When Alice saw the rabbit hole, she wondered: “Do I dare to go?” She went. Praise God. Raise gratitude. She found her winding way back home.
Linked to Cosmic Photo Challenge where Dale offers the theme of “snappers’ choice”, or photos of my own choosing. These are pictures taken about a week ago near the beach.
Also linked to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. I was thinking this past week of Matthew 6:13,And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. (NIV)
I smiled when I thought the temptation from the evil one might be for me to get my own way (or its way) when instead I should be rejecting it. When I do get my own way, that is, when my own will was done, I wondered if that were also His will for me? And that made me suspicious of the lyrics in the song, I Did It My Way.
Ahh! Going down that rabbit hole made me smile all the more with gratitude as things started to make sense from that context. Now to find my way back home.
Crystal Grimes is hosting a Holiday Blogging Party to which I am linking this post. May all of you have a blessed Hanukkah and a merry Christmas.
14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. 15 Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
I read two impressive blog posts this past week about Christmas. Julie’s post (CookieCrumbsToLiveBy) associated “cancel Christmas” with Scrooge. Mario Murillo’s post pointed out the “supernatural power of Christmas”. There’s more going on with Christmas than meets the eye. I don’t want to miss it.
The thought of politicians, some of whom I doubt were validly elected given the evidence of voter fraud in the US, trying to come up with excuses to make it difficult for us to celebrate Christmas, or to discredit Christmas in some way, makes me want to celebrate Christmas all the more.
And I feel the same about Hanukkah, the Festival of Dedication (John 10:22), the Festival of Lights, that we are currently in. May the fire of your light pierce the darkness of night.
Given his diet Greg knew he shouldn’t eat much of anything on the menu. As a compromise he ordered a huge bowl of nachos with sour cream, guacamole and “the works”, whatever that was, and shared it with everyone at the table. It went well with their burgers and beers and Greg had plenty himself.
“Hmmm,” Greg thought, “Those nachos taste good.” He wondered if he should break his diet and risk ordering a burger and beer.
He thought and thought and thought and thought and decided not to since by that time everyone else had thankfully finished theirs.
When I think of Christmas I think of decorated trees, presents, special food, family, quiet, cold wintry nights – and snow. Here are some photographs of snowy scenes from last year. Annette Rochelle Aben reminded me in one of her recent posts of this Christmas song that may fit these photos:
Christmas is the traditional time to celebrate the birth of Jesus although He was not likely born on this date. Joseph Lenard argued that Jesus was born on the Feast of Trumpets (specifically, September 11, 3 BC, at the beginning of the Jewish civil year, Tishri 1, or Rosh Hashanah). David Pawson argued that Jesus was born later in Tishri during the Feast of Tabernacles. Richard Lanser argued that Jesus was born on March 20, 6 BC, on Nisan 1. There may be arguments for other dates that I’m unaware of.
Pawson, however, pointed out something important in his argument. The supernatural event was not the birth, but the conception of Jesus nine months earlier recorded in Luke 1:26-38. He pointed out that a virgin could theoretically give birth to a baby girl through parthenogenesis, but not to a baby boy. This reaffirms the significance of conception in human life.
Regardless of when Jesus was actually born, winter is a good time for a celebration and Jesus is worth remembering at any time of the year.
I am also linking this to Trent P. McDonald’s The Weekly Smile. I began writing the post on Saturday, December 5th, which happened to be my own birthday. That thought led to a realization this past week that has given me many reasons to smile, with gratitude to all of our parents and to the grace of God, that we have all been assigned to this same time together.
And so, my fellow assignees, may all of you, friend and foe alike, have a blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas.
I gave my brother peeled apple slices. He placed them one-by-one on the strudel dough that we older ones helped stretch across a cloth on our dinner table. He put some in his mouth. Then came the raisins to scatter on the dough. When it was finished I held him so he could watch our mother lift the cloth underneath the strudel, roll it into a long, thick pastry that fit on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven.
We made many strudels for Christmas and everyone helped.
I’ve never had a dessert that tasted so good.
Linked to Carrot Ranch where Charli Mills offers the theme of family traditions.
Clara remembered how concerned she was when she lost her hair band. She asked her father to find it. He did.
That was Clara’s earliest memory of him, and a pleasant one, but others were painful. With a rebellious daughter of her own she traded positions with her father. Clara, too, would have searched the streets for any hair band her daughter dropped, but her daughter no longer accepted assistance from her.
That may be what a memorial service is good for. It gets regrets out in the open and breaks habits one wished had been broken long ago.
Linked to Friday Fictioneers where Rochelle Wisoff-Fields offers C. E. Ayer’s photo as a prompt for stories of 100 words or less.
The open beams joined the walls showing the ceiling and the loft where they slept. These beams pressed low enough that Ben could reach up and touch them in their cabin in the Maine woods.
This morning like those beams his spirit pressed in on him, but Ben had no time for moody temptations. Toward evening as he removed his boots and outer coverings he felt a breeze of consolation. He knew that consolation would come if he were faithful which he was.
Rushing to him he lifted his three-year old son and smiled watching his wife add decorations to their small Christmas tree.
Jim opened the certified package from his friend, Steve, whom he had not seen in fifty years. There was a letter and a copy of The Imitation of Christ that Jim gave Steve decades ago. Steve saw the book while sorting through boxes and decided to return it after finding Jim’s address.
A few months before receiving the package Jim wondered how his life veered off course getting lost in a moral dessert. How did he get from being a teenager who could attend Mass with joy to become an old man who barely had a clue?
Jim cautiously opened the worn book and began reading smelling the fresh air of an oasis amidst its aging pages.
Looking at the shadow of its chimney I remembered the cabin full of mosquitoes. Mr. McGregor told me they couldn’t get into the bedroom. There was a shower, a woodstove, and a bed. I would only be there a few weeks. Given the bear warnings it would be better than my tent.
Incidentally, there was also a ghost that rattled stuff, but so did the wind.
When I left I told Mr. McGregor about the ghost. He apologized. Normally he wouldn’t have rented the cabin, but I seemed like the kind of guy who wouldn’t mind Megan. I didn’t.
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.