Saturday, December 26, 2009

What I'm looking at right now

My book, a soy white chocolate latte wrapped in my new Pirate coffee koozie from my sister, and a chocolate chunk muffin. Diet begins again next week!

Friday, December 25, 2009

What I'm looking at right now

Pirates of the Caribbean - Dead Man's Chest, Christmas tree, and a glass of egg nog...

Oh. My. Gosh.

I have seen this before and I am amazed every time. This is one of my all time favorite songs and Mr. Nabors' version is epic...and I loved him as Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

(This is what happens when you've got lots of other things you should be doing, it's Christmas night, and you're alone.)

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

What I'm looking at right now

Res ipsa loquitur (it speaks for itself)

What I'm looking at right now

The Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Downtown LA

Monday, December 21, 2009

On Christmas and other pieces of my mind

I was considering this post before I read Ed's And that's what Christmas is about, Charlie Brown. I recommend that post also to anyone reading this.

On Christmas: I'm having trouble getting into it this year. And I find that I'm not the only one. Yes, the tree is up. Yes, the lights are on the balcony. But that's it. The tree is the artificial one that has been serving us for the past two years. It has lights attached, and that's a good thing, because without the attached lights the tree would be completely bare. I never even got the box of decorations out of the garage.

Some evenings we don't even turn the lights on. We didn't tonight. There is not a single present under the tree yet, although there will be a few by Christmas Eve.

I've noticed many more businesses with "Open Christmas Day" signs in their windows this year. That fact alone is disappointing and distressing. To me, it's another sign that the enemy is winning. The enemy doesn't want us remembering the real reason that we're celebrating. He doesn't want us to make a big deal of Christmas. He'd like us to forget it entirely, but since we humans are a greedy bunch at heart who won't give up an occasion where we get presents, the next best thing is to get us convinced that it's just a great "holiday", but certainly not a big enough deal to take the day off or anything.

It started with the assault on "Merry Christmas." The enemy convinced some of us that the mere use of the words "Merry Christmas" was horrible. I wonder how long it will be before the word Christmas disappears from be replaced with something secular like wintermas or some such nonsense.

Why can't people see it? It's as clear as the nose on your face. "...your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Every time another store stays open and makes their employees work, every time someone chooses "Happy Holidays" or "Seasons Greetings" over "Merry Christmas", every time the boss tells you that you can't display a "religious symbol" at your work station, the devil rejoices.

I'm not offended if someone wishes me a "Joyous Kwanzaa" or a "Happy Hanukkah". Why are so many offended by "Merry Christmas"? That's a rhetorical question. I know what the answers are. I reject them. And I reject the enemy and his schemes. I will not fall prey to his devices. I will celebrate this year, as my friend Edward Koczan wrote, "the promise of a good life, the joy of God’s forgiveness and grace, and what 'goodwill to all' really means, as a follower of Jesus. The birth of our Savior Jesus Christ and his sacrifice on the cross allows us all a second chance that we don’t deserve."

Merry Christmas to all.

Other pieces of my mind: You know what's cooler than God answering prayer? When he uses you to answer someone else's prayer. I found myself in that situation today and it's awesome.

The story: I'm standing in my place of work (those of you who know where I work will understand), rather, I'm in the building, but in a room in the building that I don't frequent very much at all. Can't tell you the last time I was in this particular room. Today I get a call from the co-worker in that room telling me that there are holiday treats to be had. I don't think he's ever called me offering me treats before. (Yes, even my falling to the temptation of holiday treats can be used by God.) I thought twice about responding to the call, because truth be told, I was in the middle of something else, but I gave in and went upstairs.

So I'm standing there talking to my co-workers and this attractive lady walks up to within about 15 feet (as close as she could get safely) and she's looking right at me. In my defense, I didn't have my spectacles on. It appears that she wants to ask a question, so I say "Can I help you?" As she's saying "Steve? It's Elyse", I realize that this is my niece, who (whom?) I haven't seen for 7 years!

The reasons for the estrangement are irrelevant. The important part is that I've reconnected with a family member, my deceased brother's youngest child. We talked for a few minutes and exchanged phone numbers. She told me that she is now a Believer and that she is attending church and bible study regularly. She told me that she had been feeling particularly lonely with the holidays coming and that she had been praying for reconciliation with some family. God moved me to be in the right place at the right time to answer her prayer and bestow an incredible blessing on both of us.

Thank you God for answering Elyse's prayer, and in turn answering a desire of my heart that I hadn't even brought to you.

I serve an amazing God and I am humbled to be called His.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

What I'm looking at right now

As @Edward Koczan said in an earlier post: Hater line forms to the left.