A Stress Free Christmas: Five Ways to Keep Santa in the Season

Happy holiday time has arrived. Way too many folks suffer unnecessary stress during this time, mainly because of a lack of focus on the really important center, which is, of course, Santa, gifts, family and fun. However, we all face multiple distractions which dilute the reasons for the season. So, below, you will five suggestions that, faithfully followed, will guarantee a relaxed, fun Christmas celebration free of distraction. ONE: MUSIC Choose carefully the kinds of seasonal music surrounding you and your loved ones. Again, the Holidays are a season of happiness, family, joy and gifts. Accompanying music should be full … Continue reading A Stress Free Christmas: Five Ways to Keep Santa in the Season

The Crusty Poinsettias; The Crusted Over Soul

Yearly, members of the church I serve order poinsettias to decorate the worship center during Advent and into Christmas. We purchase them through a local non-profit agency that helps the impoverished in the area as part of their yearly fund-raising efforts. This year, I jokingly challenged the congregation to order lots of them to make sure that I got my December exercise, since this will be my last year to undertake the task of KEEPING ALL THOSE POINSETTIAS ALIVE UNTIL CHRISTMAS! Yes, all caps on that one. Poinsettias are tropical plants, and grow in rainforest areas.  They want damp air … Continue reading The Crusty Poinsettias; The Crusted Over Soul

Every Child Born Changes the Entire World

Every child born changes the entire world. Whether eagerly longed for or dreaded, male or female, impoverished or ultra-wealthy, every child changes the world. Whether loaded with physical and mental challenges or worry-free healthy, a musical prodigy or profoundly tone-deaf, hair sunny-silky light or wildly curly/kinky dark, skin glorious ebony-rich to albino-like pale, every child changes the world. Whether left or right-handed, born already reading philosophy or never able to read even one word, oldest or youngest or in a middle position–no matter the characteristics or circumstances, every single child born changes the entire world. Think about it:  no family … Continue reading Every Child Born Changes the Entire World

Checklists and Holiness; Carols in Worship

During this Advent season, the time Christians have used for ages to prepare their hearts for the coming of the Savior, I decided to do something I have not done before in worship.  I’ve been taking some of the well-loved but not necessarily religious Christmas and seasonal songs and using them as doorways to the hallways of grace. I know that I personally have struggled for years with Christmas songs that seemed to me to have nothing to do with Christmas.  So this year, I sought to take a different view, and honor in a whole new way the fact … Continue reading Checklists and Holiness; Carols in Worship