Thursday, December 15, 2016

Home and Hearth

These words are part of the vocabulary of Christmas.  “Home” is that place of welcome, grace and mercy.  “Hearth” is that place of permanence, steady, constant.  

However, “Christmas” is about all things change.  
Christmas is full of change, transformation, restoration.

Christmas is about a specific change.

The shepherds were driven from the field by dramatic visions cast by angels.  These shepherds returned to their fields proclaiming faith in God in a new and surprising way.  What a dramatic change for very earthy shepherds.

The wise men followed a star, chatted with a political leader, and knelt at a crib.  If only we could read their reflection.  As does the star, their journey appears to have started one way and concluded another.

As you prepare for Christ’s birth, what change has accrued?  More reflective upon your relation with you needy neighbor?  More aware of your own need?  More excited about God’s work in your life, relationships, worship?

Change does not equal quilt or shame.  Let us be clear on this account.  We need change in our relationship with Jesus Christ.   Best to focus upon the positive outcome of that relationship.  To focus on the negative is to drown all hope.

Jesus was born among us because Jesus had hope.  God will make perfect our relationship with God and others.  Because of the change caused by God, we can celebrate the change we seek in our own lives.  

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Dr. Brooks

Friday, December 02, 2016

Why Christmas Cards?  Baker’s Dozen Reasons!

  1. Perfect activity while listening to Christmas music if you have not listened to enough at the mall

2.  Perfect way to witness to your faith by purchasing the Madonna and child stamps, and keep your friendly postal worker employed by purchasing the Madonna and child stamps.

3.  Perfect way to brag about your kid(s) in a pre-social media sort of way.  Christmas is about tradition, yes?

4.  Perfect reason to review the year’s worth of digital pictures to create a Christmas letter.  Talk about counting blessings!  Never had so many when I had to pay somebody to develop film!

5.  Perfect reason to practice signing your name, since we no longer write checks or pen a letter.

6.  Perfect time to remember those who would be receiving a card but have gone on to Heaven.   Sad, but what joyous memories we have of these most beautiful people!

7.  Perfect time to re-learn how to make your printer place addresses on odd sized envelopes because who is going to actually hand write all those addresses?

8.  Perfect time to show off your crafty side with hand-made cards.  Sorry to disppoint.  I will not be showing off this year.

9.  Perfect time to cull your list of people who don’t make the “Christmas Card List” which is way easier than dealing with my friend list on facebook.

10.  Perfect way to discover who really thinks you are worth a stamp … uh or the time and the cost of cards, envelopes, letter, etc. 

11.  Perfect way to keep yourself in the WILL of long lost relatives with big bucks!

12.  Perfect way to prove that trees are a renewable resource, and so is glitter!

13.  Perfect way to spread Christmas cheer to make Santa’s sleigh fly, because we all want gifts!