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:) ! and Courage

Positively Speaking

Without TV streaming into my home via Cable, Dish or Direct, I was a little worried about missing out on the holiday specials. Guess what I discovered as I was digging for the VHS copy of "White Christmas" that warbles through most of the last third of the movie? I own a practically new copy of "Charlie Brown’s Christmas" !! And guess what else I discovered while I watched it by serendipitous viewing at friends who have commercial TV? I like everything better without commercials!!

I’m sure the copy came from the Friends of the Library shelves. It’s pristine and I can play it over and over.

Add to that copy my VHS "It’s a Wonderful Life" and "Miracle on 24th Street" (the remake not the original) and DVD $5 Target versions of ‘The Holiday’ and of course ‘Love Actually’ and I’m good to go. (Buy in July)

When the Olympics come I’m going to break down and get an antenna and one of those converter boxes, but for now, the season is merry and bright and easily replayed in part or in whole.

Without commercials interrupting my ho ho viewing I feel like I have a fighting chance of experiencing the first Christmas ever as a Christian where I can focus on Jesus, the reason for the season.

Once a year I write this Christmas column focusing on why I’m a Christian ( besides being called to it.). Now let me also explain that Hanukkah is equally important to me. I have family and friends who are Jewish so the celebration is around me and the story is part of my history as a Christian but more importantly the Sacred Truth that if we keep the temple Holy, there WILL BE enough oil in the lamp even though there is only a one day supply . And please, if you are a Christian, don’t just throw in Dreidel, Dreidel, Dreidel to the carol sing and call it good. Totally different and really offensive to confuse, ‘we believe the Messiah is here’, and ‘ We’re still waiting’.

So back to Jesus… on an Island that has so many different paths spiritually speaking let me put it this way, My Jesus is your Buddha. But here’s the difference. That dying on the cross thing, that act that made the triune God incarnational is what’s different. I am in an active relationship with Him who I believed makes every day an eternity if I so believe. And I don’t get a second chance. This is it. Do or die.

You believe in leaning into the pain, I believe that not only do I do that to receive life abundant, but Jesus did it first, showed me how, and through the mystery of the Holy Spirit helps me do it. Just to explain the difference.

For someone who doesn’t drink recreationally (I’m a celebratory drinker, Christmas Sherry, Easter champagne, Mother’s Day Mimosa) I’ve learned a lot from my friends who are in recovery. Those twelve steps just put it all together in one place.

So take step #6. It goes something like ‘remove this defect from me". That’s Jesus, that’s the Holy Spirit, that’s God’s design for me, complete wholeness. Everyday I surrender again, like it was the first time.

Mystery called me to knowledge of Jesus. That’s why I don’t use a formula like the Four – was it laws or steps Campus Crusade? It’s also why I can only tell my story. I can’t say to someone if you do this, this will happen. I can say, ‘If you confess with your lips and believe in your heart Jesus Christ is Lord’, then you belong to him. And oh yes, don’t mistake church for Jesus. Don’t throw out Jesus because of the church. Go talk to the people who are feeding soup at those dinners or giving vouchers for electricity. Or go talk to people who pray.


Ah… prayer. :) That’s the first reason I continue to believe and maintain an active relationship with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Prayer without ceasing: God, thank you; God, kinda tested today; God, what on earth are you doing? And God I had no idea!!


That’s the second reason. ! is a constant part of my life. Relationships I thought were dead God revives and restores in amazing ways. Parts of my gifts and talents surprise me because I never considered them a gift or talent.


To live out those unknowns takes enormous Courage. That’s my third reason. Jesus is courage personified: the courage to speak the things of God to the establishment, the courage to hang with the disenfranchised, and the courage to live out his calling unto death. ; the courage to be resurrected.


 Ok…. This is the last example. All through typing this article I was successfully able to backspace and make my colon/parenthesis appear as that, not a smiley face. Suddenly only the smiley face will come into view. Enough said. That’s why I’m still with Jesus. Against all odds. If you’re chosen for Hanukkah keep the law deeply. If you open to Merry Christmas check out Jesus.


on happiness and long life from "The Warmth of Other Suns"

(p532.) "She lived in the moment , surrendered to whatever the day presented, and remained her true, original self. Her success was spiritual, perhaps the hardest of all to achieve. And because of that she was the happiest and lived the longest of them all."