Monday, December 31, 2007


“I can’t get no satisfaction ... And I try, and I try, and I try, and I try...”
Mick Jagger and Keith Richards of The Rolling Stones

Well, another Christmas has come and gone, and Madison Avenue is still trying to get us to buy whatever it is we don’t need but think we want. The buying binge most Americans go through each December is another refrain of the Rolling Stones’ song. Every year, December 26 sees long lines at retailers of people returning those items they did not like, that they did not need, or both. The wrong size/color/style is often the excuse, but I believe most of the dissatisfaction stems from the fact that we are supposed to surprise each other, and many times are not accurate in our guess as to what the other person wants. Why not do what many folks did this year and give a gift card? Then the recipient can pick out whatever is wanted. But will that satisfy?

I cannot say for sure, but I don’t think Mr Jagger ever has gotten satisfaction. The key being that he tried. The Christian believes that we can never be satisfied through our own efforts. True satisfaction only comes from God. A pastor I know puts it this way: We will only be content based on the content of our soul. I think 1 John 2:15-17 sums it up best:

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Christmas or Xmas?

This time of year there is usually a discussion of the use of “Xmas” being a terrible thing. People think we are taking “Christ out of Christmas” when using it. I beg to differ.

In the first place, was Christ ever a part of what we think of as the Christmas celebration? Most of our traditions came to us by way of pre-Christian, pagan European tribes. The date we celebrate is because of the pagan mid-winter celebrations of the birth of the sun.

But those are other issues addressed in other places. My thought is that since Jesus came to Earth to be a sacrifice for our sins, we should always remember His death and resurrection while celebrating His birth. The letter “X” has often been used to signify the cross, so using it now does not take Christ out of the picture, but helps to put His birth in focus of the reason He came: the crucifixion, which saved us from the power of sin in our lives. So, to one and all I say:

Merry Xmas!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Let it snow!

Well, 3rd and College is experiencing the first big snow of the season. It is beautiful to see, but I am glad I made it home. The highways were not cleared yet for the evening drive, so the going was slower. I love the snow, at least as long as I do not have to shovel it or drive very far in it, or get cold feet from wet shoes!

Snow is interesting, but sometimes here in the MidWest, it gets old. It is not a pretty sight after the snowplows come by, as the roadside snow is grey. But seeing the freshly fallen snow on the trees and fields, piled on fences and cars. What a beautiful world the Lord gave us!

Of course, one of my favorite sights is snow in the desert. Growing up in the Southern Arizona desert did not give many opportunities for snow, unless we drove up to the mountains. I only remember two or three times in my youth when there was enough snow to play in. But the beauty of the desert is more wonderful than where snow is common, as witnessed in the photo above, taken from the online version of Arizona Highways magazine.