Friday, December 25, 2015

Happy Birthday JESUS!

What does Christmas mean to me? 

It'll be my pleasure to share what the birth of JESUS means while chatting with you &/or through messages. Until then, you may enjoy what I posted about Christmas via a few "clicks" of your mouse!

Happy Birthday JESUS!

You are in for a treat if you have never heard this version of "Silent Night" as the voices of Leigh Nash & Dan Haseltine sound amazing together!

"This is how the birth of JESUS CHRIST came about: HIS mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the HOLY SPIRIT." — MATTHEW 1:18

"Christmas is built upon a beautiful & intentional paradox; that the birth of the homeless should be celebrated in every home." — G.K. Chesterton

"How many observe CHRIST's birthday! How few, HIS precepts!" — Benjamin Franklin

Do you think that Mary knew the awesomeness of what her son JESUS would do not only for her, but for all of us?

As I enjoyed "Mary Did You Know?" at Casas Church in Oro Valley, Arizona last night, tears began to well up in me for who JESUS is & what HE did for you & for me.

"Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'." ― Bing Crosby

"My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: loving others. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that?" ― Bob Hope

"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it." ― HEBREWS 13:2

The "Preacher’s Wife" is a modern take on "The Bishop’s Wife" & the song "I Love the LORD!" is sung by Whitney Houston.

Even if you don't like church or haven't been to church, this amazing rendition will either disgust you or the joy of the presence of the LORD may get you on your feet to dance as David danced!

"If anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward." — MATTHEW 10:42

"Joy to the World" is a classic song that seems to always sound the same.

Until now!

Enjoy Dominic Balli's acoustic version with some additional lyrics after the familiar lines we have heard so often.

May we always be filled with Faith, Hope, Joy, Love, & Peace!

"She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name JESUS, because HE will save HIS people from their sins." ― MATTHEW 1:21

"If you confess with your mouth, “JESUS is LORD,” & believe in your heart that GOD raised HIM from the dead, you will be saved." ― ROMANS 10:9

"Christmas can be celebrated in the school room with pine trees, tinsel & reindeers, but there must be no mention of the man whose birthday is being celebrated. One wonders how a teacher would answer if a student asked why it was called Christmas." ― Ronald Reagan

"Great is our LORD & mighty in power; HIS understanding has no limit." ― PSALM 147:5

"As I read the birth stories about JESUS I cannot help but conclude that though the world may be tilted toward the rich & powerful, GOD is tilted toward the underdog." ― Philip Yancey

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." ― Roy L. Smith

Have you ever wanted to have a little talk with JESUS?

"Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't going away." — Elvis Presley

"All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them." — Galileo

Clydesdales Christmas Commercial

No snow to enjoy means I'm jealous? I was born in Minnesota, so yes.

However, the majestic beauty of Clydesdales gracefully trotting through the snow, melt away any hint of jealousy I may have. 

Last year, B.O.'s Fish Wagon in Key West helped as well. Grouper Sandwich on fresh Cuban bread all the way with Key Lime Mayo & a refreshing Key Limeade!

I really miss Garbo's Grill which makes amazingly delicious food & the Cayo Yellowtail Snapper Tacos, Korean BBQ Beef Shortrib Tacos & the []_[]Mami Burger which is 1/2 pound angus, topped with a heirloom tomato, applewood bacon, chipotle gouda on a brioche bun are all absolutely awesome!

Silent Night ― Jordis Unga

My fellow Minnesotan Jordis Unga that I first encountered on RockStar INXS several years ago blessed me in December 2013 with an awesome rendition of "Silent Night" that is stunningly beautiful & takes me back to my roots in Minnesota which meant caroling in the snow & cold but the closest thing to a White Christmas in Key West last year would be the foam of the ocean!

This year in Arizona I'm blessed to actually see snow on the Santa Catalina Mountains, especially Mount Lemmon.

¡No voy a olvidar a mis amigo latinos porque me hace faltan todos de ellos!

Tonight I want to tell you the story of an empty stocking.

Once upon a midnight clear, there was a child's cry, a blazing star hung over a stable, and wise men came with birthday gifts. We haven't forgotten that night down the centuries. We celebrate it with stars on Christmas trees, with the sound of bells, and with gifts.

But especially with gifts. You give me a book, I give you a tie. Aunt Martha has always wanted an orange squeezer and Uncle Henry can do with a new pipe. For we forget nobody, adult or child. All the stockings are filled, all that is, except one. And we have even forgotten to hang it up. The stocking for the child born in a manger. It's HIS birthday we're celebrating. Don't let us ever forget that.

Let us ask ourselves what HE would wish for most. And then, let each put in his share, loving kindness, warm hearts, and a stretched out hand of tolerance. All the shinning gifts that make peace on earth.

Born in Bethlehem ― Third Day

"After JESUS was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem." — MATTHEW 2:1

Christmas Like A Child by Third Day

"Truly I telly you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of GOD like a little child will never enter it." — MARK 10:15

¡Feliz Cumpleaños Jesús!

I never really liked the song "Happy Birthday" & it's not because I recently celebrated/tolerated my 49th birthday.

So...I want to share my favorite song about the birthday of JESUS & since my voice is a bit scratchy today, I will not make you endure hearing me sing which is a good thing as my trying to hit some of the high notes might destroy any crystal glasses in your home.

It was amazing that yesterday at the Christmas Eve service my eyes were filled with tears like that of a crystal clear mountain stream because the LORD has blessed me so richly to be a house parent with GAP Ministries & I shall only have a home filled with joy, love, & peace if I worship JESUS as my LORD & SAVIOR!

"As a deer longs for streams of water, so I long for YOU, GOD." — PSALM 42:1

I hope that you enjoy "O Holy Night" by Celine Dion.

The words are so powerful & are much better than anything that I can come up with so, click on the link & allow yourself a few minutes to truly feel through music what "Christmas" is all about.

"O Holy Night" by Celine Dion

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear SAVIORS's birth
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Til HE appeared and the soul felt it's worth
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn
Fall on your knees

O hear the angel voices
O night divine!
O night when CHRIST was born
O night divine!
O night, O night divine!

Truly HE taught us to love one another,
HIS law is love and HIS gospel is peace.
Chains HE shall break, for the slave is our brother.
And in HIS Name, all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we
Let all within us praise HIS holy name
Their name forever praise we

Noel, Noel
O night, O night Divine
Noel, Noel
O night, O night Divine
Noel, Noel

If you don't want to take the time to click on all those links, I've made it easy to watch each & every video by simply clicking the link below!

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Monday, December 7, 2015

Adoption Is Another Word For Love!

I was born in Saint Cloud, Minnesota on Thanksgiving Day in 1966 but I & was adopted on Pearl Harbor Day in 1967!

"Love By You" by Joan Armatrading was playing during the end of an episode of Miami Vice as a Colombian woman whose son was stolen & sold via a fake adoption, went to pick him up but after seeing his tears in not wanting to leave the only parents he ever remembered, let him stay with those whom he loved.

It struck a deeply intense part of me as I love the only Dad I have ever known & I miss the only Mom I have ever known who left this world to arrive in heaven some 18 months ago!

"Adoption is a beautiful picture of GOD's sovereign grace. The child did not choose the parents. The parents chose the child. That's how GOD has placed us into a relationship with HIMSELF. We did not choose HIM. HE chose us. When GOD adopts us, HIS act of adoption is a supernatural act. We take on the nature of JESUS. We become like HIM. We become what HE is." ― Arielle Wallace

"HE chose us in HIM before the creation of the world to be holy & blameless in HIS sight. In love HE predestined us to be adopted as HIS sons through JESUS CHRIST, in accordance with HIS pleasure & will — to the praise of HIS glorious grace, which HE has freely given us in the ONE HE loves." — EPHESIANS 1:4-6

"The adopted child is treated by law as if he or she had been born to the adopting parents upon the entry of the final adoption decree." — Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons

Here is the definition of adoption from Wikipedia: Adoption is a process whereby a person assumes the parenting for another who is not kin and, in so doing, permanently transfers all rights and responsibilities from the original parent or parents. Unlike guardianship or other systems designed for the care of the young, adoption is intended to effect a permanent change in status and as such requires societal recognition, either through legal or religious sanction.

My being adopted did not change the world, but my world was forever changed 48 years ago today through being accepted & loved unconditionally by my family!

Has being adopted really changed what I might have been?

How could it not?

I've been blessed to experience so much throughout my life & I long to see as many children & youth experience a "HOME" in their lifetime & even though I'm only able to make that happen temporarily for up to 10 children at a time, my hope & prayer is that they will all know joy, love, & peace!

Does my journey give hope for my future?

Well, the best I can do right now is share the links to all of my blog entries from a couple of years before I originally posted this 2 years ago & you may read for yourself if you haven't already.

Enjoy if you dare!

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What Is A Veteran?

When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury if our plans for Iraq were just an example of "empire building" by George Bush.

He answered by saying, "Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men & women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return was enough to bury those that did not return."

You could have heard a pin drop.

There was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part, including French & American. During a break one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, "Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intend to do, bomb them?"

A Boeing engineer stood up & replied quietly, "Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered & can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, & they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims & injured to & from their flight deck. We have eleven such ships; how many does France have?"

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian & French Navies. At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of Officers that included personnel from most of those countries.

Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, "Whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English." He then asked, "Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?"

Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied, "Maybe it's because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies & Americans arranged it so you wouldn't have to speak German."

You could have heard a pin drop.

A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane. At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

"You have been to France before, monsieur?" the customs officer asked sarcastically.

Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously. 

"Then you should know enough to have your passport ready."

The American said, "The last time I was here, I didn't have to show it."

"Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!"

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained, "Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in 1944 to help liberate this country, I couldn't find any Frenchmen to show it to."

You could have heard a pin drop.

What Is a Veteran?

A "Veteran" whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to, & including his life."

That is honor, there are too many people that don't get that.

May the LORD richly bless all the Veterans with HIS joy, love, & peace!

May we honor Veterans not only one day a year in November but each & every day of our lives!

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