Monthly Archives: December 2013

A BRAND NEW YEAR!

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The holidays will soon be over and tonight the New Year’s Eve festivities to welcome 2014 will begin. There is nothing like the promise of a brand new year. It’s the greatest gift of the whole holiday season! It’s like getting a new book you’ve been eager to read. You run your fingers over the freshly pressed cover, open it enthusiastically and begin reading with much anticipation for a story well-told. It’s like buying a lottery ticket for a high stakes outcome and waking up a winner!

imagesL5LFXP6PA new year is a new chance to get it right.  It’s like getting a “do over.” So what if last year didn’t measure up to what you were hoping for! Laid before you are 365 brand new days to do things differently. Put away the worries and cares that have haunted you throughout the past year and forge ahead into your future of new beginnings. There’s nothing like the newness of those first few days and weeks that fill you with optimism.  It’s your time to stoke the embers of disappointment into new flames of possibilities that will burn brightly throughout the year. It’s easy to imagine the positive goodness that awaits you. Seize each day and make it count!

I hope this New Year will be a best seller for you – that you will win in the lottery of life. I hope that all your problems will be solved…your sicknesses healed…your homes blessed…your love renewed…your employment restored…your finances  replenished…your faith rekindled. And when you look back on 2014 next New Year’s Day, I hope your heart will be filled with the satisfaction of a year well done.

Cheers!

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CHRISTMAS EVE

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Well, it’s here…Christmas Eve. By this time tomorrow, the festivities will be just about over.  The gifts unwrapped, the food eaten, the libations poured. Months of hurried preparation and anticipation will wind down to a relaxing yawn and feet up on the couch.

This year is a quiet one for me, unlike years past when my kids were young. Life has evolved into a solitary calm where I have the time to ponder the meaning of this magical night. Right now there is a soothing silence, and while I’ll still recall with fondness the craziness and excitement of Christmas’s past, I’ll enjoy the contented peace of right now.

I took a walk early this Christmas Eve morning and admired the beauty of the sunrise. Amidst the pandemonium of wondering about the Christmas of this year, I turned around to walk back and spied the full moon lazily drifting into the invisibility of the morning light.  With all the gaiety of the season and serious maddening rush, the fact that nature carries on serenely with the rising of the sun and setting of the moon, with birds flying, rabbits scurrying and deer peering through the brush is somehow heartening.  It is ageless and has been evolving in this manner since the beginning of time.

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Years and years ago on Christmas Eve, even before Andy Williams sung about “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” a poor couple made their way in the cold night, wife riding on a donkey, husband leading the way through the darkness to a stable with a manger filled with hay. A Baby was born that night without the creature comforts of a warm bed. His parents didn’t have fancy food to eat or hot chocolate to drink or a place for them to sleep comfortably. There was no music or gaiety or parties to attend.  There was only the shadowed night and the sky filled with brilliantly shining stars, maybe a moon, and the warmth of the barn animals.  There was the promise of the sunrise of a brand new world where Our Savior would finally bring us the supreme present of redemption.

I ask you to find time to pause this Christmas Eve and think about what this sacred night is really all about. It’s not about having the biggest, most beautifully decorated tree. It’s not about the rich foods or the sweet cookies or the egg nog or the right gifts festively wrapped and placed strategically under the tree.

It’s about somehow finding a way to give thanks to Jesus for His sacrifice of coming to this earth as a fragile Baby without the comforts of wealth, with only nature surrounding Him, in order to save us.

On this Silent Night, this Holy Night, I wish you peace and joy and the insight to be truly thankful for the ultimate gift of Jesus.

JOHN

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John iiThirty-three years ago today, I woke up in a hotel room in Walt Disney World, turned on the TV and learned that John Lennon had been murdered.  My heart dropped.  It was just so sad and a travesty, really, that such a peaceful person should die so violently.

John was my favorite Beatle.  Although all my friends were in love with the “cute one” Paul, I was drawn to John. I loved the shape of his nose, his kooky round glasses and cute smile.  I loved that he was the free spirit of the group.   Yes, he was the bad boy, and, no, I never really got the Yoko Ono attraction, but you have to admit that it was a true love match, for sure. johnTo me, he was the epitome of talent, a heartfelt poet, a free bird, and, as a latent hippie myself, I “got” him.  He said what he meant and meant what he said, although I don’t think the derogatory comment about being “more popular than Jesus” was more than a passing comment and was taken out of context. My belief is that it was off the top of his head and not meant to be taken seriously. I think he was just so overwhelmed by the Beatles’ fame that he just blurted it out without thinking. That’s just my point of view.

johniiiAs I was pondering all of this about John today on my morning walk with Bella, snowflakes started to fall. It was quiet in the park with only one or two people mulling about.  It felt serene, like a good place to honor John. When I got into the car to return home, the first song I heard on the radio was “Imagine.” The world hasn’t turned out quite as John imagined.  Not yet anyway.  But his songs leave a legacy that will never be matched and will challenge us always to live, love, try harder, take care of the less fortunate, and to strive always to be peaceful.

God rest your gentle soul, dear John, and help us to keep believing for a better world.