, you didn’t want to mess with her (My theory is that the only thing more miserable than being a pregnant woman is being married to one).

Maybe it was a relief to her, though, knowing that she was going to have her baby somewhere far away from those dagger-tongued gossips. The last few months hadn’t been easy, and Mary had to admit to herself that her story was a bit hard to swallow: angel visits, a miraculous conception by the Holy Spirit, etc.

Happens all the time!

But she also remembered the day that the angel talked to her. She had been scared out of her wits but when he told her she was going to be the mother of the longed-for Messiah—the Son of God he called him– her heart swelled with joy. She always figured things like that were for the rich folks’ daughters, up in Jerusalem. No one seemed to expect much from the poor trash down in Nazareth.

Maybe God did, though.

And that day when she visited her cousin Elisabeth … if there ever was a woman of God, Elisabeth was. And when she prophesied about Mary’s baby: “ You’re so blessed among women, and the babe in your womb, also blessed!  And why am I so blessed that  the mother of my Lord visits me?” (Luke 1:42, 43, The Message)

A cow lowed lazily behind the inn as Mary continued her reflection. “Mother of her Lord?” She had been so inspired by Elisabeth’s prophecy, and wonder of wonders, she opened her mouth and was awed by the words that she spoke herself.

“ …  I’m bursting with God-news;
I’m dancing the song of my Savior God.
God took one good look at me, and look what happened—
I’m the most fortunate woman on earth!
What God has done for me will never be forgotten,
the God whose very name is holy, set apart from all others.
His mercy flows in wave after wave
on those who are in awe before him.
He bared his arm and showed his strength,
scattered the bluffing braggarts.
He knocked tyrants off their high horses,
pulled victims out of the mud.
The starving poor sat down to a banquet;
the callous rich were left out in the cold.
He embraced his chosen child, Israel;
he remembered and piled on the mercies, piled them high.
It’s exactly what he promised,
beginning with Abraham and right up to now.”
(Luke 1:46-55, The Message)

What a day!

And she thought about Joseph. She had been so scared to tell him. He was shaken of course, but eventually God spoke to him and after that he stepped up and became the best protector a woman could imagine. “Lord, you’ve taken care of me through all this,” she murmured as she looked up and saw Joseph coming towards her, a frown on his face.

Suddenly, she felt a sharp pain …

“For a child has been born—for us!
the gift of a son—for us!
He’ll take over
the running of the world.
His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.
He’ll rule from the historic David throne
over that promised kingdom.” (Isa. 9, the Message)

Have a super-blessed Christmas.



“If the [Incarnation] happened, it was the central event in the history of the Earth — the very thing that the whole story has been about. Since it happened only once, it is by Hume’s standards infinitely improbable. But then, the whole history of the Earth has also happened only once: is it therefore incredible?” C.S. Lewis