Archive for Christmas
These obviously aren’t your “traditional” Christmas trees! Brought to you by the creative mind of Martha Stewart, these trees are in a way beautiful and oh so chic.
The gold tree above is a great twist on the traditional fir, and really makes a statement. Now what that statement is …
I have to admit, I never thought of this …. A bonsai tree! I my opinion anything looks good with glittery ornaments hanging in it. then as an added bonus … You get to keep it year ’round!
This one is my favorite!!! I have never seen a tinsel tree with rosette branch tips before, but apparently these were really popular back in the 60’s. Wish I could find one today!!!
Have a Merry christmas Everyone!!!
We are well into the season of hearing debates about Christmas. I just heard Dobson talking once again on the stores that support Christian efforts in keeping Christianity in Christmas, telling us which ones don’t. But here’s my dilemma. Christ never told us once, not once, to celebrate His birth. Christmas is a time of year that many people have made to be many things. Many Christians get upset with the commercialism (yet they buy into it also).
I see Christmas as a time for personal reflection, thankfulness to God for the birth of Christ. But how others celebrate it, seeing that we were never asked or told to celebrate it to begin with, shouldn’t that be personal decisions. I know many people who incorporate Santa into Christmas, as well recognizing the birth of Christ and appreciating it. It has come to be something that is no longer a “magical” time, but a rush here and there time, kids disappointed with gifts time, overspending money time.
I must be getting old, call me Scrooge I guess. I love to give, believe me. Just tired of getting lists of what I “should” buy someone. Kind of takes the gift out of giving.
I guess, besides my little rant, my questions remains. Why does the debate about Christmas being a religious holiday get so big, when in reality we were only told by Christ to celebrate His resurrection?
…. The Oregon Outback that is. On my recent vacation there was a brief bit of time between storms so I thought a trip to the Oregon desert in Lake County Oregon was in order!
Fort Rock was once an island in a giant inland sea that covered the area, and the erosion you see in the photo below was from waves lapping the shore. This area was the site of a major archaeological discovery in Oregon — 9,000 year-old sage brush sandals. They were discovered in a nearby cave. The ancient volcanic formation is the shape of a crescent and a trail runs along the inside of the rim. I had the entire park to myself!
Even cooler is Crack in the Ground, which is about 8 miles north of Christmas Valley (another place I’d never been). Crack in the Ground is a sheer, deep, narrow, half-mile-long fissure in the surrounding volcanic rock. At its deepest points, it’s maybe 60 feet deep, and it ranges from a few feet to about eight feet in width. You can hike through it if you’re willing to do some rock clambering … and I will be back!
Next … Lake Abert is located in Lake County Oregon, and lies at the foot of a beautiful stretch of rock known as Abert Rim, along Highway 395. It is just northeast of the small town of Valley Falls in the south central part of the state, covering a decent amount of space as seen on a state map. Lake Abert is a saltwater lake with the smell of sulphur fairly present in the air. Lake Abert was an interesting location, different from what I imagined I might discover … a more surreal experience with grey skies, heavy winds and maybe even gentle electric currents in the air.
The pictures can’t bring the full essence of the area, but Abert Rim was majestic and huge… almost overwhelming. It was a fabulous day. Hope you enjoyed the trip!
A few more pictures are on my “other” blog:
He will be wrapped in rags, lying in a feed trough, surrounded by animals — kind of like one of your shepherd kids would be. In other words, here’s how you will know the Messiah when you see him: You will find him in the middle of a big stinkin’ mess!
The whole reason this is Good News — to the shepherds that night and to us right now — is that we really are all messy people. Every night, well dressed and manicured people appear on television and tell us how the world got a little messier today. We manage to mess up every single area of life: relationships, finances, work, family, the environment, the Church (especially there), our conscience, our habits … the list can go on and on. In fact there’s not a single place we haven’t managed to mangle … And we can’t seem to fix any of it!
So the angel says, “Here’s the Good News: God is not afraid of your mess.”
Say what??? Our God doesn’t seem to care how messy our life is. It couldn’t be any messier than where He chose to come to earth. He was born in a mess — wrapped in rags, laid in a manger — and he died in a mess! And in between his first day and his last day, he mostly hung out with messy people, seeming even to prefer them!
We make Christmas really pretty, with red velvet bows and evergreen branches and all that. But the real story of Christmas proves that you do not have to clean up for him. Cleanliness, it turns out, is far from godliness. If anything, it’s in the middle of our messiness that God shows up! God is love and only love. In God there is no hatred, desire for revenge, or pleasure in seeing us punished. God wants to forgive, heal, restore, show us endless mercy, and see us come home.