Go ahead and build on the sandy land . . . sort of.

Jesus said a smart thing: 24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been [Read More…]

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Rankin and Bass Solve the World’s Problems

Why read a book when you can find solutions to all the world’s problems in Christmas holiday specials? Why struggle through the complex plotting of the typical Hallmark movie, when you can learn it all in soothing stop-action animation? Don’t watch black and white Capra, when you can be dazzled with full color. If you have [Read More…]

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The Christmas Cantata: A Short Story With a Remarkably Fecund Ending

Does anyone perform a cantata any more? What is a cantata anyway? When I was young, they were everywhere: a strange blend of musical theater, opera, and Handel if Handel had written for Evangelicals who sang SATB. John W. Peterson was the Man of Many Cantatas and oddly enough I enjoyed them. One year in [Read More…]

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Lucy Saw Clearly: Give and It Will Be Give to You

Lucy was a young girl who gave all she had to Jesus and so she has lived forever in the mind of the church. On the short, cold days just before Christmas, Christians still remember this girl whose name means “Light.”   On the darkest days, Lucy’s example is light. Jesus was always saying something [Read More…]

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Rest Merrily

Be merry, God says, though perhaps I should start by being a gentleman! The least important life mission I have adopted is to remind singers that God Rest You Merry, Gentleman has a comma.  Gentleman are being commanded to be merry, not already jolly. This is important, to the extent that such things can be important, [Read More…]

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She Makes Bleak Golden

If you do not read Christina Rossetti, stop reading this now and go buy a book. I can wait. Those who know that Rossetti is the poet still standing against the alt-Left and the alt-Right, politically incorrect and yet a Lady, welcome you to the resistance. Rossetti wanted beauty more than wealth, virtue more than [Read More…]

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The Holly and the Ivy or The Pony and the Elephant

Christmas has traditions that you should change and make your own, but some things get worse with tinkering. I should know. My children had two bath toys, a pony and an elephant, that endured through many adventures in cleanliness. They lasted long enough to need their own song and I “wrote” one called The Pony and the Elephant. This [Read More…]

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Diplomatic Angels

Beautiful messengers of peace: that is the role of angels and that was what our fifth graders thought when they took a look at a painting entitled “Angels” by artist Chatout donated by a Houston ambassador and public servant. They also get to travel and eat great food . . . Or so kids decided. [Read More…]

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Christmas around the World and in Our House

Jesus loves the whole world and Jesus loves my little family. Our family is about as American as one can be by history and habits, but our faith is global. We learned to celebrate the coming of Jesus (glorious!) as Americans and so good traditions work for us that would not work elsewhere: A Charlie Brown [Read More…]

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Stop Failing: Lessons from Virgil and Lucas

Don’t Rejoice in Failure Dad knew a man who preached the same sermon every week. People left his church until only a few faithful were hanging with the congregation to try to save the church after the pastor would (hopefully) wear out and leave. Was Pastor Tedium worried? No. He had, from his point of [Read More…]

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