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Archive for the ‘Birthday’ Category

Perhaps it is a funny name for a poem before Christmas, but I do not mean chronologically beyond Christmas but rather conceptually beyond Christmas. The baby in the manger is a good historical reality and symbol for the humility of the divine Son of God, but it is only the beginning and by no means to the focus of His coming. As a lady reflected to me the other day, “We should always connect Christmas to Easter.”* For that matter I would add, we should connect First Advent to Second (judgment and heaven), and to Passover (the Cross), and to Resurrection. It is important and essential that we know and believe Jesus is fully God and fully man, as the Christmas story conveys, and why that is important in God’s salvation plan.

It has been quite some time since I have written a poem for Christmas. If you want to read my last ones, click on “Advent Colors” and “Tabernacled Among Us“, and then click on “The Fullness of the Empty” for a short commentary that explains much of what is intended to be conveyed in the following poem.

Just a little note to say
That we remember the day
Christ came to Earth as a man
To fulfill God’s saving plan

In the manger there He lay
All for us our sins to pay
Lived a life utterly pure
By His death made us secure

Exalted divinity
In fragile humanity
Perfect substitute we trust
By faith we can and we must

As man could die in our place
As God rescue Adam’s race
The little babe of Bethlehem
Came here sin and death to stem

The first noel angels sang
From David a Savior sprang
Peace and joy to Earth He’ll bring
With hope the ransomed will sing

Gold a present for the King
He has come, let the bells ring
Speaks of glory of divine
Never tarnish, always shine

Frankincense, means for the Priest
To please God well for us least
Our sins are gone, we rejoice
Loudly give our praise voice

Myrrh encases the Savior
Who died for our behavior
Symbol of a true wonder
Death could not hold Him under

Unto us a Son given
With death and hell has striven
Next time He will rule outright
With one word put foes to flight

Merry Christmas and a new year of knowing God better and following Him more closely.

*I am quoting, but I no longer use that term. I prefer Resurrection Day and I regularly use the term First Advent.

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Partytime! The little man just turned two so we had a party. Grandparents don’t need much excuse to visit. Growing slowly but steadily, he is a wonder of modern medicine and a trophy of God’s grace given his heart challenges at birth. He takes a bit of time to warm up to you, and dons quite a serious expression, but he studies everything quite closely.

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Distracted attention

He is always up to go for a ride in the truck, especially since we went to see a front-end loader dump topsoil in the bed of the truck. 

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“I’m tied down at the moment.”

While daddy was in the store, we listened to hymns and pretended to be going somewhere.

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In the driver’s seat

Besides Mamaw and Grandpa, his uncle and wife came, along with a friend and her parents.

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Party!

The friend’s dad has a job collecting stories from WWI and II veterans and their families. Here the little man’s dad is telling his great-grandfather’s story of being in the Med, the North Atlantic, the Caribbean, and the Pacific for over three years. The many stories friend shared were amazing. The one about General Patton’s personal pilot was fascinating. Escaping from a Swiss prison camp was amazing.

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War Stories

A storybook with moving parts is the best. I don’t know how much reading or literary learning goes on, but it is non-stop fun. Everyone wants to see the new gifts.

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Opening presents

Big Sis has a few stories of her own to tell. 

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Hanging out

The pictures don’t show it, but the little man actually laughed and ran around quite a bit. Others were focusing on their various forms of media.

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Always the serious one
It was good to be together. We moved dirt. We heard a sermon and sang. We ate a feast. We talked to family and new friends. We cleaned up dishes. We talked and talked and talked. We walked. We read and took pictures and googled. We came home tired. 

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I am thankful to God for life and grace. Today I am 60 years old. I appreciate all of my friends who have said, “Happy Birthday”. I got to thinking. I am twice as old as one of my colleagues, four times as old as most of my students, six time older than the students of my Sunday School class, and about 9 to 42 times as old as my grandchildren, oh, and about 1/16th the age of Methuselah. I pray that God may sustain me for better service in the coming years that He has ordained for me than in the ones past. He is the one to whom I give glory and thanks for health, purpose, ministry, direction, freedom, family, knowledge, opportunity, possessions, and comforts. This life is short with joys and struggles. I came in with a snowstorm and have no idea how I may go out, but I best put away futility and enjoy what God has given me while I may, not is a lackadaisical way, but in diligent life and service with thanksgiving. For He is worthy and life is short. I want to choose joy and decisiveness and humility over worry and regret and need of self justification. May it be so.

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Overflows from the Heart

"But the things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart…" Matthew 15:18

CreatorWorship

Pointing to the One who made, saved, and sustains