Monthly Archives: December 2008

buy, buy, buy… or not

On TV the other night there was a commentator who was giving economic advise to everyone. Buy, buy, buy. He said that if those who have money would start buying for Christmas that would jump start the economy faster than the government can through projects that will take forever… Obama’s 850b plan will probably take a year to get rolling… but that we can get the economy rolling by spending, so he said “buy, buy, buy.” I just heard on BBC that a 1% in the GDP of the developed world will cause 20 million people in the undeveloped world to fall into poverty. So there is something to this. W gave $300 to each of us earners last spring to jump start the economy, we didn’t spend it then, it paid off credit, went into savings, we weren’t spending then, we aren’t spending now… “foot traffic” is down 18% in stores compared to last year… there is a great woe falling over the people here and that keeps them from spending… thus the economy continues to slow… the affect of this will be more layoffs… so, is the guy on TV right? Should we buy, buy buy? Well I see the arguments, I have done my share to keep the Christmas economy afloat and am heading out today to do some more… Fear is always among us… it is the natural state of affairs… we are broken… He knows that and he has sent us peace, the Prince of Peace… it is He that I celebrate this season… especially tomorrow… at mid morning, I will listen carefully to the 9 lessons and carols from Cambridge, England… the story of the promise of a saviour, the coming of that saviour and His work to bring peace and freedom from fear… the TV guy’s mantra was buy, buy, buy… maybe. but for sure, right now, we need to contemplate the gift given to us by God at Christmas – – – Himself.

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melancholy

a pensive mood… I was contemplating yesterday’s post when I was listening to Hillsong United and heard this lyric… “His heart is broken but forgiving”… always forgiving… unconditionally loving… I am melancholy because of so many people that I talk to who don’t get it… they don’t get His love… I think that He is melancholy too, and it isn’t because He was born in a barn.

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sadness and joy

This is a season of want, need and have. Many of the wants are deep desires for this or that, other wants are good wants. There are lots of needs this year. Well, there really are probably no more needs on a global scale than usual, its just that the needs are closer to home for most people in the West than usual. Folks in the West are used to being able to look away from need because of all they have, but right now the media is keeping anyone, who is watching or reading, posted on the needs around them. But in the developing world, in the undeveloped world, these needs are ever present. I heard a story a minute ago… it caused me to be sad… A poor boy goes to a kitchen door of a woman and asks “Auntie, please may I have a bowl rice?” The woman, holding a pot of rice in her hand, slaps him on the cheek with the rice spoon, “Get out here, urchin” she says. As he turns his cheek, his fingers grab the grains of sticky cooked rice stuck to his cheek and he eats them. He looks at her and says “Auntie, please may I have some more on the other side?”

When I heard that, I was saddened.

I was reminded that this kind of poverty is the norm in much of the world. I remembered the young couple who wandered into a city with little money and slept in a barn with a bunch of animals.

A guy I know wrote on his Facebook status… “every breath leaves me one less to my last”

I was saddened by this too.

I saw a guy I have not seen in a long time. He works with the homeless. Jesus (who was born in the barn) has called him to this amazing work of justice here in the West.

I’m glad that the baby in that barn was born.

I’m glad that he came to bring hope to people of poverty – physical and spiritual – like the boy who wanted rice and the guy who seems to be counting his breaths.

Joy is here… but those of us who have embraced it need to be busy with showing love and joy to the poor, like my friend who is building a shelter for the homeless here among the wealthy.

Joy to the world. He came to bring joy. He gave us joy to give.

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some good news for the nothern hemisphere

Today ends the shortening days! Tomorrow is the first full day of winter and the days will start growing longer a little bit at a time!

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more pics

Thanks to Lea, here are more pics… click here

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live nativity

Covenant has done a live nativity scene in Charlottesville for a pretty long time… in fact when a landmark court case in the ‘ville cause the city to stop doing it, Covenant wound up with the wise men, stable, etc. and has (I think) done it since… it is always very well attended by families with little kids and we usually have some animals (sheep mostly), a few years ago I was tapped to narrate by reading the Christmas story from Scripture, last night after we finished, the news showed up to film for the 11 o’clock news, here is a link… (the link didn’t work well at school, but that may be b/c of our Internet connection… click HERE

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