Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A few of my favorites from 2011....

So thematic theme 117 at Written Inc. , is your favorite pictures of 2011. 2011 has been a beautiful year of change for me and I can't wait to see what 2012 has in store. Here are few of mine, as we look back at the year:

These first two remind me to slow down and enjoy the beauty of simplicity.

Not only are these some of my favorite snapshots of the year, but each picture represents something different to me. Each has a certain memory. And each is a small piece of life, so that when I look back at them, I can recapture the beauty and joy all over again. We can't stop or slow down time, but having photos are the next best thing.

Have a Happy New Year Everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas: God With Us

I have to admit: I'm not always in the Christmas Spirit by the time it rolls around. But I've figured out it's because of what Christmas has come to means, instead of what it once meant. So as we steadily get closer to Christmas, I'm focusing on Emmanuel.

I have such a hard time wrapping my mind around the fact that the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords became a baby. He was God, He could have came down with an army of angels, but instead chose to come simply as a baby. Why is that? Emmanuel. Which means God with us. God wanted a close, personal, intimate relationship with Him so He chose to become one of us and show us how much He loved us.
  He truely is 'God With Us'. He is our refuge and our strength, our guide, our Shepherd and He even counts the number of our tears.

This Christmas, as the hustle and bustle tries to wrench away my focus, I want to be still and reflect on this beautiful mystery of Christmas. Take time to spend with the Savior who gave it all for us.
Relient K- I celebrate the day
"And the first time
That You opened Your eyes did You realize that You would be my Savior
And the first breath that left Your lips
Did You know that it would change this world forever?/ And I, I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day pray for You to save my life".

This is a beautiful song, I encourage you to look it up.

I wish every one of you a Merry Christmas and pray that this Christmas you take time to sit with Emmanuel. God With Us.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Why we all love 'A Christmas Carol' and Second Chances

I haven't found an exact number but after 59, I gave up. That's how many "A Christmas Carol" movies or shows have been filmed. It seems like everyone has done an adaption from the Muppets, to the Flinstones, or some have even filmed it under a new name (example Scrooged). But my all time favorite would be "A Mickey Mouse Christmas Carol". Ah, yes, it does bring back memories. Tiny Tim has never been so cute....

But it got me thinking....What is it about this tale that has so many others trying to duplicate it? The theme has been done time and time again, but we keep turning back to it. Why?

My answer is simply the message. We want a story of second chances. Of hope. That maybe someone can change their life around. But the climax is when the ghost of Christmas Present appears and Scrooge eventually falls to his lonely grave, usually with the lines, "I've changed!" ringing in the background. And then it happens: Scrooge awakes on Christmas Day to find he's been given a second chance. To set things right and save himself and others from a grim future. It leaves us with those warm, fuzzy feeling that all is right with the world.

It sounds a lot to me like the story of Salvation....Jesus came with a story of second chances. That's what He came to give us. We look over our own "ghosts"; our past of which we might not be so proud of or we look back at with regret. Our present, where we are completely lost without Jesus. And our future, with without Jesus and saving us from our own selfish decisions, might not look a whole different than Scrooge's. But at the end of the day, we look back and cry, "I've changed! I've changed!" And Jesus wakes up our hearts and gives us that second chance. Because we all like Scrooge better at the end of the movie rather than the beginning....

So if you watch "A Christmas Carol", I want you to think about it. Why is it that we like this movie? Because something about it resonates within our hearts and there's something beautiful about second chances.

What are your thoughts, why do you think there are so many adaptions? What is your favorite Christmas Carol?