Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Turn the Page

He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, He has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. -Ecclesiastes 3:11

I once heard someone say that our life, in the midst of living it, seems like a series of random events, all chaos and confusion, but when looked back at, takes the form of a well-crafted novel complete with plot twists, blind alleys and surprise revealings.

So what did we (by "we," I mostly mean me) learn in 2015?

That the author and finisher of my faith is still writing, still finishing.

That the ending of one chapter in life leads to the beginning of another.

That, surprisingly, eating excess amounts of chocolate (and yes, you can eat an excess amount of chocolate!) inspires the strangest dreams ever. Which dreams could be the subject of another blog entirely.

I learned (am learning) that no matter how well I think I know myself, my heart still hides amazing, unthought of secrets which are ever being revealed (and often repented of).

I think I also learned that time and death are means whereby God works to make us more heavenly minded.

That He has indeed made all things beautiful, and as their time unfolds and they are revealed, we are drawn ever deeper into the mystery and beauty of that which is to come.

And. like Mrs. Cratchit, we ask, "What next, I wonder?"

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


...but the gift of God is eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  -Romans 6:23b

You've got 'em. I have 'em. Even Hank Jr. has family traditions.

Had a large time on my birthday. Got the tree up. Watched Scrooge.  Had a sumptuous birthday feast prepared by Chef April (don't know what that chocolate stuff with the Tiffany[?] cream was called, but Lord have mercy!)

Worked on several of the new songs. Sandy learned to sing the phrase (four notes) "debt" from one of them. Got tons of well-wishes from family and friends via FaceBook.

Got up early this morning to sit in the dark and look at the tree. It's lovely but I can't help wondering, "How did we get from Jesus to this?"

Never having been much of a Christmas guy, I'm focusing really hard this year on trying to meditate on the significance of Christ's entry into our world.

I mean it is truly mind-boggling to think that the God who made everything would come and live in the world He made as a real live human being.

And because He did, this life, which at times seems so unreal (a dream within a dream, as Poe called it) is not all there is.

The Spirit of Christmas Present uttered a line in the movie we watched last night that is not contained in Dickens' book. He said that the Spirit of Christmas does not live in men's hearts only one day a year, and neither does the child born in Bethlehem, but lives all 365 days of the year.

And that, my loves, my dearies, is more than a tradition.

It is the faith we embrace, the precious gift of God

Merry Christmas and God bless us, everyone.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Cut Me, Mick

For all I've learned, and memories kept; may I be forever in your debt. -Sandy Tolar

It's my birthday and there's this one song, Forever in Your Debt, with this really high part. About half the time I'm having trouble reaching the notes in falsetto even.

You'd think the guy who wrote the melody would have chosen notes within his vocal range, hmm?  Ah, but it's so purty and the lovely lyrics and tune combined make me want to weep.

Does music do you that way too?

Anyhoo, Chef April comes in with a large knife mock-threatening to cut Sandy for some snarky remark or other. And someone proposes that an appropriate cut might help me reach those high notes.

Then I'm reminded of the line from the first Rocky movie and I don't care who you are, that's just funny. And I decided a long time ago to try and have fun wherever I find myself.

So it's been that kind of day.

Happy Birthday to me.

And thanks for all the kind thoughts and well wishes.