Friday, December 08, 2006

Christmas Poem #2 - Christ's Nativity

Awake, glad heart! get up and sing!
It is the birth-day of thy King.
Awake! awake!
The Sun doth shake Light from his locks,
and all the way Breathing perfumes,
doth spice the day.

Awake, awake! hark how th' wood rings;
Winds whisper, and the busy springs A concert make;
Awake! awake!
Man is their high-priest, and should rise
To offer up the sacrifice.

I would I were some bird, or star,
Flutt'ring in woods, or lifted far
Above this inn And road of sin!
Then either star or bird should be
Shining or singing still to thee.

I would I had in my best part
Fit rooms for thee! or that my heart
Were so clean as Thy manger was!
But I am all filth, and obscene;
Yet, if thou wilt, thou canst make clean.

Sweet Jesu! will then. Let no more
This leper haunt and soil thy door!
Cure him, ease him, O release him!
And let once more, by mystic birth,
The Lord of life be born in earth..

Christ's Nativity a Christmas poem by Henry Vaughan

When a Sparrow Falls

I came accross this way of helping those that have suffered a loss this year at Christmas time.

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Remembering Another's LossBefore and during a funeral, people surround those who are grieving. The support given at this time and the busyness of the moment help the hurting to cope. But in the months following, life for the grieving person becomes quiet and the magnitude of the loss may feel overwhelming.

Consider the following suggestions for recognizing a person’s loss and bringing comfort this holiday season.
  • Purchase a tree or flowering bush for the family to plant in the person’s memory.
  • Give an album for writing memories, keeping special cards, and posting pictures. Consider having family and friends write memories of the loved one in the album. Give an album to parents who have experienced miscarriage or stillbirth. At first, it may not seem as beneficial, but it allows them to process their grief by compiling a keepsake of the pregnancy and the hopes they held for their child.
  • Give the hurting person a small token with his loved one’s name or initials. You can give an engraved charm, pendant, or bookmark. This Christmas you also can give a hand-painted glass ornament with the deceased person’s name. Some hospitals and hospice organizations have Christmas trees where an ornament will be placed in the loved one’s memory in exchange for a donation.
  • Write a letter of condolence, including memories of the loved one. Even beyond the holiday, remember those who are grieving by sending your thoughts on the anniversary of the loss and on other holidays. For example, for a mother who has lost a child, send a special card on Mother’s Day
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"As you walk through grief, the sharpness of pain will subside. If you let God, He will supply comfort and healing along your journey. "

Parent Life: When a Sparrow Falls

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Christmas Poem #1

Behold a silly tender Babe, in freezing winter night;
In homely manger trembling lies, alas a piteous sight:
The inns are full, no man will yield this little Pilgrim bed,
But forced He is with silly beasts, in crib to shroud His head.
Despise Him not for lying there, first what He is enquire:
An orient pearl is often found, in depth of dirty mire;
Weigh not His crib, His wooden dish, nor beasts that by Him feed:
Weigh not His mother's poor attire, nor Joseph's simple weed.
This stable is a Prince's court, the crib His chair of state:
The beasts are parcel of His pomp, the wooden dish His plate.
The persons in that poor attire, His royal liveries wear,
The Prince Himself is come from heaven, this pomp is prized there.
With joy approach, O Christian wight, do homage to thy King,
And highly prize this humble pomp, which He from heaven doth bring.

New Prince, New Pomp a Christmas poem by Robert Southwell

Would you die for your country?

The more I see online and the TV about the war in Iraq and the other conflicts that are going on they are not just about their nationalism, they are about their gods. This was reinforced by a video article sponsored by The Jerusalem Post Online

The wandering Arabs in Palestine are calling for a holy war, not a national war. The Muslims in Iraq are fighting each other and the US/UN in a holy war.

Looking at the past and trying to learn from our mistakes is great, but we must also learn to look to our success. Looking back to World War 2 the Japanese people were vilified, not as another nation against America, but as a group of people that were religious to the extreme and would gladly die for their God, their Emperor.

Would you die for your country? Would you die for your god?

As a Christian, what does God want you to do?

Monday, December 04, 2006

A future of hope.

Surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.
- Jeremiah 29:11 (emphasis mine)