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Love and marriage are the greatest adventures in life, and they point they way to our relationship with the Almighty.

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Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Boxing Day (Tell His Story)

On the night of Christmas Eve, Santa comes down the chimney to bring presents to all the good little children.

On the night before Boxing Day, Mike Tyson comes down the chimney to deal with the bad kids.

And hey, it's even kinda Scriptural!

Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight... - Psalm 144:1

I hope that you had a great Christmas. I was pretty sick, and so this post is short...but Tell His Story continues.

Music from Bill Conti with Gonna Fly Now 

Sylvia's a lover not a fighter, unless the ice cream runs out.


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Thursday, December 21, 2023

Be Not Afraid

 I had the chance to go Home this morning.

Wasn't feeling terrible, but suddenly everything got distant and the ceiling opened with a bright golden light that drew me up. It was all so peaceful and wonderful. There was the truth there, if no need for fear. I was going Home.

And I decided against it. I had freedom of choice, and I chose to stay.

It's not over yet. Dogs and cats to care for, people to help, and most important, a dear wife to support with everything I have.

Don't regret it, but the decision broke my heart.

The ceiling just dissolved away,
and I saw the golden light
that said I need no longer stay,
and could cease my fight.
I was drawn up to that peace
that I had never understood,
and I reached out for sweet release
as God knew that I would.
But then I heard the quiet call
of my obligation.
I let my hand, and heart, too, fall,
and said, 'This is my station,
and I'll pursue my war right here
for everything that I hold dear.'

Music from John Michael Talbot, with Be Not Afraid

Sylvia's only fear is that the McDonald's soft serve ice cream machine breaks.

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

Travelling Mercies (Tell His Story/

 I would bet that many of you will be travelling over the next couple of weeks, and in do doing you'll be fulfilling one of the great themes of Christmas.

God leaving Heaven to come to Earth...

Joseph and Mary having to go from Nazareth to Bethlehem...

The shepherds coming down from the hills...

The Magi following the star...

And later, Joseph and Mary fleeing to Egypt...

Buddha is quoted as saying that it is better to travel than to arrive, but hey, that's just him.

For a Christian, the arrival is everything. Like it says in Luke 13:29...

And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

Music from The Traveling Wilburys, with End Of The Line 

Sylvia suggests we travel now to McDonald's for some ice cream.

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Thursday, December 14, 2023


 I was always an avid reader, and now, with shelves bowing under the weight of accumulated books...

...it's getting really hard to stay focused on anything I read. I'll pick up a book, read a few chapters, then put it down and start another. Too often I forget what I was reading. I just can't connect with a story any more.

I don't know if it's cancer, or the result of too many recent high fevers...or maybe I've changed.

Writing's harder, too. I bet you can tell.

Whatever. Life is still good, there's lots to do, and I don't mourn a vanished past.

I'm putting this out there for anyone who may see this in a loved one, or see it in themselves.

Change, and a feeling of loss that might be related to it, are not to be hated. They may be uncomfortable, may be frustrating, but in the end, God's in control. Maybe He's doing this for a reason.

Maybe He wants you to put aside others' stories, so He can tell you your own.

I drew such inspiration
from all the tales of derring-do,
and in part became creation
of the stories I lived through,
but now the words don't resonate,
falling empty at my feet,
and I am forced to contemplate
that what I thought made me complete
was a step upon a road
that leads...I don't know where!
The principles that were a goad
have vanished into crystal air,
leaving me to understand
that it's time to take God's hand.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is STORE.

Always loved the bookstore,
Barnes and Noble, Borders too
(and when the latter shut its door,
I was really, really blue).
There's something 'bout the smell of books
that nothing else can truly reach;
it might be the domain of cooks,
a recipe no-one can teach.
But all that is now nearly gone,
BN has more knick-knacky stuff.
Books now come from Amazon,
but somehow that's not quite enough
to re-create a lovely past
that was just too good to last.

Three minutes, and it kinda hurt to go there.

Music from Enya, with (well, why not) Book Of Days

Sylvia says there are only two words worth reading.



Tuesday, December 12, 2023

The Gift We Hate To Give (Tell His Story)


Trees and tinsel and mistletoe, friends and family and food, carols and movies and the mall (well, used to be the mall, now it's Etsy).

And church on Christmas Eve, or Christmas morning.

That's the grace of Christmas...or is it?

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. - John 3:16

It's all very cozy, very comforting, until you realize that Christmas morning puts Jesus on a collision course with betrayal, an unfair trial, scourging, the Via Dolorosa, and his brutal murder on the Cross.

Don't want that as your tree-topper.

We celebrate with an exchange of gifts, in the footsteps of the Magi, but we tend to overlook the fact that the true gift of Christmas is the grace God extended to us, the grace that through a blood offering, the blood and suffering of His Son, delivered us from the inevitable cost of sin, and saved us from eternal damnation.

Perhaps that's what we should be paying forward.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you... - Matthew 5:44

The gift we can't bear to offer, but that we must share, is the forgiveness God has for us.

As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. - Psalm 103:13

Music from Band Aid, with Do They Know It's Christmas?

Forgiveness, says Sylvia, should include ice cream.

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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Honey Is Home

Honey is the German Shepherd in the middle of the picture. At left are Henry the deaf Pittie and Cocoa Chihuahua. At right is Bray the Dachshund. This is their first meeting. They're pals now.

Honey's mom, the mother of a friend of Barb's, died suddenly this week.

Honey had nowhere to go.

Except here.

 It was only yesterday
that Honey came to call.
She had no other place to stay,
no other place at all.
It was only yesterday
that Honey came to live
with us, to protect and play,
with so much love to give.
It was only yesterday
that she became a part
of our unruly dog-array,
and chose to give her heart
to the pack that took her in
so a new life could begin.

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is TURN.

Come on, doggies, wait your turn,
there's food enough for all of you.
Oh, dear Lord, will they not learn
all that they have put me through
when they rush the dinner dishes,
barking like the end has come,
leaving me with bitter wishes
that I'd not exposed my thumb
to a beast of fourteen pound
(three-quarters of that weight is teeth),
who through experience has found
that if part of me falls beneath
that hard and razor-y dentition,
feeding her first becomes my mission.

Just under three minutes, and yes, the truth hurts.

I apologise for not keeping up on replying to comments, and not leaving comments on your blog posts. With Barb's recent fall and facial fractures, I have become the caregiver. It's taken a lot out of me.

Music from Johnny Mathis, with I'm Coming Home.

Sylvia figures the more the merrier, as long as I don't have to share my ice cream.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The Misguided Loyalties Of Christmas 3: Keeping Up With The Joneses


We've all seen the commercials...a luxury car with a bow on the roof, standing in the driveway on Christmas morning.

Or the modest envelope in the stocking, holding tickets for a Caribbean cruise.

Do you wish you could give that, instead of socks and a couple of CDs?

Do people even buy CDs anymore?

And so we spend our way into debt. It's Christmas, after all, and we've been offered a deal where we won't have to pay a dime until March! (Interest will, of course, accrue.)

We'll pay it off before next Christmas.

But somehow, we never do, and debt, like middle-age spread, grows.

We do our best to keep up with the Joneses, but it exacts a toll...and somehow we always fall behind. The chimera of the social success of our generosity gets further from our reach.

Does it bring joy, bring us to the meaning of Christmas?

Next Christmas, will anyone remember what we worked so hard to pick, and went into debt to give?

God has something to say about keeping up with the Joneses, in Galatians 6:4...

But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.

You need not find joy in measuring yourself against what your neighbour does...find it in what you can, and should, do.

And going into debt is not what you should do.

The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower is servant to the lender. - Proverbs 22:7

If we're using extravagant gift-giving to impress others and gain their affection, well, Proverbs 19:4 addresses that.

Wealth maketh many friends; but the poor is separated from his neighbour.

Really, is all of the stress we put on ourselves, trying to be loyal to a mythical past, trying to please family and friends, and trying to measure up to the standards society sets needed for the celebration of Christmas?

We can all chorus No!, but are we willing to take a step into the unknown, and have a different kind of Christmas?

A Christmas that nods to that manger, so long ago, when love came to save us.

I hope I am.

Music from the Goo Goo Dolls, with Better Days

Sylvia doesn't worry about keeping up with the Joneses. She just wants to eat her ice cream before it melts.

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