If you read this
If your eyes are passing over this right now
Even if we don't speak too often
Please post a comment with a memory of you and me
It can be anything you want
Good or Bad
When finished, post this little paragraph on your blog
And be surprised by what people remember about you.
Merry Christmas! Happy Hanukkah! Celebrate Kwanzaa! Seasons Greetings! Happy Holidays!
Isn't it amazing the variety of "pc" greetings we Americans have developed? (Did I miss any?)
As to "Christmas" - did anyone else grow up with parents who believed and taught you that Christmas should not be a celebration of Christ's birth? To this day, I avoid any direct reference to Christ such as stars, wise men, and nativity scenes.
Why? Probably because I tend to see Christmas as the commercialization of Christ. Once commercialized, it's easy to miss the true meaning of Christ. In fact I don't give many gifts either. Do I sound like a scrooge or what? (Sidenote, but for similar reasons I don't like to give gifts for "Mothers' Day" or "Fathers' Day" or even birthdays because I don't like the emphasis of one day - over all the other 364 - for appreciating that person.)
Ironically, in the last five years or so, the lack of the use of the word "Christmas" by many commercial companies bothers me because it seems like just one more place Christ is intentionally removed.
Am I being hypocritical?
Below is an excerpt from an email I was forwarded. I'd love to hear thoughts about it. (I found it humbling and inspiring.)
(Sorry about the formatting, I was in a rush.) mps
This is an absolutely incredible interview with Rick Warren, author of
"Purpose Driven Life" His wife now has cancer, and he now has "wealth"
from the book sales. In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren,
Rick said:"People ask me, "What is the purpose of life?" And I respond: In
a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were made to last
forever, and God wants us to be with Him in HeavenOne day my heart is going
to stop, and that will be the end of my body--but not the end of me.I may
live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to
spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress
rehearsal.God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in
eternity. We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out,
life isn't going to make sense.Life is a series of problems: Either you
are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to
go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than
your comfortGod is more interested in making your life holy than He is in
making your life happy.We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's
not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ
likeness.This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the
toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.I used to think that life was
hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the
mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.Rather than life
being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a
railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad
in your life.No matter how good things are in your life, there is always
something bad that needs to be worked on.And no matter how
bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank
God for.You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems.
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, "which
is my problem, my issues, my pain."But one of the easiest ways to get rid
of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.We
discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of
people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her.It has been
very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given
her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her
closer to Him and to people.You u have to
learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For
instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million
copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.It also brought a lot of
notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives
you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of
ease.So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money,
notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me
decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.First, in spite of all the
money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit. We made no
major purchases.Second, about midway through last year, I stopped
taking a salary from the church. Third, we set up foundations to fund an
initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist
the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.Fourth, I
added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started
the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve
God for free.We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions?
Popularity?Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness?
Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my
life)?When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say,
God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and
love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do
list.He's more interested in what I am than what I do. That's why we're
called human beings, not human doings.Happy moments, PRAISE GOD. Difficult
moments, SEEK GOD. Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD. Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
moment, THANK GOD. "A friend sent it to me, I shared it with you, now pick
friends that you want to bless
We moved into our house last weekend. There hasn't been much time to think about it all, but I can tell you there's something wonderful about sleeping in your OWN HOUSE. Perhaps that's just because I've been a "transient" for the last 7 years and haven't known where I planned to live from year to year.
My first trial was this week. It's come and gone and ended the best possible way - the judge dismissed the charges against my client. (And, yes, my client was innocent! : )
My change to the "dark side" of the law as a public defender is nearly complete...
is a very, very, very fine house...
Well, two pieces of personally exciting news.
1. About three weeks ago I started a job as a juvenile criminal defense attorney. No, I never thought about working in criminal law, especially not criminal defense. Yes, I'm enjoying it. There is never a dull day. Just yesterday I had a kid make a run for it after he found out his probation officer (~parole officer) was going to ask the judge to send the kid to detention (~jail).
2. Last week Tim and I made an offer on a house that was accepted! We close in less than a month. It's 15 minutes from the court house and 30ish minutes from the firm's office. Should work out well. And the lot has a little over an acre. (My love of land runs deep. : )
Hope all is well with y'all!