The Ghost of Christmas Past

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Yes, this is a totally unscheduled post. But I thought there might be a few of you out there who might be encouraged by this. Once in a great while I get inspired to write a little poetry. I certainly don’t claim to be a poet, but sometimes these things will just come to me and need to be written down. This year a song about Christmas Past stirred my heart. As you know, this has been quite a year of transition for me. I feel things deeply and so change comes hard for me. But as I have been processing my feelings about my new kind of Christmas (so quiet with just one college student who likes to sleep in on Christmas morning) I have realized that if we aren’t careful we can allow our thoughts about Christmas Past to cast a shadow on Christmas Present. And so this poem is for any of you who have had this same struggle with change–any type of change. While this is based on my own experience, I hope that it will turn your thoughts to your own Christmas Present and all that is good there. That it will encourage you to be present in Christmas Present with its joys and blessings. Because, all too soon, this Christmas Present will be Christmas Past.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

I hear the sounds of Christmas past
A giggle, a laugh, pure glee
And in my mind’s eye, I see them
The children around the tree

How can it be that time has flown
So quickly by for me
Sadness fills my heart sometimes
When the past is all I see

The Ghost of Christmas Past has come
And heartache comes with it
The children are all grown now
And life has changed quite a bit

But then a little voice I hear
And the past begins to blur
The present calls to me
And wakes me with a stir

I see him, this little grandchild
He is my Christmas Present
He calls me from my doldrums
Reminding me of all that’s pleasant

This little man will soon be grown
Christmas Future calls to him
But right now, here today
Our joy it will not dim

So I will enjoy Christmas Present by being present
In the here and now
Loving and rejoicing with those around me
Joy and peace upon my brow

 

‘Twas the Day After Christmas

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‘Twas the day after Christmas
And all through the house
All had grown quiet
Even my spouse.

Off doing their own things
The family had scattered
I sat quite alone
Not sure if that mattered

Another Christmas
Had come and had gone
It had happened so fast
I stifled a yawn

But then I remembered
How lovely it’d been
I was so blessed
I just had to grin

Once more we had joy
We had love, we had laughter
We filled up our insides with food
Up to the rafters

What more could you ask for?
For what else could you yearn?
Gathering with family
Before the calendar turns

All of this joy
All because of the Savior
Who came to the earth
Tucked into a manger

Because of this baby
Fellowship here is sweet
And because of this baby
Promises are replete

Oh, what a thought!
Oh, the great story!
Knowing forever
We will be together in glory!

Because of the cross
Because God made a way
To be reconciled to Him
On that most marvelous day

And so I sit here
By the light of the tree
Alone but content
Because God has so blessed me

Wednesday Wisdom: ‘Tis Wonderful To Me

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On this day before Thanksgiving, I present a poem written by Amy Carmichael, one of the great heroes of the faith. Let’s contemplate our Heavenly Father’s amazing love for us this day and offer grateful hearts to Him.

Brooding Blue

Lord of the brooding blue
Of pleasant summer skies,
Lord of each little bird
That through the clear air flies
‘Tis wonderful to me
That I am loved by Thee
 
Lord of the blinding heat,
Of mighty wind and rain,
The city’s crowded street,
Desert and peopled plain,
‘Tis wonderful to me
That I am loved by Thee
 
Lord of night’s jeweled roof,
Day’s various tapestry,
Lord of the warp and woof,
Of all that yet shall be,
‘Tis wonderful to me
That I am loved by Thee
 
Lord of my merry cheers,
My grey that turns to gold,
And my most private tears
And comforts manifold,
‘Tis wonderful to me
That I am loved by Thee
 

 

The High Price of Freedom

Do you see the red, white, and blue

Waving in the wind?

Do you hear the message of freedom

That it gladly sends?

That freedom was paid for

all through the years

by those who fought bravely

ignoring their fears

Many were broken

Some never came home

While we live in peace

Their families mourn all alone

May we never forget

That freedom comes with a price

May we have grateful hearts

for their great sacrifice

 Happy Memorial Day!

So what really happened the night before Christmas?

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the stable
The real Christmas, mind you…this isn’t a fable
The young couple had traveled from far, far away
They had spent hours traveling all the long day

The innkeeper smiled and then shook his head
“No, I don’t have a room, I’m sorry,” he said
“But, listen, I do have a stable out back–
Please make yourself comfortable among the haystacks.”

The young man heart’s sunk; this wasn’t ideal
He thought of his wife–how would she feel?
The baby was coming, she was already in labor
Would she mind terribly to have beasts as her neighbors?

But then she spoke softly to him on that night
“It’s a soft place to lay down, far out of sight.”
He sighed and then turned to the man at the door
“We’ll take it,” he said and then turned to implore-

“Can you show us the way? Is it just right out back?
My wife needs to lay down, that is a fact.”
The innkeeper directed a young servant boy
To show them the way, amidst all the noise

For people had come from far and from near
To register for taxes on this night so clear
And Bethlehem rang with the noise of the crowd
As young Joseph and Mary followed the boy down

Down to the stable, so small and so dim
The animals moved restlessly, causing a din
Inside they found a stall filled with hay
A comfortable place for Mary to lay

And right there it was, a manger so small
They carefully placed it right by the wall
Joseph wiped it all down with a rag that he found
And carefully lay a soft covering all ’round

And then came the most difficult night
Either had experienced in all of their life
For a baby boy was born on that night
And it wasn’t painless or without fright

For whenever a baby in this world is born
There is pain and discomfort before the morn
This has been part of the process since time began
When sin came into the world through the choice of a man

But as Mary lay there in the dim light
In fields near the town, an angel interrupted the night!
The shepherds looked up and what did they see?
A sight so incredible, they wanted to flee

This angel told them where to go
To see the Savior born in a manner so low
And then, much to their surprise
A Heavenly Host filled all the sky!

“Glory to God in the Highest” they sang
Their beautiful voices, through the whole sky, they rang
And when it was over, the shepherds looked all around
And knew they just had to start into town

And when they arrived at that stable so small
They heard a small cry, there–in that stall
And as they walked over towards that place in the barn
They saw smiling Mary, a small babe in her arms

And so it was on that first Christmas night
That Jesus was born to make all things right
For this was not just any old birth
For Jesus brought hope and joy to the earth!

And many years later he would die on a cross
To save you and me, when all was thought lost
And, so that is truly the Christmas story
Let’s celebrate Jesus, in all of His glory!

The poem that is not really a poem

There was a time when everything looked clean

My world was timeless

My world was innocent

My world was not reality

And then I grew up and I realized

Life is not a fairytale

Life is not what you see when you are a kid

Life is full of secrets and tragedy and misunderstandings

Is that all?  Wasn’t there more?

And somehow I had to find the joy

In a small child’s giggle

In a teenager’s enthusiasm for life

In a thank you spoken

And I realized life is full of both

The happy moments

The sad moments

The moments on top of the mountain

And the moments in the valley

And through it all I knew

God was there

Always faithful

Even when I couldn’t feel Him

He was there

He is with me now

Because He has promised to never leave me