The Reindeer Revolt- The Story

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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.

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Friends by Blake Shelton – 

I’ve Got Friends That Do by Tim McGraw-  

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by –  

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The Gift

 

There didn’t seem to be much she didn’t want. It seemed like half the toy catalog was written down on her list. Barbies, doll houses, princess things, and dolls. Not to be left out were matchbox cars, board games, Playmobil things, and a football. She even asked for love. She was just a young girl.

Her list changed over the years. Now there were clothes, gift cards, and money on the list. She also asked for  iPods, iPads, and other things that start with I. One thing hadn’t changed though, she still asked for love. She was just a teenage girl.

She had most everything she ever wanted.  She didn’t have much of a list this year. A new pair of Nikes, some pots and pans for her new apartment, gift cards, and money. Mostly, she just wanted her family to be together. She still was asking for love. She was just a young woman.

She had everything she had asked for. She had been married a few years and had her first child. She asked for her child to be healthy.  She asked for her husband to be faithful. She asked for good friends. She asked to be successful in her career. She asked for her bills to be paid. She asked to always be loved. She was just a young mom.

She was confused about her life. Something was missing. She had everything she wanted. She had a great career, she had great friends. She was happily married, had two healthy, happy children and a strong foundation from her parents, but she had forgotten about the one who loved her.  Somewhere along the way she had forgotten about her faith. She asked for love. She asked for forgiveness. She was just a young Christian woman.

She thanked God for the life she had. She asked that her children have a relationship with Jesus. She asked that they don’t wait as long as she did to accept Jesus in her life. She asked that they realize how much they are loved. She knew the gift that Jesus had given her. He was born, He lived, and He died on the cross for her sins. She asked for love and she received the love of her Heavenly Father. She received a gift she could never pay back. A gift given to her a long time ago. She just had to be open to receiving it. She was just a woman on her journey to eternal life.

She asked for one more day. She asked for memories she couldn’t recall. She shed a tear for a child lost too young. She asked to see her parents again. She remembered Christmas past. She asked if she had done enough. She thanked God for the gift of love He had given her. She was just a woman at the end of her days here on earth. She was just a woman, filled with joy for the life she had lived. She was just a woman that loves God. She was just a woman that accepted His gift.

She was just a woman who asked for love.

Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer by Burl Ives – 

Children Again by Jason Gray – 

Hold On Christmas by MercyMe – 

The Gift by Collin Raye – 

The Giver and the Gift by Point Of Grace – 

Beautiful by Kutless – 

For God So Loved by Brad & Rebekah – 

Love Is Here by Laura Story – 

Your Love Is Mine by I Am They – 

Leaving Heaven by Matthew West – 

The Perfect Gift by JJ Heller – 

Love Will Save The World by Brentwood Benson – 

For All That You Have Done by Rend Collective – 

A Town Called Hope

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I currently live in a town called Despair.  It’s not my permanent residence. I’ll stay here for awhile then move on to another town.  A wandering soul but I always find my way back to Despair.

I choose to stay in Despair. By myself. Everyone else left but I stayed.  The only things left are an old saloon, a hotel and a general store. Everything else is gone. The only visitors I have are the sins of my past.  Visitors that I choose to live with.

I get used to the buildings. Some are crumbling down now but they are familiar. Some have paint chipping off the walls but I have come to know the patterns.  A few doors are hanging off the hinges but I don’t mind.

I don’t see many visitors and when they do come, they don’t stay long. I have a way of running everyone off when they get close. Not that many people want to get close to me. I am a non-talker who is usually self-absorbed and selfish.  There isn’t much time for other people when I am busy trying to keep this town in order.

I sat on an old broken bar stool and ordered a drink of faith but the bartender laughed at me. I was the bartender.  There is no hope, no faith here. He gave me a shot of depression instead. Followed that with a chaser of anxiety. After a few more drinks of sadness, disappointment and fear and I wasn’t lonely anymore.

Behind the bartender was an old broken mirror that reflected what was left of my life.  Broken, scarred, pieces of what was once a beautiful life.  I destroyed that life and never looked back. Yet, it still reaches out to me saying here I am. You are never too far gone. You can have that life again. The man in the mirror laughs at me and tosses back another drink.

In a rage of anger, I grabbed the bottle and slammed it into the mirror. As the glass was shattering on the floor a stranger walked into the saloon.

He about scared me to death the way he looked at me. No one had ever looked at me like that before. There was no condemnation.  There was no disappointment or disapproval. There was only love.

“Hello.  Just wanted to let you know there is a road leading out of this town. It may be hard for you to find right now but it’s there. It leads to a town called Hope.  You’ll pass through Trust,  Faith, Joy, and Love along the way and you will want to spend some time in each of them.  Keep on going until you reach Hope. You will see me again but I will always be with you as you travel. I have never left you nor will I ever leave you.

I stayed in Despair a little longer but his eyes kept reaching into my heart, into my soul.  I looked around the town one last time and I said goodbye to the guilt and shame of my past mistakes.  I said goodbye to the fear that was keeping me here.

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You Don’t Know by Katelyn Tarver – 

Inner Demons by Julia Brennan – 

All My Hope by Crowder (feat Tauren Wells)  –  

Hope Floats by Amanda McBroom – 

I Forgive Me by James Fortune – 

Old Church Choir by Zach Williams – 

The Christmas Tree

From the time she was a small sapling she knew what she was born for. She was born and raised on a Christmas tree farm. She heard stories from her family and friends about how one day she would be picked to go be inside someone’s house.

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Each year she grew a little bigger but each year she kept hearing people say the same thing. “She isn’t big enough.” “Her branches are still too weak.” “Her needles are too thin.”

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She would wonder the same thing each year. “What’s wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone want me? ”

Another year passed and she thought for sure this would be the year. She was almost as big as all the other trees but it was the same old story for our Christmas tree. “She isn’t quite there yet.” “She’s almost full enough but not as full as we want.” “Her branches still aren’t strong enough.”

 

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Many more years passed and she still wasn’t being picked. She was really starting to wonder what was wrong with her. She was bigger than almost all the other trees. Her branches were fuller and stronger than the other trees. Other trees that were born after her were being picked but she still wasn’t. “Why doesn’t anyone want me?”  “When will my time come?”

Another year passed and she was a full ten feet taller than any other tree. She had beautiful branches but she still wasn’t being picked. Now she heard things likes she’s too big, she can’t fit in our house, we don’t have enough lights and decorations to complete her.

Our Christmas tree was so sad. No one wanted her when she was young and small and no one wanted her when she was old and tall. She was thinking she will never know what it’s like to be decorated and look so lovely.

Our Christmas tree continued to grow and by the next year she was seventy-five feet tall. She could see the entire farm. That was when she saw this big truck coming on  the farm. They came right up to her. One guy got out and looked at her and said “this tree is what we have been looking for. She will look beautiful at Rockefeller Center. We will decorate her and have so many lights on her. Millions of people will see her and admire how beautiful she is!”

Moral of the story is God will use you in His time. Be faithful and trust in Him and He will use you in ways you would never believe. We just have to be patient and wait for our calling.

Just Like Me by Vanessa Williams – 

O Christmas Tree by Bobs and Lolo – 

One Little Christmas Tree by Stevie Wonder – 

The Little Christmas Tree by Nat King Cole – 

While I’m Waiting by John Waller – 

Use Me by All Things New – 

I Will Wait by Aaron Shust  – 

I Will Wait by Darlene Zschech – 

 

 

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The Story Of A Snowflake

I post this every year around this time. It is crazy how many views it gets without me posting it. I guess people search for snowflakes or something. Hope you enjoy.

This is a story of a snowflake. A unique and one of a kind snowflake. All snowflakes are  made that way by their creator.

The snowflake in our story was filled with joy. He loved being a one of a kind snowflake. He has his own personality and demeanor. He truly enjoyed being a snowflake.

When it was his time to go and fall to the ground he was ready. He remembered everything he had been taught. He remembered how much he was loved. The most important of these was to spread the word of love. To teach others what a true, sincere, and  unique kind of love looks like.

As he was falling to the ground he looked around at all of the other snowflakes. He could see they all were different than him, but they all had the same smile that he did. They were all so happy to finally being on their way to fulfill their destiny.

Then they all hit the ground and stopped. They were all piling on top of each other. Many were not happy. They started to complain.  How easily they forgot the joy they had just a few minutes ago.

Some of the angry snowflakes were getting so angry that they were starting to melt. Their anger was also affecting other snowflakes around them because they started to get angry also. Even the ones that were not getting angry were being affected because they started to melt also. They were unable to get themselves out of the situation they were in. They needed help.

Meanwhile, other snowflakes saw what was going on and turned their hearts away from the snowflakes that needed help. Their hearts grew so cold that they started to turn to ice. As their icy hearts expanded, they affected other snowflakes around them. The snowflakes that were filled with joy a few minutes ago were now filled with icy hearts and turning other joy filled hearts to ice also. They needed help.

Our snowflake saw all that was going on and remembered what he was taught. He started talking about their creator and his love for them. He talked about the joy that should be in their hearts. The joy they had just a few minutes ago. He reminded them how they all felt just a few minutes ago and not to let their circumstance affect how they feel.

They should be joyful. Look at the children coming out to play. All with smiles on their faces. Look at how happy we have made them. All by just being who we were created to be.

Oh, how the snowflakes loved the children. It was a love with no end. They loved to hear the giggles and to see all the smiles. They even loved to hear the joys of screams as the children rode their sleds over them. It reminded our snowflake about how much the creator loved him. He remembered how much he loved talking and laughing with the creator. He remembered everything he was taught and he knew changes were coming.

Warmer weather will come and our snowflakes circumstances changed again. Our snowflake and his friends changed from unique snowflakes to drops of rain but their purpose was still the same. They will nourish the earth and provide the people with water to drink and water to grow their food. This is what we they were made to do.

They enjoyed many things in their lives, especially the children, but they each knew that they were brought here for a purpose. Sometimes they found themselves in unbearable situations but those that remembered their purpose never faulted. They stayed strong when others grumbled. They loved when others hated. Some had to change from snow to rain to fulfill their purpose but they did so with love. They knew that not all people would listen to them when they were snowflakes. Not all people cared for the snow. They had to adapt to the world around them and changed to rain so that others would hear the message of love, taught to them by their creator.

Like the snowflake, we are a community all made by our creator with one purpose and we will fulfill that purpose one way or the other. We each have our own unique blend of personalities, demeanor, and gifts. We also have to learn to adapt to our situations. What we talk about God to someone today might not work with the person we meet tomorrow. We have to speak love in a language our recipients want to hear. Do not judge, only love. We need to keep doing what we were put here by our creator to do and let Him, through us, open the eyes and hearts of those around us.

Limitless by Colton Dixon – 

Hands and Feet by The Brilliance – 

According To His Word by Jared Anderson – 

That’s How You Change The World by Newsboys – 

With Every Act Of Love by Jason Gray – 

Ready Set Go by Royal Tailor – 

Save Me by Jason Lancaster – 

Living Word by Jeremy Camp – 

Love Alone Is Worth The Fight by Switchfoot – 

Living Word of God by Chris McClarney – 

Hands and Feet by Audio Adrenaline – 

She Smiled

She was born into a home that didn’t want her. She was neglected and mistreated. She was told she wasn’t good enough. She wasn’t wanted. One day they proved that to be true and they  gave her away. Through it all she smiled.

She was adopted a short time later by parents that wanted her. Parents that loved her. She had nightmares. She was comforted by her new parents. She was told how much she was loved. She was taught about God. She was told how much she was wanted. Through it all she  smiled.

As she continued to grow and get older people would ask what is wrong with her. How can she always be smiling?  She must be hiding something. She would tell them all is good, nothing to hide. She just loves life and is so happy to be here. They would tease her but through it all she smiled.

She met a guy. She fell head over heels. Everything in her life was perfect. Until it wasn’t. He started to yell at her all the time. He started to abuse her. She tried to leave but he would convince her to stay. She would believe him when he said he would change. Slowly her smile started to fade.

She became pregnant. He didn’t change. She knew she had to leave him, not only for her but for the baby. She could remember how her biological parents treated her. She didn’t want her baby growing up the same. She moved back to her adopted parents, her real parents. Slowly her smile came back.

She read her bible and raised her little girl on her own. She knew who she was and why she was here. She taught her little girl about God. She was told she was loved and wanted. She told her about her dad and about her Father in Heaven. It wasn’t always easy but through  it all, they smiled.

On her last day here she thanked God for everything in her life. The good and the bad. She thanked Him for giving her a thankful heart. For giving her a smile through everything attitude. For giving her life lessons to teach her daughter. For giving her parents that didn’t want her, and for giving her parents that did. For giving her  a home to grow up in that taught her about Him.  She thanked Him for helping her forgive, her parents and her ex- husband. She took her last few breaths and as she left this world she smiled.

Think of these songs as a soundtrack to the reading.

Alyssa Lies by Jason Michael Carroll – 

When Love Takes You In by Steven Curtis Chapman – 

Orphan by John Waller – 

Everything To Me by Mark Schultz – 

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile by Sia – 

Smile by Nat King Cole- 

Bubbly by Colbie Caillat – 

Face Down by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus – 

That Don’t Sound Like You by Lee Brice – 

I Smile by Kirk Franklin –  

Like My Mother Does by Lauren Alaina –  

There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp- 

I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe – 

From The Ashes Of A Paper Airplane

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(If nothing else, listen to the Dear Me song. Lyrics at the bottom as well.)

As long as she could remember, making paper airplanes was her specialty. It was a way for her to relax. One thing she could control and see immediate results of her work. She perfected her craft.

She would search for the perfect piece of paper. It had to feel just right. Not too thin and not too thick. She learned to fold the creases of the wings just right. Hold it at the right angle and let it fly. Watching her creation fly across the room always made her smile.

She had a stressful day. A stressful week to be more exact. She poured herself a glass of wine and got out a piece of paper. She made it like she always does. She let it fly through the air. She watched it as it crossed the room. It did a double loop and started to nosedive. Her husband came in from outside and the airplane caught a current and rose again. It took a sharp right and flew right into the fireplace.

As she watched it turn to ashes the truth hit her hard.

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She was always trying to be perfect. Be the perfect wife, the perfect mother, the perfect chef, maid, employee, taxi-driver, dresser, friend etc.

Everything in her life had to be perfect. She couldn’t ask for help from her husband or children because they wouldn’t make it perfect. Make your bed but what’s the point, she would just redo it. Put the dishes away but she would just rearrange the dishwasher. Fold the laundry but she would refold them also.

Her posts on Facebook were all about her perfect life. Her Instagram pictures always had her and her family smiling.

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People were always asking her how she did it all. How can she always so held together? But as she watched the paper airplane turn to ashes she realized that was her. Any moment she knew she was going to fall apart. She couldn’t keep up the charade.

It was in that moment she heard a voice telling her it’s okay. No one needs you to be perfect. It’s a lie that’s been put in your head. It’s okay to be a mess. That’s why Jesus died for you. He came to help the sick and the sinner. No one is perfect. Let it go.

It was like a giant weight had been taken off her. She started to cry but they were tears of joy. Tears of relief.

She woke the next morning and went downstairs without making the bed. She didn’t put makeup on or fix her hair.

Her husband did a double check and smiled. He said; “you look so beautiful.” She smiled back.

“Who wants to help make pancakes for breakfast?” she asked the kids. “Yeah, we do, we do!” After breakfast was made she looked at the kitchen and smiled. It was a mess but it was okay. It will wait. This moment to spend with her family will not.

From the ashes of the paper airplane an amazing, not perfect, woman was created.

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Dear Me
This is a letter to the girl I used to be
Dear Me
There are some things that you should know
It’s not my intention to embarrass or to shame you
What’s inside the rear-view mirror is closer than it appears
We do the best that we know how, with what we have been given
And the difference between you and I is, I’ve been given time
In time, you’ll see

Dear Me
This is a letter to the girl I used to be
Some things are not as simple as we said
Remember when we thought there were a handful of some magic words to pray
A guarantee and a down payment on a mansion
Remember all the rules we made about the Body and the Blood
The hoops we made them jump through
Though He offers it to everyone
I’m so sorry

Do you remember now the things I said I thought that I deserved
My flag, and safety, a place to learn
The things I know I didn’t earn
And bless their hearts, I’m sure it’s hard
But handouts don’t help anyone
And all the talk about the system
I sure hope someone can fix them
I said those things

Dear Me
This is a letter to the girl I used to be
You’ll see, you’re gonna take the long way
And there is nothing you could do or say to separate you
From the love of God who made you just exactly as He meant to
And you cannot imagine all the places you’ll see Jesus
But you’ll find Him everywhere you thought He wasn’t supposed to go
So, go!.. Go!..

And hold all the mothers, whose babies bleed from bullet holes
And feel all the hunger, the bellies and the bones
Shout for the prisoner, cry for justice, loud and long
And march with the victims, as Jesus marches on
And sit at all the tables, ’cause Jesus eats with everyone
And dance to the music, if you can’t sing its native tongue
And cry for the wombs, the mothers and the empty arms
And hold high the warriors, fighting now for freedoms’ song

And love, love, love, love
Like it’s your own blood
And love, love, love, love
As you have been loved
Love, love, love, love
Like it’s your own blood
Love, love, love, love
As you have been loved
Love, love, love, love, love
Like you have been
Love, love, love, love, love
It’s all about love!
Love, love, love, love, love
His name is love
Love, love, love, love, love

Dear Me
You did not learn this in a day or two or three
So ask a lot of questions
But Jesus loves us, this I know
And there are no exceptions

Dear Me by Nichole Nordeman – 

My Prayer For You by Alisa Turner – 

If She Knew by Micah Tyler – 

Turn My Eyes by Bonray – 

Barbies by Pink –