Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The 23rd Channel

The TV is my shepherd; I shall not want.

It makes me lie down on the sofa.

It heads me away from my faith.

It destroys my soul.

It leads me in the path of sex and violence

for the sponsor's sake.

Yea, though I walk in the shadow of Christian responsibilities,

there will be no interruption,

for TV is with me.

Its cable and remote, they comfort me.

It prepares a commercial for me

in the presence of my worldliness.

It anoints my head with humanism and consumerism,

my coveting runs over.

Surely laziness and ignorance shall follow me

all the days of my life.

And I shall dwell in the house watching TV forever.

(from a church bulletin, July 20, 1986
author unknown)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Christmas in July (and all year round!)

It says a lot about life, when you are so busy that you've not been able to exchange Christmas gifts with a friend until the middle of July!

My gift to my friend was a tin of really nice cookies (I hope they are still nice - and worth waiting for - after seven months), along with some home-made greeting cards.
Her gift to me was well worth waiting for:

She knows I love birds, and especially cardinals, and these are kind of cute: - but her gift means more to me than just that.

I've been thinking and praying a lot about JOY recently. Sometimes, in the midst of a busy and somewhat stressful life, JOY can be a bit elusive. I have made it a priority to seek out JOY and and put it into practice as much as I can.

Someone has said that happiness is dependent on our outward circumstances, whereas JOY flows from the life of Jesus within us.

I think that's why, even though we can be pretty 'down-in-the-dumps' sometimes, there can still be song, a hymn, or a chorus flowing through our heart and making its presence known in our mind. Even as I write this, there's a little Hillsong Kids chorus running 'round in my head:

Never give up, 'cause He's always there

Never give up, anytime, anywhere

Never give up, 'cause He's always there -

remember God is always by your side!

I have determined to stop and listen for a song that's running 'round in my head and heart, when I am a little down. Especially so that I can give expression to it by singing it out loud (well, maybe not in public -- but I can still hum it!) ...and allow the JOY of Jesus to well up from within. I've said before on this blog that I may have to grow old, but I don't have to be old and grumpy!

So, although this gift is a little tacky (I can say that, as my friend is completely computer illiterate and will never read this!), and although it is a Christmas decoration, it is going to stay out on display, in my office, all year round.

Do you have a Christmas decoration that stays up all year round?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

From Generation to Generation

Thirty-six years ago, my sister published her first book --
a book of prayers for boys:
She sent a copy to my son, Kevin, who was eight years old at the time. He's 44 this year!

This is what she wrote in the flyleaf in 1973:

Her prayer was answered!

This year, my sister had the book updated and reprinted:

Kevin now has a son, Boyd, who has just turned 12. Chris really wanted to have his photo on the new cover of the book, but the publisher resisted.

She did, however, recently send Boyd a copy of the book, with this inscription in the flyleaf:

I pray that Boyd will always follow in his daddy's footsteps and make Jesus the most important person in his life!

Here's one of my favourite prayers from the book:

Man-Made Brain

Computers are marvellous things, Lord.

I love playing all kinds of games on them,

looking up strange facts and answers to questions.

I love to push buttons, play on the keys

and see all the exciting graphics.

Computers can do just about anything,

they're almost human.

But that's the really marvelous thing, Lord;

to think that you made man

with such a brain

that he can almost make a brain himself!

Thank you, Chris, for a great little book!

And thanks for sending it to my boys!