December 22, 2017
(If you were wondering about last week’s intro, I was so tired I just stared at the monitor and couldn’t function. It’s a miracle I even figured how to send the email. Maybe it was jet lag. Sorry for the confusion.)
When I was in Nigeria I was able to attend a roaring, kicking, dancing, shouting Full Gospel Church. A line of singers took turns trumpeting their voices to celebrate Thanksgiving … wait! —- Thanksgiving?!?! Although the pilgrims and the Indians were never part of African history, I guess someone thought it was a good idea … and so they celebrate Thanksgiving in Nigeria.
In Thailand, a predominantly Buddhist country, the 2 years of mourning for their king are over and now Christmas is back in full swing — giant Christmas trees, toys and festive decorations adorn the streets. In fact, white-skinned Santa Claus and his red-nosed reindeer dance with Christmas carols all over black Africa and yellow Asia. As in Nigeria, someone probably thought it would be a good idea … and so they also celebrate Christmas.
I think it’s great — people making lists, buying special gifts, taking time to be kind to one and all … it’s certainly good for the economy. But I am bothered that the significance of the occasion is lost in the merriment. It’s half-baked Christmas without the special sauce.
Mama Kitchen, our cook in Nigeria, is a Christian. She said she accepted Christ late in life but I needed to explain the whole Gospel to her. Apparently she only got a part of the memo — similar to what happened to Paul in Acts 19:1-7. I explained that salvation comes from faith in Christ alone and not by doing good works. It’s not dependent on how good we are but dependent on who HE is. You should have seen the joy in her face when she grasped the concept. (Pardon me if this topic bothers you. I am not trying to proselytize but rather to make a point).
When I go to the mall and see all the joyful faces through the glass windows I wonder if their joy could be a thousand times more if I cleaned their glass of understanding just a little bit more to visualize the full meaning of Christmas.
Two thousand years ago, a child was born/ to revolutionize our understanding of God’s love/ so that we could pass love on/ in order that no one would perish/ but instead have everlasting life. That one amazing gift from above was THE precursor of all our Christmas gifts! My wish for you, my friend, is that your Christmas will be full like Mama Kitchen’s.
TGIF people! Have a wonderful and blessed Merry Christmas!
The Four Stages of Santa
Contributed by Don of Kelowna, BC
12 Days of Guido Italian Christmas
Sent by Mike of New York City
How ya doin’? Youse ready for da holidays? Here’s some silly fun.
USAF Band Holiday Flash Mob
Sent by Tom of Pasadena, CA
Just a fun jingle jangle performance in retro WW II style.
Sent by Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA
Even though I told myself I wouldn’t cry, I couldn’t help it. This is guaranteed to fill your tear ducts.
Whimsical Street Art
Contributed by Don of Kelowna, B.C.
Here’s a little Christmas present for you. Click on the image and see what artist David Zinn does to the streets of Michigan. His delightful drawings will bring you back to your childhood.
Thanks to Don of Kelowna, B.C. who provided this photo