Imagine Christmas

In 1970, when I was born, my father went down to the local Goodyear store and bought “The Great Songs of Christmas” album by the Goodyear Tire Company. Adding it to his yearly collection of Christmas albums from both Goodyear and Firestone, I have since listened to those albums countless times over 20+ years of living with my family.

Every Thanksgiving, Dad would pull out the boxes full of ornaments, tinsel, lights… and we would put up the Christmas trees, decorating the house to the sounds of Bing Crosby, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Lena Horn, Anne Murray, Tony Bennet and so many more.

And my favorite song? I guess I would have to say “the Christmas Song” sung by Bing Crosby.

For me, that is how the Christmas season starts… with the carols and the hymns, the music. Hearing them begins to lift something beyond my five senses… mainly, my imagination.

Its funny… because a season that is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of Christ starts for me, instead, by talking about chestnuts roasting on an open fire and jack frost nipping at your nose.

Makes you wonder: Could we do without those songs, the carols… could we abandon the mistletoe, the poinsettias, the tree, the lights, all of it… and still celebrate the coming of our savior

Sure we could.

But its hard to imagine Christmas without it. Because it is these traditions that help us celebrate.

The United Methodist Church begins advent with something traditional: its called the Hanging of the Greens. My wife always has a mock look of shock on her face as she yearly exclaims “oh the poor green family is going to hung again”. But ignoring my wife’s wit, I stand back and look at what we do as a church: we put up a tree, we lay out the manger scene (crèche), we hang the wreaths, and light it all up…

Not because we have to, but because we get to. There is nothing inherent in a tree that points to the birth of Christ, but there are few of us that can see a Christmas tree and not remember that we celebrate a birth. There is nothing beyond tradition in a wreath except that it points towards a season. And don’t get me started on how hodge podge our manger scenes always are with both the shepherds AND the wisemen there at the same time, in spite of what scripture tells us.

But … that’s not what matters, is it?

What matters is that all of this… all that we do during the next four weeks, reminds us of what Christmas is about. It reminds us that it is about a child… being born… to save us.

Since the time we were very young children our friends, parents, teachers, and even pastors have tried to help us see Christ in the excitement of a turkey and some mistletoe… which help to make the season bright.

And that is why it is time to imagine Christmas all over again.

Lets shrug off our adult lives for just awhile. Lets stop worrying about what to purchase aunt Gertrude and bickering over which ornament gets placed where… and most assuredly lets table the discussion on where we will eat Christmas dinner at.

Instead, let’s imagine our Christmas this year as something simple and simply apprehensive; full of childlike wild joy as we speed toward a day not filled with gifts, but with peace, love, hope… a day where we don’t find the latest toy in a box wrapped with a bow, but instead find a baby wrapped in a cloth and lying in a manger.

Let us      let our     imaginations soar at the idea that we need someone to save us and a savior being sent in just the nick of time. And then let us sing about, rejoice in it, revel over it, and decorate everything while we do it!

Because These are the ways we remember and celebrate the coming of the Christ child… through our memories of all the great sights and sounds, smells and tastes of what has happened before. Through our music, through the symbols and traditions we have developed. Let’s imagine ourselves enjoying Christmas as it was meant to be enjoyed.

Too Good Not To Post!

Many years ago before anti-discrimination laws were in effect, Mrs. Rosenberg was stranded late one night at a fashionable resort on Cape Cod — one that did not admit Jews.

The desk clerk looked down at his book and said, “Sorry, no room. The hotel is full.”

The lady said, “But your sign says that you have vacancies.”

The desk clerk stammered and then said curtly, “You know that we do not admit Jews. Please try the other side of town.”

Mrs. Rosenberg stiffened noticeably and said, “I’ll have you know, I have converted to your religion.”

The desk clerk said, “Oh, yeah, let me give you a little test. How was Jesus born?”

“He was born to a virgin named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem,” she replied.

“Very good,” replied the clerk. “Tell me more.”

“He was born in a manger.”

“That’s right,” said the hotel clerk. “And why was he born in a manger?”

Mrs. Rosenberg said loudly, “Because some idiot behind a hotel desk wouldn’t give a Jewish lady a room for the night! Any more questions?”

“No.”

“Didn’t think so.”

Servants Seeing Miracles

I used to work at the Crazy Cajun restaurant over on Nasa Road 1 as a dishwasher. It was there that I received my breakthrough into the wonderful world of cooking… now before that, I could cook. But it was at the Crazy Cajun that I learned the secrets that you only get by being behind the wall … away from the customers. In the middle of the heat, the raw food, and the spices. Where the magic and the miracles happen.

Yes, its amazing the things you get to see when you are not out with the crowd but instead in the back with the servants.

And that is what makes John Chapter 2: 1-11 … this story… so amazing.

Everyone calls this the Miracle at the Wedding, where Jesus turned water into wine.

Peculiar that we focus on the wedding, since it was not the Bride nor Groom that were spectators at the first Miracle of Christ. It was not the steward… sort of the wedding planner of the time… who was there to see the Glory Revealed. It was not all of the wedding guests, or the family members, or the Rabbi’s who saw this amazing event transpire.

Go and read it, because it was the servants. The people in the back. The ones NOT there to celebrate, but the ones to work.

Jesus uses a village feast, not as an opportunity to make people happy, but as an opportunity to reveal God. The writer says, “This was the first time Jesus revealed God’s glory.” It is so strange to think…most of the people in attendance missed it entirely. Most of those who were there for the miracle could only comment on the quality of the wine.

With Jesus around, every event, every celebration, every crisis is a moment to serve up miracles.

When such a moment happens, the actual event is significant, but it’s nowhere as important as what happens to US in the midst of the event. A sign from heaven can redirect you, turn you around, prompt you to participate in God’s timetable for the world.

Changes can be disruptive.

They demand all the strength and courage we can find. But if we are able to embrace what God is doing, we may find that some of the best wine has been saved until now.

If you do not want to serve, put down the towels and the serving trays.

Get out there with the crowd and enjoy the party!

But if you want to go join the party it is possible you will not see the Miracles of Christ revealed… oh you might benefit from them, but you will not get to participate in them.

But if you want to be one of the servants, DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU…

No matter how odd it might seem

No matter if you think it demeaning

No matter if it means giving up a room, or a schedule, or something you are used to doing.

No matter if it goes against what society says you should do.

Because when we do, you will not only see miracles… you will be participating in them

Some Personal News for you…

So, yeah, “we” are pregnant.

I figured I might as well post it up at the start instead of teasing you with a long essay which made you wonder “oh my, are they…?”.  And just as it would normally be in character for me to tease you (though I refrain this time) surely it would also be in character for me to tell you that my family craves your prayers, your comfort, and your sharing in our joy.

As a number of you know, my wife and I had trouble early on in our marriage with conceiving children on our own which eventually led to our adopting from China. I cannot believe what a blessing it was to visit China, to immerse in the culture, to celebrate it… and then to come home with the most amazing child.

Since that time, we have worked on and off attempting to adopt again. We started with China again because we wanted Selah to have a sibling of the same or similar race, but just as we were emotionally and financially ready they changed their rules… effectively ace-ing us out. This was tough on us. We were already a multi-racial family, and we wanted to continue along those lines for the benefit of our daughter… but we were just not sure how, now.

After that blow to the psyche, we pursued adoption over a year and a half from different places: Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and the Philippines.  In the end, we moved forward with the Philippines. I am blessed to have a couple in my church who are from there with whom we could ask questions about the culture, etc.   But the cost became too prohibitive, as well as the uncertain timeline.

When we were not able to work out the finer points of any other country we began to look at domestic adoption. In our time as parents, quite a few people have asked us “why have did you not adopt domestically?”. One day, I will write it all down, but let me sum it up by saying… and no, I am not being trite!… Sarah and I really felt led to go to China; and God has blessed us richly for following His lead. If you know Selah, you know what an incredible delight she is.

As with the first child, at the end of the day domestic adoption was just not what we felt we were supposed to do. We interviewed four different agencies, we expressed our want and need to be a multi-racial family. We were open to anything besides Caucasian, and were very interested in those children who were bi-racial. Nothing ever lined up or felt right, though.

We then began talking to a friend of ours who is now an OB/GYN. She gave us  some great advice: if we wanted to explore pregnancy, go to a doctor she knows at Houston IVF. At first we investigated the idea of embryo adoption, which we still fully support as an idea… but there is not much in the way of it here in the Houston area. Slim pickings, to say the least!

Houston IVF was a little far, but at the time we thought our infertility problems were both mine and hers. If there was going to be a problem, we wanted to already be with the best. Turns out its all about me! Sarah appeared fine and after sitting down together we both felt very peaceful about the idea of insemination… a little anxious, but it was more in that “can we handle Sarah being pregnant” way. Ha ha!

When we sat down to talk about donors, we both felt the choice was natural for our not-quite-so normal family; we began to filter through Chinese donors so that Selah would have a sibling with whom she shared traits and heritage. Our final choice for ‘helper’ was an amazing donor who was originally from China and held all the traits we were looking for.

And then, the insemination worked the very first time.

I am not sure how to say it any more plainly. I am still blown away by this. On some levels I marvel at it and say “Thank you God, for allowing me the patience to wait on Your time”.  It is comforting to see confirmation on the uneasy feelings my wife and I got every time we looked into different sorts of adoption that we were unsure about. And this way we are able to provide Selah with a sibling that she will share more with than just Mom and Dad.

We have experienced another culture… we have blended our family as best we can into that culture, and celebrate it with our Chinese-American daughter. Now we are blessed to have the opportunity to go through childbirth (something we thought we never would be able to do… and still causes me to catch my breath) and REALLY blend our family by bringing this child into our world.

We are still early on, and not quite finished with the first tri-mester (due date is early March). Things can still go wrong at this point or any point. But with support from those who love and care for us, neither Sarah nor I are all that worried.

Memories of Mountains

When I was about 20 I took a trip to Manitou springs, to stay in a 100+ year old hotel at the base of Pike’s Peak. I was attending a summer camp called “Summit Ministries” at the insistence of a close high school friend, Don Miller. There was a lot to be jazzed about, but being so close to such an amazing natural wonder, I could not help but be excited about the possibility of climbing it (or at the very least, driving to the top and walking around!!).

 

To prepare for such an excursion, Don glibly suggested that I come on a day hike up a ‘smaller’ mountain to get used to doing hard laborious climbing in the thinner air. He and a few others were going to make a morning of it.

 

First, I want to say that “smaller” is a relative term. And second, its not that the air is thinner (as if it has miraculously lost some weight by going on a crash diet)…instead it means they just do not have enough of it, making it near impossible for the normal Texan (read:out of shape person) to breath.  Consequently I left Colorado praising our fat air down here and looking forward to never leaving it again. But I digress.

 

As I left the hotel, we went out the back door, down a small ravine, and began to trek up a slope filled with brush and brambles. After about 30minutes of climbing, we finally reach a flat-ish surface where I commented on how well we were doing as I attempted to catch my breath. If you have ever known Don, you know that his sense of humor is a wee bit whacky and leans towards the dry witted side.  He cocked his head and informed me that was just a hill… we were NOW going to start climbing the mountain. Honestly, I should have quit then and there; darn my stubborn pride!

 

For the next 3 hours, I placed one foot in front of the other in an attempt to climb this mountain. Each step in the miles of itty bitty gravel pebbles was greeted with a crunch and a sliding noise that left me feeling literally like the 2 steps forward, 1 step back guy… with every motion punctuated by my wheezing for a bit of under-nourished air. 

 

Eventually, I came upon a grouping of boulders that I swore must be the top. It wasn’t.

 

After passing out catching my breath again, I began to climb once more, noticing that our group of about 20 had whittled itself down to 10 (the other 10 thought we were slow, so they went on ahead. I prayed for their souls later that night…well, I mean that I prayed something that had to DO with their souls…) After several more hours, our smaller group reach a peak where a forestry station had once been. Standing on the foundation of the old building, I grimaced down, and declared it wonderful, feeling like I had defeated a giant in mighty battle… only to be told that this wasn’t the top, yet.

 

Someone motioned behind me and loe-and-behold, there was yet ANOTHER peak. By this time, our group was down to 4 people… and before I moved, I demanded that someone assure me that this was the real top this time.

 

After getting my promises signed in blood, we ran down a long crevice only to double back and climb up again, finally reaching the top of Red Mountain. It was humbling to look down at all that I had trekked up and through to get to this one moment. It was even more humbling to look behind me and see Pike’s Peak towering above us like a lording Mount Olympus with all of the Greek Gods taunting me from on high. I never did go to Pike’s Peak.

 

It was wonderful to stand at the top of Red Mountain; to feel the exhiliration that comes from conquering one’s self as well as a piece of nature. We stood up there and lustily yelled the Songs of Solomon off of the top, daring the rocks to try and topple us off. After we could yell no more, we just sat and smiled silly smiles as we rested our worn feet.

 

As I sat there staring at Pike’s Peak, our illustrious leader jauntly said that we should take the road down since we were short on time.  Road? Ya, funny thing …see, it turns out there is an old fire road that runs up the back side of Red Mountain… we just climbed up the face because (I kid you not, he honestly said this) “it would be more fun”.

 

The fact that Don is still alive today is attributed to my inability to reach his throat while I was gasping for fat air. Every one of his blankety-blank books should have a ‘thanks for not killing me, fred’ section somewhere in it.

 

Boxes! Paper! Weeee!

My wife nor I have never spoiled our child with toys.  (grandparents on the other hand, are an almost uncontrollable  force of nature when it comes to spoiling)

We will buy our daughter nice things, but I would never say it was spoiling her. We are very careful to have only a certain number of stuffed animals. A certain number of baskets for toy storage that she can have out. We allow her to have “x” number of dolls.

When it is Christmas time, we have settled on 1 big gift and 3-4 small ones. Birthdays? Usually something similar… 1 big and 1 or 2 small.

When we first adopted Selah we both talked about the excess of toys that we had and that children have today. We decided we wanted to help limit Selah so she would understand self-control, happiness with what she has, and try to help her develop a more creative imagination not based on ‘toys’.

We may have done too good of a job.

Yesterday I got home from a very long and very grueling day at work. As I lay down in the bed just to adjust my mind (read: take a 5 minute nap), in comes Selah with the box that my wife’s new walking shoes came in.

“dad, do you wanna see what came in the mail for me today?” Since my answer of yes or no was sort of beside the point, she began to open the box and pull out everything from small mirrors to strips of paper to hair clips. She carried the box around and it became a treasure chest, a magic box, and a place to ’store fish’.

This morning she brought the box in, grabbed a long piece of wrapping paper out of it and began to do my wife’s hair with the ‘new scarf’.

Why am I not this excited about the simple things and when did I lose my creativity… my imagination?

Ok… ‘lose’ maybe too strong a word. But there is an enjoyment in her that I have not had in awhile. A joy in just ‘playing’.

I think tonight I will come home early, and instead of working on my sermon or one of amilion other things I should be or could be doing… I am going to see if she will teach me how to play. =)

Choices

My wife and I watched a movie tonight called “YES MAN” with Jim Carey.

It was one of those movies that neither of us knew anything about, but figured “what the heck lets watch it anyways”.  Color me surprised but it was quite nice.

The jist was that Jim Carey’s character ended up on a pilgrimage to say “yes” to everything that comes along no matter what, just so that he does not miss out on the opportunities of life. Interesting idea/theory that played out quite nicely…

There is a scene where he and his girlfriend have broken into an outdoor concert hall at night to sit and dream together. The guard catches them, yells out, and they do what anyone would do… they RUN!  But the guard says “stop” and Carey has no other alternative but to obey. Then his girlfriend says the obligatory “what are you doing RUN” and he runs! The guard yells “stop and hit the ground”, (Carey lands flat on his face) and she yells “get up and RUN!”.

All because he has to say Yes to everything.

Now, I am not a Yes Man, but I do understand how sometimes a person can become conflicted between two choices… both pulling at you and both being valid.  Personally, I am getting to the point in my life where I do not like choices… they are becoming almost ridiculous for me to feel like I have made the “right” one.

This weekend was my High School 20th Reunion. Of course it was slotted on the weekend after Easter; a weekend I always spend dedicated to my wife and family due to the fact that they see little to NONE of me for about 5 or 6 weeks prior.

At first I had little to no interest in attending.

My best friend from high school contacted me on several occasions attempting to cajole me into going, and it was tempting; but not tempting enough to cancel vacation plans. I then joined facebook and ‘connected’ on a purely superficial level (ie – I saw other people’s pics, they saw mine, and I exchanged some nice notes with a few of them) which actually has led me to feel… wistful. Towards the end of Easter I was really quite vexed. I felt the need to get away with the family, the need to recharge my own batteries, but now… also the ‘need’ to go and see those people from my teenage years, some of which actually meant something to me.

Choices can really be… (sophomoric answer, i know but still) difficult. How does one choose between two equally important events?  A 20th Reunion only comes around, what, once? But the family has been waiting for a long time for this.

In the end, I gladly gave over to the “spend time with family” because they deserve it and I know I needed it. I also needed to connect with my daughter as well as my wife.

After Easter, we went up to the Hill Country and rented ‘our’ cabin on Way of the Wolf Ranch which is an 1851 Civil War cabin rebuilt near Fredricksburg, Texas.  We have been going there on and off since our honeymoon, and have enjoyed it every time.  Sitting on the front porch, overlooking the scrubby little trees and rocks, all the while listening to the longhorn yodel to one another is actually… well… quite relaxing.

Selah got the most amazing kick out of staying in “her room” which consisted of about 85 square feet, a trundle bed, a chair, and a lamp… all of which were 6 feet above mom and I in a loft made from the original floor of the cabin. She must have climbed those stairs at least 40 times a day and found every excuse in the world to go up there.

Sarah and I really enjoyed our mostly annual trek up and down the streets of Fredricksburg as well as the incredible food we always find there. As is the norm, now, we even found new little stores tucked hither and non that we had never seen before and delighted in investigating (yes, honey, even that odd little cross-stitch house).

At the end of the vacation, here, I have to say… to all those people I knew at the High School Reunion (and who will most likely never read this!), sorry but I made a good choice. It would have been great to have seen everyone but it honestly was greater still to make these new memories.

I will never be a Yes Man… oh, I like to please people… but life does not LET you say yes to everything. Life, more often than not, says “hey, here are two things that are both good. which one will you choose?”

And our choices become who and what we are. Not our Yes’s.

Oh the draw of the mighty Wii…

My wife truly does not understand me.  At least when it comes to my …erm… ‘draw’ and ‘enjoyment’ of video games (read: obsession). She thinks it borders on silly and juvenile. I think it is just plain wonderful.

I feel like Charlie opening up that one magic chocolate bar that has just the hint of the golden ticket inside every time I put myself in front of a video game. Ok… maybe that was a bit far. But how about this: i really enjoy video games.

Some people enjoy a good game of golf. Others enjoy woodworking or gardening. Me, I love to indulge and immerse myself in another medium where I can play someone else’s life in some other world while problem solving and strategizing.  It is something like chess but on a much larger scale. (and for those that play chess, yes! anytime, anywhere! lets go!).

During the time when everyone was playing some rinky dink game system called Atari, my parents got me an off market system called “Intellivision “. Quite honestly it had better controls, it had better games, it had better graphics. I STILL can’t figure out what all the hubbub was about Atari, but intellivision ruled my world starting in 1981 until the onset of Nintendo (SNES), then Nintendo 64, and on and on.

But I did not only play video games on a system at home. No, my father would go by the local arcade and purchase $5 worth of coins for me on Sundays to play during the week. You see, every day of the week they gave you 4 coins for a buck… But on Sunday’s they gave you FIVE coins for a dollar! (my dad was always very frugal and generous at the same time). With those coins, he would take me by the arcade and do his best to play video games with me a couple of times a week. I guess those were my formative years (junior high and starting high school) and he wanted to do something with me.

You know, i have often cited for many people how my father worked his hind end off for the church at the expense of quality time with the family. He was incredibly successful at building Pearland UMC, but his family often missed him or I resented him for not always being around. But if I am going to be fair about it, which I always try to do, he may not have been home every night to play Parcheesi, but he sure did try to make time to be with me in ways that really counted.  He coached basketball teams and soccer teams for me… And goodness gracious, What other parent, who had no bloody clue about what a ‘video game’ is, would spend hard earned money AND their own time to go and watch their son play?

I learned a long time ago when I started my family that I would never give up precious family moments for my job if I could help it. But I hope that I ALSO learned from my father to be very creative with the precious time that i do have. I fail at that at times…. and others I succeed.

My daughter showed a love of video games at age 3, to my wife’s chagrin. But me,  I think it is something we can enjoy together, spending some creative quality time with one another. Tonight I did something I have not done in 20 years: I ordered a Wii gaming system by Nintendo. I believe its something she will like. I know I will, too.

We all pass on things to our children, now, don’t we? I hope one day she looks back and sees that I passed on the good things like creative quaility time. Oh, and a love of gaming, too. =)

A Life of Baking…

I am a fairly good cook. (I would have to be to keep my girlish figure up!)

 

I can make entrees, appetizers, sauces and soups with the best of them; I can cook anything from Indian to Mexican. But one thing I am not very good at is baking.

 

Try as I might, my baking endeavors always seem to end up… well… lets say “less than perfect”. My cakes are too dry and too moist all at the same time. Cookies are always at that level of crisp that most people consider too hard even for the NHL.

 

But bread… Now bread, I have had some moderate success at.

 

When I was growing up my mother would bake bread on Saturday mornings. The smell would waft through the whole house and fill up not only your senses but your very soul.  Bread has always been my comfort food; slathered with butter and hot out of the oven. Maybe that is why I keep trying to make it.

 

About five years ago my mother came over and taught me how to bake bread as she did when I was growing up. As always when she baked, the loaves came out perfectly rounded with a crispy crust and a soft center. Just like homemade bread should be. Since that time my mother has passed away, but her recipe I still have. Its written down in a little cookbook that some church at some time put together called ‘Amazing Graces’. Beside it are scribbles in her handwriting making corrections to some of the instructions that I suppose an editor made.

 

Since her passing, I have tried almost monthly to recreate her recipe.  I break out her old mixer, gather up the flour, honey, yeast, and oil, warm up the oven and ‘go to town’.  I mix up a double batch usually… just in case it comes out alright, that way there is plenty to eat.

 

What is crazy is how even the smallest thing can affect the outcome of my bread. If the temperature of my kitchen is not just right, it fails. If it is too humid or not enough humidity, it fails. If the yeast is too cold, it fails. If the water I mix in is too warm or not warm enough, it fails.  Sigh! For such a simple recipe, I find it amazingly hard to get it just right.

 

I view Christianity in much the same way as my bread making: I find it amazingly hard to get it just right. 

 

Once we become converted, that is, once we give our lives (and therefore our sinful nature) up to Christ, we begin the daily attempts to be more Christ-like. And at the root and the core of it all are some very simple concepts… similar to the simple ingredients in my mother’s bread recipe:  Flour, water, honey, vegetable oil, and yeast make for a delicious, soft bread. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control make for a  strong Christian life. Very simple concepts that we, as sinners, seem to constantly get wrong. Oh sure, we get it right a lot as well, but I think it is more like the bread I sometimes make… it’s too crusty or too doughy, falls to pieces when it is cut, or is just too dry to really eat.

 

So daily we must try again and again to live out our Christ-like life. We must make our mistakes and try to learn from them. We must be introspective enough to know where we falter so we can fix it. My friends, do as I do… Keep trying! Keep baking!

Ah, Sonshine…

So for almost a year I have tried to teach my daughter that, in the mornings when the sun comes out, she can get out of bed and come wake me up (if I am not already awake). Her mom always sleeps in late (grumble!) but in general I have always been a morning person, so that means its my job to get things moving. Being a morning person means I used to wake up at 5am… now it means I wake up around 6am… sometimes as late as 7am. Hey! It is still earlier than a lot of people I know!

What I thought was just genius about my training my daughter to get up early was that, on the off chance I stayed up too late and was oversleeping, she would be my darling little alarm clock. For the most part this has worked: on a given normal day she is awake between 6:15 and 6:30am.

Isn’t it funny how things can go awry, though? And those best laid plans… well…

Here we are in Minnesota on vacation. We came to attend Sarah’s mother’s family reunion picnic (is a family obligation still considered vacation?). So far the weather has been incredible, the temperature ideal, the food delicious, and the stores uniquely interesting. What I was not prepared for was that the sun rises earlier here. A lot earlier. A lot lot lot. Try 5:28am.

So you can imagine our first night/day here… went something like this:

Got here in the afternoon and stayed up late, full of excitement. Went to bed around Midnight or 1 or so. 5:28am comes around and it begins to be light outside. Child excitedly gets up by 5:35am and comes to wake up a very tired (and grumpy) set of parental units.

My favorite part was went Selah got so irritated that we were NOT getting up as trained that she began to slam her hands on the bed, palms down, yelling out loud “it’s time to get up it’s light outside it’s time to get up”. This action was directly followed by my dashing to her side and wisking her to the adjoining suite’s room, thus saving the poor ignorant kid from being beaten within an inch of her life by her endearing mother. Of course I stayed awake with her while Sarah slept in, and the two of us greeted the Minnesota morning our first day here.

Thessalonians talks about how the dead in Christ will rise first at the Parousia (second coming) of Christ. The “dead” were often spoken of by Jesus himself as ‘being asleep’. Why they get to greet Christ first, I do not really know… maybe its because those that are awake are slower to notice the drastic change of a Sonrise. But those that are asleep come awake to be greeted warmly by Christ. 

Whatever the case may be, when Christ’s return is here, everyone needs a little 3 year old excitedly slapping their hands on the side of whatever bed they have while yelling “it’s time to get up it’s light outside he is here get up!”

But I honestly believe we won’t need it. Hopefully, we will BE that 3 year old jumping around and excitedly greeting the Son.

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