rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

IS THERE ANY…GOOD NEWS?

In the humdrum of everyday life, we often wonder about the circumstances of living and dying. As I spoke yesterday of the loss of a beloved pet in our midst, I am largely at a loss for words. Some have lost loved ones this past year. It is difficult to overcome the effects of death, whether a pet, a friend or a family member. Yet, life does go on. And for humankind, there is hope. I’m no expert on theology, however, I am confident that God is in control of our situations. He gives us peace and even joy to guide us through those challenging times.  Watching the evening news we often ask ourselves a question. This article tries to answer that question.

Malicious tyrants terrorize their people.
The news bears witness everyday,
Their cronies torment unwilling victims,
taking their freedoms away.
Lives are inflicted with shocking brutality.
Authority has blurred their vision.
Even good leaders turn from morality.

Mayhem fills the hearts of men…
Time… and time again.

From the ancient of days to modern day times
From Saul to Ahab to Herod of old
Nations and people have lived in fear
of kings and emperors and others so bold.

But God sent us His Son, Jesus, our King.
Who stepped down from His golden throne.
Good Tidings, Great Joy,
Oh, how the angels did sing.

And there were skeptics all around…
Because a Savior had been found.

And the authorities question;

“Can you not see the irony of this?
This child… a king…? Born in Bethlehem…?
Can anything good come from Bethlehem?
Is this some form of mockery?

I… am Herod the Great,
I will not step down.
I… am the ruler of this land.
Seek him out if you must
But know that I am king, not Him!”

And from more skeptics we hear…
Misguided… mostly from fear…

“From a lowly peasant girl…
You ask us to receive…
This babe— as our King,
This is what we should believe?

Surely, Yahweh God is more than able.
Our foes cannot be trembling at this sight!
Perhaps He could have come another way.
In kingly robes and a gleaming crown
Perhaps a chariot with eight white horses,”

Yet in this manger, a King is found.

for it is written:

“And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2:12

“He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever; and His kingdom will have no end.”
Luke 1:32-33…

How many Kings stepped down from their thrones?
For you…? For me…?

Only One!

The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!

“Shout for joy to the Lord, ALL the earth,
burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to the Lord with the harp,
with the harp and the sound of singing,
with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—
shout for joy before the Lord, the King”.
Ps.98:4:6

There IS Good News! JOY… to the World!

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From the Highest of Heavens

Some say we are in the Christmas season, but I say, God is never out of season. People sometimes take Him out of their box in December, put Him back in the box in January and leave Him there until Easter.
This is the reminder… as we celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends; let us also take the time to reflect on our worship of Him throughout the year.

“From The Highest of Heavens”

“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all”.  John 3:31
“And the Lord God Almighty said, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.” Micah 5:2

In the highest of heavens,
Even, the heavens above the heavens,
The Most High sits on the glorious throne of the
Lord God Almighty.
In the beginning and from your splendid throne,
You Were…
Before the equation of time became measurable,
You were God…
Before the flawless design of endless space
You existed…
Before cosmic matter came into being
You were present…
Before God-breathed humanity was fashioned
You were…
Even before nothing …
You were…

And even before all of this, my name…,
MY NAME…! was on your lips,
And my soul… MY SOUL! was on your mind.
Love for me… was in your heart, because,
You Were…

And in that highest of heavens,
at your right hand sat your Son, Jesus,
with the Plan for my soul.
—You whispered my name, He said, “I’ll go!”

Then from that highest of heavens,
Down through the endless space,
in His measured time,
Brushing aside celestial spaces to
save humanity as the True Light…
In flesh…,through a virgin birth, He came…

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth John 1:14

Here in the month of December, we celebrate the physical birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But today isn’t His birthday, and neither is December the 25th. For we celebrate not the day He came, but that He Came. Some ask, was it real? I say, my friends, yes, His Birth was indeed real. He is real.
Can you imagine God whispering to Jesus, the names of everyone ever created in His image? Even before the world existed?…

God whispered your name…
Then He came…

CHILDREN AND CHRISTMAS

Many years ago, too many to count, I became the father of three wonderful children. Not all at once, you understand, but one by one. The first one, a little red-headed daughter, we named Cheryl. I was a young sailor, far away in Guam when she was born. It would be several months before I met her in person for the first time. She was a delight in the life of her very young parents. Grandparents were so excited.

Two years and four months later, another little girl came into our lives. We named this little bundle, Kimberly. Kim, as she became known, was a delight in the life of her older but still young parents. Experienced in parenthood, or so we thought, we doted on this new baby in our family. Grandparents were excited at the arrival of their second granddaughter.

Thirteen months later, a little boy was born into this growing family. We named Him Charles. Charlie, as he is known only by family, was, as his older siblings were, a delight in our young family. Now we were really parents with a great deal of knowledge of parenting skills. NOT, but, proud of our family unit. Of course, his older sisters were very proud as well. And his grandparents were thrilled at a boy coming into our lives.

That was then, this is now. My children are now grown with children of their own, the girls with grandchildren as well. It is only a matter of time until my son becomes a grandfather, too. As for this great-grandfather, that makes me so very proud.  I am so proud of my children, my grandchildren and my great-grandchildren.

I wish I would have written a book about all these years as they came and went, back when my memory was much more lucid. I could talk about vacations we took back and forth to different states, about bus rides for hours on end, and back to their childhood when clothes flew out a window. We could talk about those teenage years, of wrecked cars, yes, each child experienced that predicament. We could talk about band and baseball, good grades and not so good grades. We could talk about what they THOUGHT they got away with. Probably not those deeds they actually did get away with. We could talk about the cats and the dogs and Christmases past.

God willing, this will be my seventy-eight Christmas on this earth. I write this to say how much I treasure my family, how much I love each and every one of them.  The distance between our families is only in the miles and not in the love we have for each other. We spent many Christmases together and some were even in hard times.  As adults, we do not always get the opportunity to spend every Christmas together in person, but we always have each other in our hearts. The family has grown by leaps and bounds and I feel very gratified by their love. And now my children entertain their children and grandchildren in celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.They make their own traditions and customs. That is how it should be.

Wanting this to be a very public announcement of how much I love my family, I post this enthusiastically and say;

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY CHILDREN. I LOVE YOU

AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL MY READERS

Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before

For seventy-eight years, I have been celebrating Christmas. At my age, don’t expect me to remember all of them, but one I especially remember is Christmas, 1948. I was nine years old and we were living in tough times, not that I knew anything about that. It was said that Santa Claus was not likely to visit our house that year. Because of the divorce of my adoptive parents and the illness of my grandfather, my mother and I lived with my grandparents.
My grandfather, Papa, was suffering with cancer and many believed would not live until Christmas. My mother told me he had a disease that was infectious. That was to keep me from bothering him. I wasn’t allowed to go in his room; but I did stand at the door and talk to him. I remember Papa smiling at me between his coughing and wheezing. I always thought he would get well. Once, during that Christmas time, I sneaked into his bedroom, even though it was off-limits to me, and I told him Merry Christmas. He motioned for me to lean over closely, so I could hear him better. He told me that better times were coming, both for him and for me. I wasn’t sure what he meant, after all, I was only nine.

Now, in hindsight, I know that Christmas 1948 was a memorable one for me. I’m sure you have an unforgettable Christmas in your memory. Christmases are supposed to be a joyous time, a time for family to come together and share the joys, to celebrate the birth of Christ, and to remember the good things. Sometimes it doesn’t quite turn out that way, but then again…

You See… I Remember…

My folks didn’t want to celebrate Christmas… in nineteen forty-eight.
We had no money and my grandpa Papa, was so sick… he didn’t even know the date.
My Granny Mama wasn’t feeling well…, seems like Christmas might have to wait.
And if old Santa even came at all…, he’d probably show up late.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

No one much wanted … to decorate that year
Wasn’t going be like Christmas… wasn’t much Christmas cheer.
Then my Mama set about… to proudly trim a little tree
Thankful for the neighbor who cut and gave it to us free.

Mama wrapped her little tree… with gold and silver rope.
placed her special angel on the top!… she said, “to give us hope”,
like the angel from the Bible announcing Jesus’ birth
telling all the shepherds of Good News that’s come to earth.

I remember helping Mama… decorate our little Christmas tree.
And I remember especially…, all those joys it brought to me.
It had loads of shiny lights… that glimmered all around.
And Papa’s homemade ornaments… that almost touched the ground.

Our decorated Christmas tree… stood in its usual place.
Over by the window…‘cause we didn’t have much space
We had no chimney in our home… that Santa could come down
So I hung my cotton stocking by the door… just in case he came around.

But Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before

I remember Mama… made her breakfast Mac and cheese
It was her specialty… we all were very pleased
I remember Papa peeking out his bedroom door
And saying maybe… Maybe Christmas might be like before

But, No, this Christmas wasn’t meant to be… like all our Christmases before

I remember Mickey Mouse… and the watch I got that year
And my cotton stocking… packed with Christmas cheer,
crammed with apples and oranges and walnuts and stuff
And good hard ribbon candy, plenty sticky… sure enough.

It must have been old Santa… who left those gifts for me,
‘cause no one had no money… and stuff like that’s not free.
But sometimes… like at Christmas… miracles do take place
And seems like miracles always put a smile on a little boy’s face.

But Christmas ‘forty-eight wasn’t like all our Christmases before.

So many years have passed since that Christmas ‘forty eight
But Miracles still happen…and that’s cause to celebrate
I remember Mama… telling… the wonder of Jesus’ birth
And Papa listening closely, his last few days on earth.

Ahhh.. Christmas ‘Forty-Eight…it came and went so quick
And Papa kept us laughing just like he wasn’t sick
Then February nineteen forty-nine, his cancer staked its claim
Christmases… ever after… would never be the same.

No…, Christmas wasn’t going to be like all our Christmases before.

Just a side note, one Christmas when our family celebrated together, I bought some cotton stockings like my Granny Mama used to wear, and I fixed each grandchild a stocking with the same fruits and nuts and stuff I got when I was a child. They thought it was funny… I smiled at the memory.
You see… I Remember… Christmas ‘forty-eight…

I’m pretty sure I know what my Papa meant when he said better times are coming.

Thank you for allowing me to share some of my thoughts with you.
From me and all my family,
I hope you have a very miraculously, and memorable Christmas.

 

From the Highest of Heavens

“Some say we are in the Christmas season, but I say, God is never out of season. People sometimes take Him out of the box in December, put Him back in the box in January and leave Him there until Easter.
This is a reminder… as we celebrate the birth of Christ with family and friends; let us also take this time to reflect on our worship of Him throughout the year.

“The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is from the earth belongs to the earth, and speaks as one from the earth. The one who comes from heaven is above all”. John 3:31

And the Lord God Almighty said, “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are too small to be among the army groups from Judah, from you will come one who will rule Israel for me. He comes from very old times, from days long ago.” Micah 5:2

In the highest of heavens,
Even, the heavens above the heavens,
The Most High sits on the glorious throne of the Lord God Almighty.
In the beginning and from Your splendid throne…
…You Were…
Before the equation of time became measurable,
…You Were God…
Before the flawless design of endless space
…You Existed…
Before cosmic matter came into being
…You were present…
Before God-breathed humanity was fashioned
…You Were…
Before NOTHING at ALL! …You Were…

And Even before all of this, my name…,
…MY NAME… was on your lips,
And my soul? MY SOUL? It was on your mind.
And love for me was in your heart,
Because? You Were…

And in that highest of heavens,
And at your right hand, sat your Son, Jesus,
with the Plan for my soul.
—You whispered my name—
And He said, “I’ll go!”
Then from that highest of heavens,
Down through the endless space,
in His measured time,
Brushing aside celestial spaces
and to save humanity…
In flesh, thru a virgin birth, He came…

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth John 1:14

Here in the month of December, we celebrate the physical birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. But today isn’t His birthday, and neither is December the 25th. For we celebrate NOT the day He came, but THAT  He Came!

Some ask, was it real? I say my friends, yes, His Birth was indeed real and He is indeed real.

  Can you imagine God whispering to Jesus,
the names of EVERYONE ever created in His image? …
Even before the world existed?
God whispered Your name…Then He came…

Pete Robertson @ 2015

Christmas Morning

It is Christmas Morning. The agonizing wait is over. The house has a different air about it. Yesterday, there was so much anticipation and this morning that anticipation has been replaced with an attitude of joy. Smiling faces with tussled hair and sleepy eyes that are just now starting to focus, grip the morning with varying squeals of delight.

The first thing I noticed this morning was a white residue in the milk glass beside the empty cookie plate. Something or someone removed those contents during the night. Then I saw the stockings full to the brim, bulging with stuff inside. There were candy canes sticking out over the edge of each. And the Christmas Tree was loaded with wrapped gifts that were not there yesterday. Santa has come and gone. He really knows how to impress a person.

So breakfast will have to wait. There are gifts to be opened and those stockings so full to the brim, well, they must be pulled off the shelf and emptied on the floor. That is the best way to see what is in there. But I must be careful, Santa has been known to put breakable stuff in those stockings. Fortunately, this morning, that was not the case.

I peered into my stocking to see a variety of male toiletries, which I might add, I love, then a wonderful box of chocolate covered Cherries, really my favorite, and a Christmas tradition in my house for many years. I also got a couple of toothpaste Squeeze-It devices. These are designed to get every bit of the toothpaste from the tube before you throw it away. That is ingenious. Wish I had thought of that. Sure beats pushing and squeezing the tube in the middle. I bet the inventor of that device celebrates Christmas in a big way.

I opened a wrapped gift next. The tag said it was from Santa. I think this Santa looks a lot like my wife. I don’t know how Santa knew I needed a new pair of pajamas. I will wear them tonight. Maybe that will impress “someone”. Santa outdid himself this year.

I must admit, it is fun to open gifts. But my enjoyment really comes from watching the “Rancherette” open her stocking and gifts. Of course, in her case, Santa knows what she likes and is happy to contribute to her desires.

I am undecided as to which gift she likes the most. I can tell you, she adores her Silkie chicken calendar. And then, Santa filled her stocking with traditional stuff.  She opened the stocking to discover an apple, an orange, candy canes, nuts, (assorted, of course), and chocolate candy, Ghirardelli’s chocolate candy! Another gift she received was a sweet-smelling bottle of Burberry perfume. I helped Santa think of that.

However, sometimes, a gift goes awry. Such is the case with the Silkie Chicken Clock. It does not work and must be returned. I don’t think Santa takes return gifts even if he did not get it right. It probably is the problem of one of his suppliers. I will locate the business address of that firm and do the return for him. I will inform Santa of that particular supplier so that he doesn’t use them next year.

I noticed after I took a shower this morning that Santa forgot one of the items on my wish list. This is the umpteenth time he has forgotten. Every year, I ask for a new birthday suit and every year he forgets. I’m telling you, the birthday suit I have now is wrinkled and really beginning to wear out. Oh, well, I tend to be somewhat of a pack rat and keep everything much longer than it was designed to be kept. At least, this one still works for me, but, I’ll keep putting that wish on my Christmas list.

But I don’t despair, it is still a wonderful Christmas, the “rancher” and the “rancherette” sharing with each other. We share gifts with each other during the course of the year, but it seems that Christmas brings out the true meaning of giving, at least for me. I realize that others do not share the same Christmas celebrations that we as Christians do. For those who do not, I sincerely hope you find something (or someone) in your life to celebrate and when you do, make it special to the one you love. If it happens at this particular time of year, then, that’s just icing on the cake.

Well, it is time to begin the overindulging. I helped the “rancherette” in the kitchen by chopping onions and celery. That will pay off in the form of dressing later today. I love dressing, too. The “rancherette” is an expert at discussing with Santa what gifts to bring me, but she is also an expert at cooking and baking.. But in the meantime, I think I will start with the chocolate covered cherries. That is a tradition each year as well

I hope each of you have a very Merry Christmas.

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