Saturday, December 23, 2017

Reflections on Sacrifice

Thank You for waking me early
To spend some time with You
To be strengthened by Your Spirit’s overflow
Covering my walk anew

Refreshed and renewed each morning
By manna from on high
Your protecting wings over me
Like a glorious sunrise sky

And I love You,
And I love You,
And I love You,

Not only for what You do
But for WHO and WHAT you are
Focused in on sinful lives
Christ came to earth from afar

‘Twas the loneliest Christmas ever for You
To have to bid Him go
For the sacrifice you both made
We praise and worship you so

He didn’t have to die for us
That Easter upon the tree
But he chose to die in my place
And from sin set me free.

And I love You!
And I love You!

And I love You!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

My 5th Christmas

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

She had been in that hospital forever, my little sister, Colette. Polio was a nasty disease, we almost lost her to it. They were going to let her come home, overnight, for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to see my best friend and playmate once again. In my 4 ½ year old mind she’d be the same……. we’d play in our fort of overturned chairs on the dining room floor…. It would be just like it used to be at our house.

I could remember her cries before she even got in the front door. This was my sister, who didn’t cry when she had a broken arm and the doctor picked her up, by her arms. My tough sister was crying. “What’s the matter, Colette?”

“My legs hurt…..” The snuffling slowed a bit when she saw the lights bubbling on the Christmas tree with all the brightly wrapped gifts underneath.

Later that day the doorbell rang and Santa was outside. He came into the living room and pulled a little police car from his bag for me. It was a wind up one with a siren that really worked. Colette got a car too. Dad didn’t care if we were his girls, we “got to” play with cars along with our dolls.

Later, after I figured out that Santa couldn’t come down the chimney without getting burned ,my parents had “fessed up” about that jolly, old elf. Dad also confessed that he had left the cars outside on the porch for Santa to put in his pack before ringing the doorbell.

Colette and I tried to play but her legs must have really been hurting her. She hardly ever cried. There were better and less tearful Christmases in our lives. The ones where we woke up when it was still dark wondering if it was time to go open gifts yet, only to be told, “Girls, it is 4:30 AM, go back to sleep!”

I knew the routine. No, we couldn’t open gifts on Christmas Eve because Santa didn’t come until that night. This led to the continual early morning drama with wiggly kids and exasperated parents each year but that was half the fun, right?

We read a big story book about the birth of Christ. After all, it was His birthday that we were celebrating, wasn’t it?

I remember the one year Mom hid one of my gifts so well that she didn’t find it until after Christmas, then only when I reminded her that she had said she had gotten me something else and had put it in a place where I’d never find it.

I was sure glad the following Christmas when Colette was home again to stay.

Monday, December 11, 2017


First Song

My dust-covered legs ached. We had walked miles and miles with the throngs of others. Yet there was definitely more dust than people. Dust in our noses and mouths choking us as we traveled on. 

She was in pain. Her right hand clutched to keep her upright. With her left hand, gripping her pregnant self, as if that might help the labor.
He rubbed her shoulders, patting her back as he raised his calloused hand to knock. 

“Ah, we need a room, the babe….”

“Sorry, this is my best season and we have been out of rooms for awhile now… census you know…..”

And we joined the dust-covered legs yet again moving to another door. He tried again “Sir, I beg of you a place, the babe is almost here and my wife can hardly sit anymore”

“No, we have no rooms”

“But sir, she can’t have the baby sitting on a donkey. Please, isn’t there some place?”

“Well, even the sheep have their shed; you can go out back with her.”

And we walked a little farther on in time to see several wooly-bahs (I think he called them “sheep”). It was only minutes before the baby arrived and was tight-wrapped. I gave him my manger-crib for a bed. 

As I ate the hay which fell down on the ground, I watched those tiny toes wiggle and knew I would never have another dinner this sweet. Then the wooly-bahs and I heard the most incredible song. We were directed by God’s hand to join in. I sang bass; the wooly-bahs sang tenor and the angels….. Oh, my. Could you even call it singing? They were singing three dimensional notes that had a life of their own.

“Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill towards men” (NKJV) The praise, the tangible joy, the anthem never before sung and never to be repeated. We took part in lauding this infant creator of the universe and King! I with my ey-haw, ey-haw and the bah, bah, bahs joining in. What a wonderful honor and night to remember!

Surely they would come to worship Him, those he had been created to liberate and set free. Several of them came, awe struck humans with crooked sticks, who took care of many wooly-bahs. Our unique chorus swelled. But where were the rest? Didn’t they know? Did they have eyes of stone and hearts that couldn’t see?

Years later I related this night and our part in it to my donkey grandson. He wanted to see this God-man, this Savior of humankind and worship Him. It was not a surprise to him at all when they came and led him away from his mom to be ridden by the Master. This time maybe the humans would see and know!

Many, many came shouting; “Hosana! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! The King of Israel!” (NKJV)

My donkey grandson was the one He chose saying “Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey’s colt.”

We knew. The Mankind Liberator would be known now and we were part of this incredible history again.

Some did know. They came to the Liberator-God to be set free from their sin. But many of that multitude just days later had eyes of stone and hearts which couldn’t see and cried “away with Him, crucify Him”. (NKJV)

He died with most not understanding, He didn’t come to take on Rome but to liberate humans from sin. It was terrible for three days with much mourning and crying out for those humans who loved Him. 

Resurrection! Then, we all saw Him again. He walked and talked with many, and some actually had seeing eyes and hearts! But not so many called out.

Couldn’t they know He was God sent to earth to be one of the humans? He came to pay their sin penalty and liberate them if they would but ask? We just did not understand. 

So I would ask you today, do you have eyes of stone and a heart that cannot see or will you ask and receive the most incredible Christmas gift ever to be given? You don’t even have to wait for Christmas, you know! He is listening. He is waiting. He wants only to hear your request for forgiveness to give you your new song to sing.