Wednesday, December 30, 2009

big guy's big day

This picture was taken last week. Notice the jingle bells on Koufax's collar?

Yesterday, December 29th, was Koufax's first birthday. Sue's uncle and I walked him down to the feed store, Wight & Patterson, to have him weighed: he came in at only 105 pounds. That is a five-pound gain over two months. Before that he regularly gained ten pounds a month.

Earlier this week at dinner I asked people what was their favorite day of 2009. Mine was the day we brought Koufax home.

What's next? A colleague of mine insists that Koufax is Jewish. Since Koufax is now one-year old, and therefore officially a dog and no longer a puppy, we are planning his Bark Mitzvah.

Anybody know where we can get a doggie yarmulke?

Be blessed!
RB

Thursday, December 24, 2009

where's the donkey doo-doo?

This might not be much of a news flash, but today is Christmas Eve. This season is a special time of decorating the house, big meals, candy and cookies, family gatherings, evergreens all decked out, presents for loved ones, and sometimes, for those you barely know.

What does this have to do with the Christmas Story (not the '83 movie but the original in Luke Chapter 2)? If you think about it, not much at all.

A poor, pregnant, teenage girl about to give birth arrives in a city where there is no room at any of the inns. (As my pastor once mentioned, if she wasn't so poor, someone probably would have found a room for her.) They let her and her husband stay in the stable. If the inns are full, wouldn't you think the stables would be full as well? Picture this scared teenage girl having a baby in a barn full of work animals, very smelly work animals. The place reeked of animal sweat, feces, and urine.

Not much in decorations. I guess to be more authentic we ought to hang dried donkey doo-doo from our Christmas trees.

Where was the family? Was Joseph the only one from his family who had to report to Bethlehem for the census? Where was every one else? Where were all the sisters, cousins, and aunts to help out with the birth? Was there really no one who would help? Maybe this young couple had been ostracized? After all, Mary was that girl. You know, the one who was engaged to Joseph, then went off to the hill country of Judea to visit her cousin Elizabeth, and three months later came back pregnant. To top it off, Joseph went ahead and married her anyway!

Maybe a midwife came to help, but it is not mentioned. No one in the City of David seemed to notice that the King was born in that crowded, filthy, stinking stable. Wrapped in rags, maybe the baby was laid in a manger because it was the cleanest place; it had the only fresh hay.

Besides the angels, who was going to worship the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords? No wise men of the East yet. They came some time later. God had to outsource the worship to some shepherds outside of the city, out in the countryside. They were already awake. After being frightened by the angels, the adrenaline rush wouldn't allow them to go to sleep. So they went to worship the Christ. Earning their income by living among smelly sheep, these guys probably didn't mind the barn situation.

So if you are spending this Christmas without family, maybe alone, maybe in unpleasant circumstances, you are the one having a more authentic Christmas. God is with you; you can worship the Christ; no one else may even notice or care.

I will enjoy this Christmas season. I will worship Christ, but let's face it: this will be despite all the trappings of the holiday, not because of it.

Despite all the talk of keeping Christ in Christmas, the rest of us may just be having a Happy Holiday masquerading as a Merry Christmas.

Be blessed!
RB

Monday, December 21, 2009

the worst day of the year

It started out great with men's meeting at 7 a.m. and I was at the Watertown Malls on west Arsenal Street by 9:30. I started off easy with Petco. This is to shopping what stretching is to tennis. Then I went across to the BIG MALL. Wandering around stores, my legs and feet became sore from all the walking, my eyesight was blurry. I ultimately realized I was at the end of the mall. (Trust me, don't expect a light there.) To my shock I found myself looking to buy clothes for my wife in Gander Mountain. I forced myself to stagger out of there and immediately went into the nearby Best Buy. I looked at computers until my mind started to clear.

I had spent the entire day shopping and I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.

I looked at my watch. It was almost 11 a.m.

The car was parked at the other end of the mall. Walking back through that mall was for me like a naked albino with no water walking across the Sahara on a sunny August afternoon.

But I had no choice. I had to do it. I did buy something on the way back. I don't remember what I bought or what I paid. It's in the trunk of the car. I think.

I bought coffee and went across Arsenal to visit some other big box stores. I bought a few more things just to avoid the embarrassment of not having anything to show for my trip.

I don't understand how women can do this, let alone enjoy it.

Be blessed.
RB

Friday, December 18, 2009

Thursday, December 17, 2009

this 'end of the world' video would be good even without zombies



However, every good end of the world video should have zombies.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

what english sounds like to foreigners


About This Video: An Italian singer wrote this song with gibberish to sound like English. If you've ever wondered what other people think Americans sound like, this is it.


[ht him]

Monday, December 14, 2009

a quiet conversation

This was taken last weekend.

emerging from the ashes


Massena UCC.
Our department secretary is the pastor:

Emerging From The Ashes