Happy New Year!

Hope you have a great 2005. 2004 seemed sorta short. Stay awake for it.

Or just do what my friend Karin does and collect $75 of Starbucks gift certificates! I’m not anti-Starbucks or anything. In fact, one of our local Starbucks lifted the fees to get online after Hurricane Charley. They are in a plaza that still had power…one of the few places that had power in the city and they didn’t charge to get online. Class move.

But for my coffee, I’d rather go to other coffee places though.

The Tsunami

I, like probably most of you, have watched and read the shocking developments with the lethal and devastating earthquake/tsunami combo that has now killed over 120,000 people. This photo is a before/after shot of the shoreline of Banda Aceh in Indonesia.

Watch a home video of a wave coming in.

Pray for these folks. After going through 3 hurricanes in Florida, they seem strong breezes compared to the devastation in the South Pacific.

Do something. You probably know there’s some stuff you can do to help out. There’s been plenty of reporting on ways to help. Kudos to Google for making it simple to help and Amazon for partnering with the Red Cross. Campus Crusade has also set up a way to give.

Connect. I read today that one company is offering free text messaging to and inside the effected Asian countries.

Another Christmas Story

We’re all familiar with the Christmas story that Linus Luke tells. I once read that is the perspective of what Christmas morning was like from the world’s point of view.

Have you ever read the Christmas story from the spiritual world’s point of view?

A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down–that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.

Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:

“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers who accuses them before our God day and night has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.”

When the dragon saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child. The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach. Then from his mouth the serpent spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent. But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against the rest of her offspring–those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus. Kind of a different perspective, huh?

Merry Christmas!

A Christmas Story

I just gotta say that I’m only 72 minutes into the TBS 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story and I’m loving it.

Just now…”Notafinga!”

If I weren’t so tired, I think I’d liveblog the movie with favorite quotes.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas
(or A Visit from St. Nicholas)
by Clement Clarke Moore

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
gave the lustre of midday to objects below,
when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,
and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

‘Now Dasher! Now Dancer!
Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!’

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky
so up to the house-top the courses they flew,
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes–how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Where In The World?

I’ve been getting that question a lot this week. And rightfully so! Depending on when it’s asked this week I’ve got many different answers.

If you asked Monday morning I would have said “Surrey, British Columbia”.

If you asked Monday afternoon or Tuesday I would have said “Seattle, Washington”.

If you asked Tuesday I would have said “flying over the Rockies” or “stuck in the Denver airport” or “somewhere over the US flying to Orlando”.

If you ask today I will answer “at home in Orlando!”

If you ask tomorrow, I will answer “somewhere on I-95 North” or “in the middle of nowhere in Florida”, “in the middle of nowhere in Georgia” or “in the middle of nowhere in South Carolina” or “Rock Hill, South Carolina” when we finally get there tomorrow night.

What a crazy week!

Time Zones

Blogger is funny (or maybe it’s just me). This morning I posted and noticed the time stamp was on Pacific time. So I manually changed them to East Coast time. Then I went in and changed the settings so that now it’s always posting as East Coast. But I had to republish the entire blog so EVERY post now has the East Coast time stamp.

Oh well. So now when you read my posts from Vancouver, subtract 3 hours from the time stamp to figure out when I actually posted. Or not 😉

UPDATE: Okay, so I realize now I could have just republished the index page and not the entire blog. Either way, it’s goofy.