Break Free Elephant

(note, I took this idea from The Parable of The Elephant and turned it into what I know)

I have a story to tell about a young elephant

Who was born perfect, she was heaven-sent

And as she grew she felt as if her life was excellent

But being tied by a rope was the only life she knew

So she thought it was all normal as she grew

And she didn’t know there was a love that was true

And time went by and through no fault of her own

She wanted love but felt as if love was never shown

She wanted to be seen but felt as if she wasn’t known

So she broke free and was on her own until she met some guys

They sweet talked her and she believed all their lies

They tied a rope around her leg and she didn’t question why

It was what she knew and they told her how much she was loved

She was beautiful and this and that and such and such

And she felt loved and wanted when she was being touched

At times, thoughts of escape would cross her mind

But she dismissed them because these guys were so kind

But she was blind to this rope that binds

Then one day a really nice man said hello

And a true love, he really did show

And he asked elephant, I really want to know

You are so big and so strong, why do you not flee?

Why do you let this rope keep you from being free?

The elephant said this is the life I’ve lived and it’s how it’ll always be

The man said I don’t believe you feel as if that’s true

Because you must really know if they truly loved you

They wouldn’t keep you tied up as you grew

I know you don’t try to escape because you’ve always lived this way

And I want you to know these chains that hold you in place you can break

Love yourself and forgive yourself, you are precious, not a mistake

Don’t continue to give power to those that never loved you and that were negligent

When the wrong kind of love and affection was given during your years of development

So please listen to me, from someone who unconditionally loves you, elephant

Look deep inside your mind and your heart

It’s time, elephant, for a fresh start

This life you’ve lived you must depart

You don’t want to live this way any longer, this we both know

So I’m telling you this elephant to give you hope

Don’t let your life be defined, please do not be confined by this rope

Do not be ambivalent, you were meant to rise above your environment

Because you are elegant, intelligent, and most magnificent

You are worthy, you are enough and you are loved elephant

Love Not Hate- Christmas Eve

cardinals, goldfinch, bluebird, nuthatch, chickadee:
art credit: James Hautman

History of the birds:

Love, Not Hate: Part 1

Love, Not Hate: Part Two

Love, Not Hate: Christmas Eve

Love, Not Hate: A New Chapter

Love, Not Hate: A New World

Love, Not Hate: The Division

Love, Not Hate: The Reconciliation

Love, Not Hate: Tragedy At Mandalay Bay

Love, Not Hate: Continue To Love

Love Not Hate: Love On Trial

Love Not Hate- Trick or Treat, Halloween Night

Love Not Hate- Teach A Human Day

Love Not Hate – Tragedy in Texas

It was Christmas Eve all through the land

All the birds stared in amazement at the Christmas tree so grand

The little birds could barely contain their excitement

The older birds looked on, filled with contentment

The eagle remembered how far they have come

He remembered all the work ALL the birds had done

Which made this day an even more special day

He took his place and said: “Birds, I have something to say”

Want to see one--not at a zoo--SOON!:
photo credit: Paula Krugerud Photography

“I’ll keep it short since tonight the little ones can’t be up late.”

“It has been a long time since we chose to love instead of hate.”

“It was a lot of work to repair our broken relationships.”

“As you all know, it hasn’t always gone to script.”

“We have learned from our mistakes, our experiences.”

“We have learned to work through our differences.”

“We have returned this land to the way it was created.”

“For that reason alone, tonight we ALL should be celebrated!”

“We are gathered here today because of the one who was born.”

“Who also died for us, tattered and torn.”

“As some of us birds are getting older,

We know we can’t carry this land on our shoulders.”

“We must teach the next generation

That love is the only way to rule this nation!”

All the birds started to sing

A beautiful sound that caused a gathering

All the animals from the forest came

The deer, the rabbit, the skunk and others you know by name

They gathered around the Christmas tree

They held hands and all sung with glee

The sound reached near and far

Then humans arrived, by foot and by car

They couldn’t believe their eyes

It was then they started to realize

Everything they thought they knew had to be ruled out

Because right there was a hawk singing with a field mouse

There was a bear beside a deer

There was a sheep standing by a wolf  with no fear

There was a fox right beside a hare

All these beautiful birds were there

They could hardly believe their ears

When the animals said: “There is nothing here to fear!”

“Yes, at one time we were all enemies!”

“We decided to let love rule our hearts until our eyes could see!”

Then the humans held each other’s hands

All the different people across the land

Blacks and whites, Muslim and Christian

All races, all people, could see the animals vision

The eagle then spoke once again:

“One last thing to say my friends.”

“To move forward you must move on from the past!”

“You have to live as last is first and first is last.”

“Let every man, every woman, every boy, every girl

Know what it’s like to have peace in this world!”

“Let ALL our voices join together as we sing Silent Night!”

Then they sang Joy To The World  and We Wish You A Merry Christmas

I can only say it’s all true, as I was there to witness

All the birds of a different color

Helped all the people discover

Instead of fighting they should ALL join hands

Because love is the only way to rule the land

Merry Christmas to ALL and to ALL a love filled night 

Image result for animals around a christmas tree

Image result for bible verse on christmas

Let It Be Christmas by Alan Jackson –

Santa’s Wish (Teach The World) by The Tenors –

Better Together by Gaither Vocal Band –

Join With The Angels by Matthew West –

Rest In You Tonight by The Oak Ridge Boys –

Gather Round by Band Of Merrymakers –

The Night Before Christmas by Brandon Heath –

Wish List by 7eventh Time Down –

Silent Night by Pentatonix –

Our Last Christmas Eve (In A Place We Called Our Home)

I know it’s only made of wood and stone

But it’s the first place we called our home

It’s where we went when you became my wife

Where our girls grew up and learned about life

Where we had safety after a hard day

And it’s where we came when we lost our way

Where memories were more than the past

Where I thought our love would always last

Now there’s a for sale sign in the yard

And I never thought it would be this hard

To say goodbye to some wood and stone

And I never thought I’d feel this alone

In a place we called our home

We smile through our last Christmas Eve

And I really wish I could believe

Santa could save our love and our home

I watch you sitting there reading your book

You catch me and smile with a knowing look

Sometimes I swear you can read my mind

Wanting to give it another try, but it’s time

I see all the presents under the tree

But the only gift I want is for you to love me

That’s a miracle only God can provide

Cause we’re already living separate lives

Now there’s a for sale sign in the yard

And I never thought it would be this hard

To say goodbye to some wood and stone

And I never thought I’d feel this alone

In a place we called our home

We smile through our last Christmas Eve

And I really wish I could believe

God could save our love and our home

I wonder if these floors will still creak in a few years

I wonder if these walls will remember our laughs and tears

These windows never quite kept out the cold

There are so many stories left untold

Now there’s a for sale sign in the yard

And I never thought it would be this hard

To say goodbye to some wood and stone

And I never thought I’d feel this alone

In a place we called our home

We smile through our last Christmas Eve

And I really wish I could believe

We could save our love and our home

Wrapping Presents For Myself by Chris Isaak –

New Year’s Day by Rob Thomas –

Christmas Through The Years by Matthew West –

That Silent Night by Jim Brickman feat Kenny Rogers –

The Reindeer Revolt – The Story

Image result for reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, but do you know Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint? Of course you don’t, because most of you have not heard of the great reindeer revolt.

It was December 17, 1938. Exactly seven days before Christmas Eve. As you would expect, the North Pole was extremely busy getting everything ready for the big night. All the elves were making the last of the toys for all the good girls and boys. Santa was checking his list, then checking it twice just to be sure no one was missed. Mrs. Claus was busy making snacks for everyone. The reindeer were finishing up the last of their training exercises.

Maybe it was because the reindeer were tired or maybe they felt they weren’t being respected enough but for whatever the reason, some of the reindeer decided they had had enough. Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint had enough and decided they were no longer going to work on Christmas Eve. “We work every Christmas Eve and we are tired of it. We want to stay home and enjoy the evening with our families. All of us should join together and tell Santa no more.”

Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen all said no. “We are not going to revolt against Santa. How can you do this? Think of all the children. We work one night a year. We have 364 days to relax and take vacations and do whatever we want. We enjoy our job and traveling all over the world and seeing all the decorations and the children eagerly awaiting our visit.”

This was not the first time that Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen had seen a bad attitude from Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint. In fact, over the last six months they had seen many warning signs.  They tried talking to them, but never seemed to get anywhere. Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint had even started calling Rudolph names and would not let him play in any reindeer games.

All the reindeer argued and fought for several days. We are right and this is what we are going to do. No, you are not right, we are right and we will stand our ground. Back and forth, back and forth it went.

Finally, Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen decided that this could not go on. They made a very difficult decision, one that did not come easily and one that made them very sad. These reindeer have been friends their entire lives but they no longer saw eye to eye. They told Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint that they could no longer be friends. They didn’t want Santa to think they were revolting too, just because of who they were friends with.

Santa saw what was going on and felt very sad for the reindeer. But, he too, had to make a very difficult decision. If Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint did not want to fly on Christmas Eve, then he was not going to force them. But he knew he needed eight reindeer to fly.

He held tryouts and four reindeer stood out amongst the rest. They were Comet, Cupid, Donner, and Blitzen. They joined forces with Dasher, Dancer, Prancer,  and Vixen and became the eight famous reindeer you know today. Minus Rudolph of course, he would join the team a little later.

That is why you have never heard of Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint. That is why a year later that Johnny Marks wrote Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer with its famous opening lines of which you know.  You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen, you know Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen, and the rest is history.

That is also why you should be wise and choose your friends wisely. You will be known by the company you keep.

Image result for proverbs 13 20

Friends by Blake Shelton – 

I’ve Got Friends That Do by Tim McGraw-  

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by –  

An Old City Bar On Christmas Eve

I didn’t care that tomorrow was Christmas Day

Just another night drinking my sorrows away

I sat in an old city bar on Christmas Eve

When a young lady walked in I had never seen

She seemed kind of shy, but had a glow unlike I had seen before

And there, holding her right hand was a little girl, maybe of four

I had nowhere to be so I ordered another beer

The bartender said, hey, no kids are allowed in here

And he said, besides, it’s almost closing time

That’s when she said, I saw your help wanted sign

The bartender, kind of frowned and asked, have you ever worked in a bar?

The young lady said no, but I’m out of options, we’re living in a car

And for once, the bartender was out of words

I could see behind her eyes was a lot of hurt

He said leave me your number and I’ll call your phone

She said, sir, I don’t have a phone, I don’t have a home

The bartender and I had grown bitter in our old age

But when she spoke those words something inside us changed

The bartender remembered how the cold winds blow

And it was predicted we were to get twelve inches of snow

So he said it’s not much but I have a small room in the back

You can spend the night there and she said they would appreciate that

And I pulled out a twenty and bought them something to eat

And then I noticed the holes in their shoes on their feet

The bartender opened the register and gave me all the cash

We both had the same thought to give the little we had

I sprinted out the door to the nearest store

And bought shoes, boots, coats and a little more

I checked out right before they closed

Then the snow started to fall on my nose

I hurried back to the bar with presents in hand

And I thought love, yes love right now is in high demand

Inside the bar, like the snow on my nose, my heart started to melt

And I started to feel something it had been a long time that I had felt

I don’t know if God had sent an angel to me that night

But somehow out of my darkness came a light

And maybe this story is about the young lady and her little girl

How all of us can help each other out, give love, all over the world

Or maybe this story is about how two strangers changed me

All I know is I was a different man after that Christmas Eve

Reach Out by Jason Crabb –

Heaven Everywhere by Francesca Battestelli –

The Christmas Shoes by NewSong –

Somebody’s Angel by Mandisa –

The Christmas Guest by Johnny Cash –

I Wanna Live In That Town

I wanna live in that town

Where love is always found

It’s in all the Hallmark movies

Where Main Street is lit up like a city

Everyone has a smile on their face

The grinches have all been replaced

The Christmas tree shines on the square

It seems like the entire town is there

I wanna live in that town

Where happy endings are all around

Where snowmen never melt

And only happiness is felt

Where children wait anxiously

For Santa to come down the chimney

Where miracles are found on every corner

Somehow the cold always feels a little warmer

But I wonder come January

Will it all have been a fantasy

But then, this thought came to my mind

I laughed out loud as I started to realize

My eyes they started to twinkle

Could it really be this simple?

This place that I’m writing about

Where love and kindness is always found

That the Christmas spirit in this town

It can live in me all year round

That Spirit of Christmas by Ray Charles –

I Don’t Want Christmas To End by Zach Williams –

Elf On The Shelf Is Missing

Image result for elf on the shelf fishing

Our elf on the shelf is missing

Last seen on a frozen lake fishing

Maybe he fell in, but I suspect foul play

As a matter of fact, it was just the other day

Our teenager, the suspect, said she no longer believed

At first, I have to admit, I was quite relieved

No more candy wrappers to clean up

No more messes, no more spilled cups

No more having to re-roll the toilet paper

No more misadventure superhero capers

No more Christmas lights to untangle

No more worries he would end up mangled

Then it hit me, she no longer believed

My heart shrunk three sizes as I grieved

Not only had the elf on the shelf disappeared

But she no longer believed in the man with a beard

Would Christmas ever be the same?

Instead of snow, would it always rain?

But then, from upstairs, from my teenager’s room

It started off faint but I knew it was a familiar tune

My ears heard such a wonderful sound

She was singing Santa Claus is coming to town

Then she jumped into Frosty the Snowman

When she finished I held my wife’s hand

Christmas isn’t about Santa or an elf on a shelf

Christmas is about family and about something else

As she started to sing Silent Night

A terrible thing I suddenly realized

That as we looked for the elf all around

Nowhere in our house was Jesus to be found

Jesus was also missing, completely gone

An ancient star the wise men looked upon

A manger for there was no room at the inn

God came to earth to take away our sins

Then a thought went from my heart to my head

I remembered words I long ago had read

Today in the town of David a Savior is born

Born to die, our savior, our Lord

My heart grew three sizes as I remembered the true meaning

I was suddenly okay with Santa and the elf on the shelf leaving

Image result for true meaning of christmas quotes

Where’s The Line To See Jesus by Becky Kelley –

Christmas is All About You by Mallory Hope –

A Christmas Prayer

Image result for charlie brown i think there must be something wrong with me

A Christmas prayer

For the ones out there

Who aren’t full of happiness and  cheer

Who are depressed and worn out this time of year

This time of year can be tough

Sometimes you just want to scream ENOUGH!

Maybe it’s the loss of a loved one

Or past hurts that have been done

Everyone else seems full of glee

You’re thinking “everyone but me”

You aren’t the only one faking a smile

Remember the season is because of the birth of a child

It’s not the decorations or presents

Or all the parties and events

Here is an open invitation

To join in the celebration

Image result for bible verses on hope and strength

No gifts to bring or trees to decorate

Whenever you are ready, we will wait

A genuine heart with love to give

I believe you are meant to live

Do not give up, Do not be dismayed

If you are having a string of bad days

There is a hope for a better tomorrow

One not promised without sorrow

One not promised without pain

One not promised without rain

One promised that you are never alone

One promised that you have a home

One promised that you are loved

One promised of HOPE,  sealed by His blood

Image result for luke 19 10

I can’t promise tomorrow will be better

I can promise you have a helper

Instead of falling down it’s time to rise up

Don’t give up when you’ve had enough

The night will fall and the sun will soon shine

Please, please give it some more time

Tomorrow is new

Perhaps a blessing for you

Tomorrow will soon be here

And maybe, just maybe, it’ll be your year

A baby boy was born in a manger

Don’t let him be a stranger

Get to know hope, love, forgiveness and grace

Tomorrow you will gladly embrace

I want you to know you are known

And that you aren’t alone

Don’t give up, YOU are loved, even when you are blue

This is my Christmas prayer for you

Image result for 1 corinthians 2 9

Talk to your doctor if you are feeling sad for long periods of time. They can refer you to a mental health specialist. If your feelings of sadness during the holidays are accompanied by suicidal thoughts, do one of the following immediately:

  • Call 911.
  • Go immediately to a hospital emergency room.
  • Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).

You can improve your mood by practicing self-care during the holidays. Eat a healthy diet, and maintain a regular sleep pattern and exercise program. According to the kept Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, as little as 30-minutes of cardiovascular exercise can provide an immediate mood boost similar to the effects of an antidepressant medication. Joining a support group where you talk to people with similar experiences to yours can also help.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE AND YOU HAVE WORTH AND YOU ARE LOVED MORE THAN YOU KNOW!

Image result for bible verses on tomorrow is a new day

Lots of songs but couldn’t decide to put suicide or hope or someone loves you song so put a mix of all them.

Just Because It’s Christmas by Anne Wilson-

Why by Faith Hill – 

Why by Rascal Flatts – 

Different Kind Of Tears by Sully Erna – 

Before The Morning by Josh Wilson – 

Somebody Stand By Me by Faith Hill –

Home by Phillip Phillips- 

Pray For You by Blessid Union Of Souls – 

I Don’t Have The Answers by We Are Messengers- 

10 Years Today by Bullet For My Valentine- 

Hold On by Good Charlotte- 

Hold On by Wilson Phillips- 

The Last Night by Skillet – 

The Reason by Lacey Sturm- 

Take The Bullets Away by We As Human- 

The Right Time by Disciple – 

Everybody Hurts by R.E.M.- 

Goodbye (I’m Sorry) by Jamestown Story – 

Just Say Jesus by 7eventh Time Down – 

Pray For Me by Kirk Franklin –

Welcome To My Life by Simple Plan – 

My Story by Big Daddy Weave – 

Hope Was Born This Night by Sidewalk Prophets – 

Christmas Stockings

The Christmas stockings were hung with care

Some were extraordinarily beautiful, others ordinarily fair

Some were hung by the chimney

Others were hung on the tree

Some were made with bright colors

While others must’ve been bought for a dollar

Some had lights that shined so bright

Others even glowed in the dark of night

Some had glitter that sparkled from time to time

None of these comes close to describing mine

On my wife’s she had written a bible verse

One of my daughters had Santa on hers

Another daughter made hers with good cheer

While another finished hers by writing the year

When we were all done we were quite pleased

Then we joined hands and prayed for the least of these

But back to the stockings galore

There’s so much to say, so much more

Some had to be at least three feet long

When those are filled, I hope the nail is strong

Some are just a little bigger than my foot

For mine, I gave Santa a list, in case he needed my input

Some are made with love, paint, and glue

Some are quite fantastic while others have a mistake or two

Some were stitched and crocheted with extreme care

Others looked like they came out of the drawer by your underwear

Some had stickers of Santa and Rudolph and such

Others had just a name, but that was enough

On that Christmas morning, I learned a thing or two

From these Christmas stockings and I’d like to share with you

It doesn’t matter what the outside is

Because there is one thing I know and it’s this

It doesn’t matter what’s on the outside

Because the outside is just a brilliant disguise

What matters the most the outside tries to hide

What really matters is what’s on the inside

Image result for bible verses on whats on the inside

Santa’s Magical Helpers

Image result for santas magical helpersMeet Santa, aka America's Truck Drivers - All That's Trucking - Trucking  Info

The population was booming

Santa’s sleigh was zooming

More and more people were being added to the naughty list

But Santa knew there were still a lot of good that couldn’t be missed

He worked extra minutes into the long night

He barely finished before the sun’s first light

Then he thought, next year I must do something else

I can’t keep working like this, doing this to myself

Then right before his tired and sleepy body hit the bed

A crazy idea, too crazy he thought, popped into his head

I need to find some magical helpers to help me

Magical helpers who could even deliver before Christmas Eve

He smiled at the thought, presents delivered every day

He could just feel the weight coming off his sleigh

He wondered what the world would think of his wonderful scheme

Then he went to sleep and had the most wonderful dream

He put his plan together all year long

There was no way his plan could go wrong

He put it into action well before October’s last day

Christmas was here before trick or treat the kids would say

Sale, sale, sale, the biggest sale of the year

He flooded your inbox with emails disguised as cheer

Buy now, order now before you run out of time

Trust me, kids, there’s no reason to wait in line

You see, Santa’s elves had finished their making by June

Santa worked them so hard that the North Pole ran out of room

So they shipped everything and everything was gone

They sent all their gifts to a magical place called Amazon

Santa’s idea was going as planned and working perfectly

This year, he wouldn’t have to go down one single chimney

Santa called all his magical helpers headquarters

They said they were ready and awaited their orders

Then the orders came in and they hit the roads

Delivering Santa’s gifts in sun, rain, sleet, and snow

You know them as Amazon, UPS, USPS, and FedEx

Delivering Santa’s gifts right to your doorstep

Be sure to thank those who deliver near and far

Because now you know who they truly are

They are more than just drivers, they are Santa’s magical helpers

I sure hope they don’t bring me an ugly Christmas sweater

So if Christmas Eve comes and Santa’s sleigh and reindeer aren’t in sight

Thank his magical helpers who already brought your gifts before tonight

Image result for packages on front porch

Santa’s Got A Semi by Keith Harling –