Merry Christmas

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”~~Norman Vincent Peale

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is crèche, “a set of statues that represents the scene of Jesus Christ’s birth and that is displayed during Christmas.” What I did not know was that the word can also mean, “a place where young children are cared for during the day while their parents are working : a day care center.” Other choices for word of the day today were “outglitter,” from the Oxford English Dictionary, and “munificence,” from Outglitter, a verb, means exactly what it looks like it means. Munificence means, “the quality of being munificent, or showing unusual generosity.” All three are certainly relevant to the day.

Today, besides being Christmas, is Pumpkin Pie Day. Well, we don’t have any of that, here, this year, and unless my mother got one, we won’t have on in Mineral Wells, either. Which is okay with us. I don’t dislike Pumpkin Pie, but I certainly don’t feel like I have to have some, either. I’d rather have Dump Cake and Kahlua Fudge.

Today is Christmas. I wish everyone who reads this a joyous and happy Christmas Day. If you don’t observe or celebrate Christmas, I wish you joy and happiness, as well.

Our Christmas Eve service was nice, last night. It was enjoyable to celebrate in the presence of brothers and sisters in Christ. It was simple and meaningful. Afterward, I headed back home to celebrate Christmas with Christi’s side of the family. Rachel and Justin had already joined us. Others started arriving around 6:00-6:30. We had a total of 11 people in the house. I’m not going to really comment much on the evening. Let’s just say we survived. I got some cash, and these four books.
Christmas books
Some good reading for the new year, and all from my Amazon Wish List! Christi must have shared the list with her sister! Praying With the Psalms will be one of my devotional books for 2016! I’m very excited about that, as I am quite fond of Eugene Peterson and his work on the Psalms.

We will probably be opening our gifts, pretty soon. Then Christi will cook some more green bean casserole, and we will load up truck and move to Beverly . . . Hills, that is. . . No, wait. Sorry. Sometimes my brain just takes off in the wrong direction. But it’s not really the wrong direction, because we will be heading west, to Mineral Wells, to spend the weekend with my mother, and to celebrate Christmas with her. It will be bittersweet, as it is our first Christmas without Daddy.

On this date in:

800–Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor
1066–William the Conqueror was crowned king of England
1776–George Washington crossed the Delaware (although, probably not standing up in a rowboat) to attack English Hessian mercenaries in Trenton, New Jersey
1818–The first performance of “Silent Night” occurred in the church of St. Nikolaus, Oberndorf, Austria
1868–President Andrew Johnson granted unconditional pardon to all Confederate soldiers
1974–Marshall Fields drove a vehicle through the gates of the White House, resulting in a four-hour standoff. Isn’t Marshall Fields a department store??
1990–The first successful trial run was made of the system which would become the World Wide Web. The birth of the Interwebs!

Today’s birthdays include:

1583–Orlando Gibbons, English composer
1642–Isaac Newton, English scientist
1821–Clara Barton, founder of the American red Cross
1870–Helena Rubinstein, Polish-born American cosmetics industrialist
1887–Conrad Hilton, American hotelier
1890–Robert Ripley, collector of odd facts
1899–Humphrey Bogart, American actor
1907–Cab Calloway, American bandleader
1918–Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt
1924–Rod Serling, American television writer, The Twilight Zone
1925–Carlos Castaneda, Peruvian-born author
1927–Nellie Fox, baseball player
1940–Phil Spector, American music producer. And murderer?
1945–Noel Redding, English musician, Jimi Hendrix Experience
1946–Larry Csonka, American football player
1946–Jimmy Buffet, American singer/songwriter
1948–Barbara Mandrell, American singer/actress
1949–Sissy Spacek, American actress
1954–Annie Lennox, Scottish singer
1955–Allanah Myles, Canadian singer
1958–Rickey Henderson, baseball player
1971–Dido, English singer
1972–Mac Powell, American singer/songwriter, Third Day
1975–Hideki Okajima, Japanese pitcher
1984–The Veronicas, Australian twin singers

Rod Serling was the mastermind behind TV shows such as The Twilight Zone and Night Gallery. He was born on this date in 1924, and passed away in 1975.

Bonus: Here’s one for Humphrey Bogart, born on this date in 1899. “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

W.C. Fields, Charlie Chaplin, Joan Blondell, Billy Martin, Dean Martin, JonBenet Ramsey, Denver Pyle, James Brown, and Eartha Kitt are among notable deaths on this date.

Update . . . we have opened our Christmas presents. I got a new portable “Peak” music stand from Rachel and Justin. I got a hardback copy of The Institutes of the Christian Religion from Christi. And the surprise gift of the morning was this:
Christmas gift
I was not expecting that, at all!


And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
John 1:14-17

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
1 John 4:11

Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Matthew 1:18-25

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those
with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:1-20

That’s all for today. No commentary, just words from the Scriptures.

Merry Christmas!

Father, I pray that all will have peace and joy in their lives today, no matter what their circumstances. Not all will have happiness, but joy is possible through Christ. May everyone know the free gift of grace that you have given us! Thank you, Lord, for your gift to us!

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.