Tuesday, December 25, 2007

by Max Lucado

"It's Christmas night.

The midnight hour has chimed and I should be asleep, but I'm awake. I'm kept awake by one stunning thought. The world was different this week. It was temporarily transformed.

The magical dust of Christmas glittered on the cheeks of humanity ever so briefly, reminding us of what is worth having and what we were intended to be. We forgot our compulsion with winning, wooing, and warring. We put away our ladders and ledgers, we hung up our stopwatches and weapons. we stepped off our race tracks and roller coasters and looked outward toward the star of Bethlehem.

More than at any other time, we think of Him. More than in any other season, his name is on our lips.

And the result? for a few precious hours our heavenly yearnings intermesh and we become a chorus. A ragtag chorus of longshoremen, Boston lawyers, illegal immigrants, housewives, and a thousand other peculiar persons who are banking that Bethlehem's mystery is in reality, a reality.

For a few precious hours, he is beheld. Christ the Lord. Those who pass the year without seeing him, suddenly see him.

Emmanuel. He is with us. God came near.

Soon life will be normal again. But for the moment, I want to savor the spirit just a bit more. I want to pray that those who beheld him today will look for him when the gifts are history and the carols quiet. And I can't help but linger on one fanciful thought: If He can do so much with such timid prayers lamely offered in December, how much more could He do if we thought of Him every day?

For after all, the One who came that Christmas morning so long ago still comes. He comes every time a seeker turns his face heavenward and says, "Yes!" to the Savior. A Savior sent by a God who so loved the owrld that He game his one and only son." ~ Max Lucado

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Deer Meat and Chocolate Fudge Visits

Last week I went to Arkansas on a short trip to do some business and visit my folks. Since I've begun teaching a Ladies Class again on Sunday mornings, I restricted my travel to Monday and returned on Saturday. It was a great week to be moving about the highways as the air was crisp and I enjoyed a visit with my Aunt Margaret from KY who was also visiting my folks for several weeks.

I should mention also that I have now had the experience of processing deer meat. My Dad had the good fortune of successfully bringing home two nice deer from his hunt, a good thing since he's not had much luck for a couple years in that vein, so he was indeed thrilled with this accomplishment. He likes to trim out the meat himself and remove most of the fat where he says the deer stores the 'wild' in the taste of the meat. Mom did the meat wrapping and labeling. I took on the operation of the meat grinder, as you may know, Mom has had recent shoulder surgery and my Dad broke his back in July. Did I mention that this was a old fashioned hand meat grinder?

I really thought I might be in trouble after the first five minutes or so of grinding; which came after about ten minutes of instruction and demonstration by my Dad. He is a good teacher but rather particular, not necessarily a bad thing, but it does contribute to getting to do things all by yourself, in some situations. Enough said on that front. Anyway, I thought I might be in trouble with that hand grinder. I could feel the muscles in my right arm doing a bit of an about face on me, really wondering on what I'd gotten myself in to. After a couple pounds of meat had been ground, I found myself having to take it apart to clean up the blade and so it was put back together, tightened further, btw, this is important step, and the rest of the grinding went more smoothly. It tooks several hours to grind two deer, in case you're wondering. Don't bother to take your shower before starting this project, by the way.

I figured that I wouldn't be able to move the next day, did I tell you that I had to hold the one side of the grinder with the left hand to keep it steady on the table edge, and move the grinder handle with my right hand, all from a standing position, since I'm a bit short and couldn't get the leverage from a seated position. So much to my surprise, I felt no pain, the next day. Not the next day either. I cannot explain this. Either I am stronger than I thought, or more was going on in that family event than can be explained with rational reasoning. Anyway. It was a good productive day with the family. I should probably mention that I am the oldest daughter of four, to a man with no sons. Translation, I have been taught to be quite 'handy'. Shhh, don't tell anyone else.

I also spent an afternoon making chocolate fudge with my Mom and her 'best' fudge recipe. It is the best chocolate fudge and this batch met expectations and beyond. I brought home a small container of it and we distributed some to the sisters, because you can't keep that much fudge in one refrigerator. It'll ruin the diet every time. Apparently it is also my Dad's favorite candy, however, we have learned that chocolate gives him a headache. Not good. So it was part of the deal to get most of it 'out' of his house to remove the known 'temptation.'

Ah, the battles we face.


Thursday, December 13, 2007

Become as little children

A remarkable phone call from a 12-yr old boy to Houston radio station KSBJ FM 89.3. So profound, the station has it posted on their website. Click below to listen to it. It's short, just 2 minutes.