December 22, 2011

On The First Day of Christmas . . .

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord”. Luke 2:10-11 (NASB)

Last week we attended a Christmas party and of course, we indulged in the tradition of singing Christmas carols. It was sweetly done after an evening of good food and fun fellowship. However, sweetness went out the window and general goofiness ensued when someone directed us to sing The Twelve Days of Christmas, in parts and complete with silly hand motions. Bob and I were “four calling birds” and it was a hoot.

Yet, I am forced to admit, it is my least favorite Christmas song. Why?  I don’t know maybe it’s because I don’t like pears and I only watch the Partridges on reruns. However, many years ago working in a small office, for a small church,  partially in the woods, I heard on the radio one day just before Christmas that old familiar tune with much different words. I recall them as:

On the first day of Christmas, my True Love gave to me, a Savior to set the world free!

I had the entire version written down – now committed to the black of hole “stuff” somewhere in my house – but I did manage to find this on the Internet. Today, I bid you, from my house to yours, Merry Christmas!

The Twelve Days of Christmas
by - Carroll Roberson


On the first day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: salvation full and free.

On the second day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the third day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: Peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the fourth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: love for all men, Peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the fifth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the sixth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me; power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the seventh day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the eighth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: a robe and a crown, a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the ninth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: mansions above, a robe and a crown, a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the tenth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: streets of pure gold, mansions above, a robe and a crown, a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the eleventh day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: a thousand tongues to sing, streets of pure gold, mansions above, a robe and a crown, a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.

On the twelfth day of Christmas Jesus gave to me: eternity to praise, a thousand tongues to sing, streets of pure gold, mansions above, a robe and a crown, a body glorified, power from on high, joy for my soul, love for all men, peace in my heart, everlasting life, and salvation full and free.


December 13, 2011

Two Weeks Before Christmas

Two weeks before Christmas and with quiet in the house,

I stare at my computer with my hand on the mouse.

The tree is all lit and the stockings are hung.

Now I wonder what else needs to be done?



I need to wrap packages with ribbons and bows,

Then off to the Post Office where everyone goes.

I stand in the lines and silently hum,

Impatiently waiting for my turn to come.



Then back to the house with hustle and scurry

Driving myself crazy with bustle and hurry.

Finally I sit with a cup full of tea,

Something is missing but what could it be?



My eye catches sight of a leather bound book,

Waiting alone and feeling forsake.

Opening its pages and looking within,

It’s there I discover I am filled deep with sin.



I quickly learn sin will results my death,

I recoiled at the thought and drew in my breath!

But then came a word that perked up my soul,

Jesus gives life so to Him I must go!



For the babe in the manger became the man nailed to wood,

To take my punishment, in a way no one else could.

So I fell on my knees and asked Christ to begin,

The process of taking me out of my sin.



I asked Him to guide me each day of my life,

To give me wisdom and peace in dealing with strife.

He answered my prayer and bestowed me with grace,

And in Heaven forever, He gave me a place.



Now I begin to see a great need

In telling others so they can believe!

Jesus was born and laid bare in a bin,

So you would not have to die in your sin.



This Christmas - take time to remember the One,

Who was born of a virgin and whom God did call Son.

It is He that is cause for this joyous of season,

Tis true what they say, for Christ is the reason!



As you shop and you greet those in the street

Or places of work, just wherever you meet.

Without hesitation, please issue this call:

Merry Christmas indeed and New Life is for ALL!

December 05, 2011

Flying Stand By

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 (NASB)

In October, we flew to Phoenix for vacation. Because Bob is a retired commercial airline pilot, one of our retiree benefits includes free flights. We can even get you a “buddy pass” depending on the circumstances. Now before you start drooling thinking we can fly you – free – first class to Rio, well, it ain’t gonna happen! We can’t even fly ourselves first class to Atlanta. In fact, we can’t even fly to Atlanta.
There are rules.
The biggest rule demands that we fly stand-by. This means we can only get on the plane if they are going to take off with empty seats. When we fly to destinations unknown, it is always unknown until the last minute if we can even get a seat on the plane. We’ve been bumped to another flight. We’ve been removed from our seats on a flight at the last minute and we’ve turned around and gone home. However, in this world of million dollar price tags, we give thanks to God for the blessing.
Now if you know me at all, you know I don’t always fly well. I once made them let me off a plane, but that’s another story! I also don’t do mornings. However, Bob insists on first flights out when we travel. Imagine my shock the first time I discovered there was a 4:00 AM! In the morning? What’s that all about?
Upon waiting for our last flight to Phoenix, I noticed a young woman sitting next to us having trouble determining if she was going to make her flight. It was early, I was tired, and truthfully, I didn’t want to be bothered. She’d eventually figure it out.
God had other ideas. I guess He blessed me with a spiritual listening gift. It’s called eavesdropping. The more I listened to her, the more I knew Bob could help. She was talking to airline customer service. Bob had direct access to flight information via our trusty laptop. But did I really want to get involved? Go ahead say it:  shame on me!
She sounded so dreadfully pitiful and sweet and very concerned. Finally, I couldn’t stand it any longer, “Bob, you’ve got to help this woman!” Blessedly, my hubby has a better heart than I do. Without hesitation, he did.
It turns out she was flying on the “pass” of a friend and under the same guidelines as us. Unfortunately, the seniority guidelines placed her at the bottom of the totem pole. Not to mention her friend failed to clue her in on the nuances of flying stand-by. She had no clue what to expect or what to do if she did not get on the plane. With Bob’s help, she was able to formulate several contingency plans.
While we did make it on the flight, sadly she did not. However, we left her prepared for what was ahead and she was so very grateful for the help. Before I walked down the jet-way, she and I exchanged best wishes to one another. It was then I discovered she was a believer in Christ and that I would meet her again in Heaven. I was thrilled to learn, she was not living life on stand-by!
Many people on this planet refuse to fly at all. They don’t want to hear about planes because if God wanted them to fly, He would have given them wings. They are content to serve a god of nothingness – unwilling to acknowledge the existence of a destination called Heaven. Some do their best to offer this folks a free ticket but they aren’t biting. Others are content to fly stand-by. They stand by their works, trusting they’ve been good enough to get a seat on that heavenly flight when it comes time to depart. Their ticket is a “hope so” ticket. Unfortunately, it’s not worth the paper it’s printed on!
Well, I am here to tell you I AM NOT FLYING STAND-BY TO HEAVEN. I will not even complain if my flight departs in the wee hours of the morning. I have already been to the airport and picked up my ticket, my free ticket that Jesus paid for in advance. Non-refundable, non-transferable. All mine! Now I am just waiting until the Gate calls me to board.
Christmas is fast approaching. We once again deck the halls in preparation for a Birthday Party. There are so many things for us to celebrate! During this time of remembering Jesus’ birth, I’d be remiss not to also remember His death, burial and resurrection. Because of my faith in Christ, I live in the assurance of my heavenly reservation – my free ticket to Heaven. Free to me, but it cost The Son His life. Therefore, while I am standing by for that moment when God calls me home, I’m not going on stand-by! 
I’ll get carried away – when I get carried away!
Barbara