“The real problem is not that we are different, nor that we disagree and have conflict. It's that most of us automatically view conflict as something negative rather than as a tool God can use to help us better understand ourselves and one another.

--Robert Ricciardelli”

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas

Like many bloggers, I’ll be taking Christmas off. So, instead of the usual Morning Report, I thought I would share some links to people’s Christmas stories, memories, thoughts and expectations.

JR shared an timeless tale at A Keyboard And A .45
The denizens of Castle Argghhh had a story, too.
There was a wonderful photo Op of Santa in Iraq from BLACKFIVE
RWA had his Thoughts From The Heart of Dixie
Gazer posted this at Gazing at the Flag
(…be sure to take the Reindeer Quiz…by the way, I’m a Blitzen…see my previous post…)
LilFeathers2000 posted this thoughtful rhyme at This That And Froghair 2.
Andi spoke up from Andi’s World
And, Taco Bell sent a Sandgram

And, finally, here is my Christmas memory.
Back in 1988, I was living in a street shelter, in Lufkin, Texas, doing day labor jobs, trying to get back on me feet. A couple weeks before Christmas, three of us got a week long job clearing brush on some land. We got to stay in a cabin there. We did have to cut our own wood to keep the fire going and be able to cook, though. The first day, I unpacked groceries and got the stove/heater going, while the other two went to gather wood. I finished before they got back and started playing around on my guitar—wondering what Christmas really means to me. I started singing, and, much to my surprise, out came the answer.

To remember what Christmas really is, I simply let my mind wander back to that cabin in East Texas. You see, in reality, Christmas comes every day.
(...the lyrics for the song is in the comments...sorry, I couldn't get the audio file to load right...)

It’s really amazing how simple things become when you have nothing—or at least not much. It’s also much easier to know what you really believe. Since that week in the brush, I’ve gotten married. We now have four children. We’ve struggled through some pretty tough medical situations. And, now, I’m launching out into a second career. With all that, it would be easy to get caught up in the rush, bustle and commercialism of Christmas. Instead, I remember. I hope you have a memory that helps keep you focused on the real meaning of Christmas.

I hope your holidays are wonderful. I hope your Christmas is awesome. And, I hope your new year is blessed beyond belief. But, most of all, I pray that the grace and peace of the Lord, Jesus Christ, is always increasing in your hearts and lives through the knowledge of Him.