The Reindeer Revolt- The Poem

‘Twas the week before Christmas

And there was trouble at the North Pole

Several of Santa’s reindeer wanted out of the business

They said working every Christmas Eve is getting old

They told Santa they wouldn’t be flying this year

Led by Donner but followed by Comet, Vixen, and Prancer

Donner tried to organize all the reindeer

But Cupid, Blitzen, Dasher, and Dancer

Those four said no, we enjoy traveling around the globe

We only work one day a year

We love seeing the children and bringing hope

Bringing wonders, gifts, and cheer

We have 364 days of rest and that is just one perk

We can train and relax and take long vacations

You are silly for protesting one night of work

There is no reason for you four to have this frustration

The arguing and bickering was causing more of a division

Both sides believed they were right

Cupid, Blitzen, Dasher, and Dancer made a difficult decision

They agreed right there and then on that fateful night

They had been friends and worked together for years

But the time had come and they could no longer be friends

Donner, Comet, Vixen, and Prancer changed too much it appears

The stress and the fighting seemed to never end

They were sad but they knew they had to go their own way

If they stayed friends Santa would think they revolted too

They liked their jobs and knew there was nothing else they could say

So they severed all ties, it wasn’t easy but it was the wisest thing to do

Santa came and saw the division that had taken place

He saw how Cupid, Blitzen, Dasher, and Dancer had to decide

To not associate with the others that would bring them disgrace

Santa knew he had to find four new reindeer for his sleigh ride

Cupid, Blitzen, Dasher, and Dancer would persevere

They were joined by Cinnamon, Gumdrop, Sparkles, and Peppermint

So listen up my friends and learn from these reindeer

If you hang with the wrong crowd it is only imminent

That you too will find yourself in a sticky situation

And in trouble you will find yourself likely

To have a sturdy house you must have a strong foundation

Listen to your heart and choose your friends wisely

Image result for bible verse on choosing friends

The Ornament

Image result for christmas ornaments

I sit in a box all year

Waiting to share the Christmas cheer

When I was shiny and new

I was in the front, had the best view

Now that I am old and scratched

Another year of being in the back

Oh how I long to be

Out front so I can see

The family, the presents, the shows

Frosty, Rudolph and all the snow

But here I am in the back again

Ah, the front. I remember when

The first time on the tree

The first time you looked at me

I know you remember too

your smile as you hold me so is true

The light in your eyes as you recollect

The memories of days gone by we accept

 

The Christmas Tree

Image result for christmas tree farm

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

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.”

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.”

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 – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=60uuSSxNu98&w=560&h=315]

O Christmas Tree by Bobs and Lolo – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=st4ccWKl3Xc&w=560&h=315]

One Little Christmas Tree by Stevie Wonder – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLjVcHG4B1U&w=420&h=315]

The Little Christmas Tree by Nat King Cole – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqWif91Q6zs&w=560&h=315]

While I’m Waiting by John Waller – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i6X71sXagUY&w=420&h=315]

Use Me by All Things New – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q19ReZQ7PRU&w=560&h=315]

I Will Wait by Aaron Shust  – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fn0Q1CAUIPc&w=560&h=315]

I Will Wait by Darlene Zschech – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zeHk7u3Fx-c&w=420&h=315]

The Turkey

The Aztecs of Mexico domesticated the Mexican subspecies of the wild turkey (called guajolotes). Spanish explorers took some of these back to Europe in the mid-16th Century where they became common farmyard animals. These domestic turkeys eventually completed the circuit and came back to North American turkey farms from Europe.:

This is a story about a turkey. However, this was not an ordinary turkey. This turkey did not want to be a turkey. He wanted to be an eagle.

He often thought to himself, “self, I do not like myself. Self, this is one boring life I live.”  Day after day he would trot around the yard with all his turkey friends gobbling gobbling and gobbling. He would eat all the food that was given to him and he would watch himself getting fatter and fatter.

He would look to the sky and see the eagles flying around. Soaring above the trees. “So beautiful,” he thought. “I want to be like that. I want to be majestic. I want to be  an icon. I want people to look at me with awe. I want to be a national symbol and for people to look at with me with thanksgiving in their hearts.”

Majestic bald eagle over the Des Moines RIver in Iowa:

As much as he flapped his wings he could not get off the ground. It wasn’t that he did not practice, because he did. Some days that was all he did. He would run around the yard flapping his wings, never to get more than a foot or so off the ground. “God, why would you give me wings but not let me fly very well? Why would you let me see the eagles soar but not let me join them?”

Many of his less ambitious friends would talk behind his back. “Who does he think he is?”  “Look at that fool trying to fly like an eagle!” “Doesn’t he realize he will never be anything other than what he is?”

Many days and months passed by and nothing ever changed for the turkey. Every day it was the same thing. Wake up, eat, walk around the yard, eat, try to fly.  Every day he would ask the same questions. “Why God why? I want to be more than this. I want people to look at me in awe and be thankful that I am here. I want people to love me.”

Soon the weather started to get colder. Many days people would come and grab some of his friends and he would never see them again. The turkey continued to eat and grew bigger and bigger. One day a family came and walked around the yard looking for the perfect turkey. They found one in the turkey of our story.

The father looked at his family and said, “This turkey is beautiful. He will be the perfect symbol for our thanksgiving dinner  .”  The little girl looked at the turkey and said “I love you turkey. You are so beautiful.”

The turkey gobbled and gobbled. He was so happy. “Finally,” he thought, ” I am being appreciated. I may not be flying like an eagle yet but at least people are seeing me as special.”

The turkey was taken to the family’s home where he was promptly killed and cooked for dinner. Before they ate the family prayed. “Thank you God for this wonderful meal. Especially this beautiful turkey. We will forever remember this turkey in our hearts on this national holiday.”

List of 25 Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes - Photo Gallery | SAVEUR. I don't have a Turkey board so I am placing these under the Chicken one:

You see, God gave the turkey everything he asked for. He was looked at with awe and beauty. He was a national symbol. The people gave thanks from their hearts  for the turkey. He was made exactly how God wanted him to be and exactly how he wanted to be seen. He just didn’t realize that who he was was exactly who he was made to be.

What do you ask God for? Have you ever asked for a pure heart? Have you ever asked God to show you the way to be more like Him? Or are all of your asks and wants more about you? Have you ever thanked God for who you are, for who He made you to be?

More Alive by Pillar – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hdi3saYJxHc&w=560&h=315]

All I Need To Be by Fireflight – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuMWwjJjnlM&w=420&h=315]

This Is Who I Am by Shane and Shane – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2sZDVHSygQ&w=420&h=315]

God Follower by Steven Curtis Chapman – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xO5Hvt0ADxE&w=420&h=315]

I See God In You by Josh Wilson – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=labhPz1m3GU&w=560&h=315]

This Is Who I Am by Third Day – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8cSF_mBXdY&w=420&h=315]

Ungrateful

I walked by him at least twice a day.  More often than not it was closer to six times a day. He was always in the same spot, always wearing the same clothes and always staring down at the ground.

Anytime that I would walk by and I had some change I would drop it in his hat. He would never look up. He never said thank you. As a matter of fact, I never heard him say anything. I was usually on the go or on my phone or talking to my co-workers so I might not have heard him if he did, but I really don’t think he did.

Image result for picture of homeless man

After a few weeks of dropping change, I decided to do an experiment. I started off dropping one dollar bills in his hat.  When he didn’t react I started dropping fives. Then I would drop a ten spot here and there. Nothing, no reaction from this guy. He didn’t even look up to see what I looked like.

I even got my co-workers involved. I had them start giving whatever they had on them to this guy. They all reported back the same thing that I experienced. No acknowledgement that we even existed. No thank you. Nothing. We had to be giving him enough to pay for rent somewhere.  Or at least buy some new clothes.

Many months passed. It was getting close to Thanksgiving. I had a really good year financially. Even got myself a promotion. Life was good. I was doing some early Christmas shopping and decided I would buy this guy a winter coat. I even put a hundred dollars in the pocket. I put the jacket down beside him on my way to work. Again, no acknowledgement.

I had enough. I was finally going to talk to this guy. I was going to ask him what his problem was. Why couldn’t he even say thanks. Why couldn’t he at least look up and give me a nod  at least.  Give me something man. I have been giving to you for over six months now.

As luck would have it though I was tied up in important meetings all day. I had to have lunch catered because I couldn’t get out of the office. When I left that day he wasn’t there. For the first time in as long as I can remember he wasn’t there.

The next morning he wasn’t there either. Same thing at lunch. Same thing on my way home. The entire week was the same. He was no where to be found.

The next week a lady came into my office. She asked for me by name. How did she know my name?  Anyway, turns out she was the sister of this man. She told me how Jim, her brother, that was the guys name, had cancer and it took a turn for the worse. He passed away last week. He left a note for her to give to me. I asked how she knew about me. She said it was all in the note.

She also told me more about his story. One night Jim, his wife and kids went out to eat and on their way home they were hit by a drunk driver. Jim was the only one that survived. He never recovered. He never talked again. She never learned if it was trauma from the accident or by choice. Jim just checked out of this world.

I couldn’t believe what I heard. How come I never talked to him? Was I too lost in my own world to reach out to him? Did I think I was better than him? This was another human being and all I did was throw money at him. I didn’t even try to get to know him.

After his sister left I went to my office and opened the letter.

 

Dear Rob,

I know your name because I listened when you walked by me. I know you are married and have four girls. Congrats on your promotion by the way. I know all of this from listening to you talk on your cell phone. By listening to you talk to your co-workers.

I wanted to thank you for all you gave me. I wanted you to know that I listened because I cared about you. I listened waiting for you to say something to me. I listened, and waited for you to acknowledge me.

I would give you everything you gave me back to you if you would’ve said a single word to me. I would rather have had a friendship with you than your money. I wished  you  would’ve got to know me. I wasn’t always this way.

I heard you talk about God to your co-workers as you were leaving the building. I heard you thank Jesus when you got your promotion. I heard you talk about hope and faith to your wife in one of your talks. I would’ve liked to know more about God but you didn’t share him with me.

Take care,

Jim

All this time I thought he was ungrateful. What I have come to realize is how ungrateful I am. I realize how I take my life, my wife, my children, my friends, my health, my job for granted. I didn’t realize how lucky I am. No longer. I now realize how quickly all that can be taken away from me.

I also came to realize that I don’t share God or my beliefs with anyone outside my circle. I am not spreading the good news of my savior like I should.

For that, I will always be grateful for ungrateful Jim. I only wish I would’ve taken the time to get to know him.

Guilty by Newsboys – I am guilty of not speaking of God enough. I want to be guilty for sharing it.  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHroHbYHtrU&w=560&h=315]

Pray For Me by Kirk Franklin – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TgkgGOmPJU&w=560&h=315]

Lean On Me by Comsumed By Fire – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7w8FCg46g5k&w=560&h=315]

Brother by NeedToBreathe – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Wm_qlVD4Q&w=560&h=315]

Moments by Emerson Drive – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvbvlz4gWo&w=560&h=315]

Help Somebody by Van Zant – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHaJegv6Sjs&w=420&h=315]

If I Can Dream by Elvis Presley – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_inFn4CBMk&w=560&h=315]

Humble and Kind by Tim McGraw  – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awzNHuGqoMc&w=560&h=315]

The Fun House Of Mirrors

sites at the local fair ground - I never liked to funhouse.  But if I was with friends I went in them and rode rides anyway.  Nana

“Step right up, come on in, only a dollar” shouted the carny. He looked right at me and my friends. “Come on in boys, this will change your life” and he winked at me. I don’t know but my gut was telling me something was wrong. My friends wanted to go in and since I didn’t want to be left out, I went in with them.

It wasn’t much at first. A conveyor belt going the opposite direction. Oooh, scary right? We made a tight turn to the right and the floor started shaking. Everyone started to laugh but the feeling inside me was getting worse. It was then the lights went out. We started reaching out, touching each other to make sure we were all still there. We slowly inched forward and hit a wall, promptly piling into each other.  Then the lights came on and that was when the fun began.

Image result for carnival fun house mirrors

We were looking at ourselves, all four versions of each of us. We looked at each other like what the crap, a couple of my friends used some other choice words. In one mirror there was me, looking as normal as I am now, if you can call that normal. In the second mirror I was a hideous monster. What the heck? The third mirror I was a baseball player, uniform, glove and all. How could this be? I only was wearing the clothes I came in with. The fourth mirror showed me as an old, decrepit old man, all by myself. It was then we realized there was no exit. We did the only thing we could and started to push on the mirrors. The only one that moved was the second one. We all looked at each other and kind of shrugged and took a step through. But we weren’t all together on the other side.

There I was, the hideous monster. I pulled on my skin and clothes to get them to come off but they were me and I was them. It was then I noticed a small light in the distance. I walked toward it and saw it was a cell phone. It had a note on it. PRESS PLAY. What I saw disgusted me and I wish I didn’t have to tell you about it, but I do. It was 15 second clips of my life. There was me eight years old pushing the other kids down on the playground. There was me twelve years old stealing a cassette from the local music store. There was me sixteen years old with my girlfriend. We were in the backseat and she said she wasn’t ready but I said we had already gone too far so let’s keep going. There was me at nineteen at a college party when a bunch of guys took a passed out girl upstairs and I didn’t stop them. There was me at twenty two when I didn’t take the keys from my friend and he drove home drunk, but he didn’t make it. There was me at home instead of visiting my dad before he passed away. There was me watching a movie instead of calling a friend who was home alone, waiting for me to call. There was me ignoring my wife because of past mistakes. Was I really this monster? Is this how others see me?

Then we were all back in the same room of mirrors. We all looked at each other like what was that? No one was laughing now. We pushed on the mirrors again but only the third one opened this time.

There I was, at Wrigley Field, pitching for the Cubs. The crowd was chanting my name. Oh yeah, this is what I was made for. They all love me. I was on the mound, World Series, game seven, bottom of the ninth, two outs, two on, two strikes. One more strike and I bring a championship to Chicago. The wind up, the pitch…and I heard it. My shoulder popped. Then I heard the crack of the bat as it connected to the ball. Then I heard the silence. Just like that it was all over. The game, my career, my life. I was so angry. I was mad at God. How could He bring me to this moment and then let it all go? One pitch. It was all over. What kind of God would do that to me? I shut everyone out. I drank myself to sleep every night. I didn’t know the women’s names I would wake up to. I didn’t care. I went from 60,000 people screaming my name to the deafening silence of my own thoughts.

There we were again. All six of us in the same room of mirrors. Mark said that wasn’t so bad. “Let’s get this over with,” said Scott. We looked at each other and hesitantly stepped into the fourth mirror.

There I was. A decrepit old man. No one there but me. A lifetime of choices led me to here. A lifetime of bad choices. How did I get here? I was a good guy once. I believed in God, once upon a time. I looked in the mirror and the mirror looked back. Was this really me? Then I was gone. There in my casket, all by myself. Honestly, all by myself. No one came to say goodbye. Not one single person! Was I that unlovable and selfish? Was I really that bad of a person? I guess the truth hurts because I must’ve been for not one single person to show up.

We were all back in the room of mirrors. A couple of my friends said how cool their mirrors were. They hope their lives turn out like that. I didn’t have anything to say. This time the first mirror, the normal mirror, opened and we walked through. A couple turns and a few distorted mirrors later we were at the exit.

“Hey boys, how’d you like it? Did you like what you saw?” said the carny. “The mirrors don’t lie boys. If you didn’t like what you saw, you still have time to do something about it.” That was when he looked at me again and winked and gave me something. I was too terrified to look at it so I stuck it in my pocket and left. He turned around and started shouting , “step right up boys and girls, come on in, only a dollar and it will change your life.”

I forgot about what he gave me until I got home and undressed. It fell out of my pocket. A small bible with a note inside. Read this if you want to change your life. Read this if you didn’t like what you saw in the mirrors. It is your choice.

The Haunted House

Animated Haunted House animated house gif halloween haunted

I have been in the house many times since the first time. The first time was when I was eight years old. I was being teased, called a chicken, and all those things kids say to each other. Triple dog dare. You can’t turn down a triple dog dare. It was the first time I opened the door. I only looked inside for a second but that was enough.  The door had been opened and my future was doomed.

I soon started visiting the house more than I would like to admit. Always by myself of course. I couldn’t let my friends know what I was doing. Each time I went in I would find a new room to explore. It was fascinating at first. All these new things I was finding meant I was also learning more about myself. I thought I was being brave. Anytime something would happen to me I would run to the solitude of the house. Only in the day time though. Never at night.

At night you could always find me in my own house. Safe, warm and comfortable. My parents loved me and I felt safe in my house. Of course you could say as many times as I was visiting the so-called haunted house that it became my home away from home. My place to go to be alone and collect my thoughts. Leave some of my thoughts there. Come out a new person, but I left a part of me in that house each time I went.

It wasn’t long before I was sneaking out of my home and going to my haunted house at night. I couldn’t help it. I loved being the only one there. The only one that knew I was spending so much time there was me. I loved that sometimes when I went there would be a new room or two to explore. I never questioned how they got there. Part of the mystery of a haunted house I thought.

I started to withdraw from my friends so I could spend more time there. I could explore my house for hours on end, always something new but I could also go back and remember. Remember the who, what, why,  where and when of the first time I opened this door or that door. Remember when I was so scared I slammed that door closed, only to peek back in a few weeks later. No door was ever sealed shut. I could visit anytime I would visit the house.

The problem came when I couldn’t resist the house anymore. It just kept luring me in. Like it was calling out to me. Come on in, it is safe here. You don’t need anyone else. Just you and your thoughts, that’s all you need. No one will hurt you in here.

Comfort. I found comfort in that house. I should’ve bought the place and moved in. Saved me from going there all the time. It was on one of these trips that I met someone. A man like I had never met before. He told me to stop going to the haunted house. There is nothing there for me. How did he know was my first thought? My second thought was who cares who he is. This was my world and my house and he was just an intruder. Another person out to get me.

A couple days later I was going back to the house and there he was. Sitting on the front steps. The same steps I first went up when I was eight, except they didn’t look so scary anymore. They almost looked warm and inviting. Anyway, back to my guest. There he was. “How did you get here,” I asked. “I’ve been watching you for years,” he said. What kind of person is this?  I then bluntly told him to leave. He wasn’t welcome here. He told me he couldn’t do that. He was here to help me leave this place, leave it for good.

No way. This is my place. My home. He had no right to ask me to leave it.

But he got me thinking. In my experience, that is never a good thing. I would rather just go to my house and leave my thoughts in one of the rooms.

I walked on by him and he got up and followed me in. “Look at your prison,” he said. “My prison? This is my house,” I corrected him.  “No”, he said, “I have a much better house for you. Want to see it?”

“Not really sure,” I said, “I like this place.”

“Here take my hand and I will show you,” he said. I don’t know why but I reached out for his hand and….all the doors opened. All the doors in my house flew open and everything that was in them came pouring out.

I screamed, “let me go!!” I pulled my hand away and ran. This wasn’t my house. How did all these things get in here? Why was he letting them all out? I tried to shut the doors but they would not close. I fell to my knees and let them overtake me. But they didn’t touch me. They all poured into him. He took them all. All my good and all my bad. All my pretty and all my ugly. They all poured into him.

I watched, mesmerized. It seemed like it lasted for hours but it couldn’t have been more than a few seconds. How could I let all this stuff in my house? I watched as everything flew out. Things I forgot I put in the rooms. Things that kept me a prisoner in my house. Fear, lots of rooms full of fear. Anxiety, worry, hurt all leaving my house. Negative thoughts and lies I believed to numb the pain all gone. Depression, shame, guilt- all gone. Anger and hate, see you later. Regrets, doubts about who I am, lies, distrust, unforgiveness, all gone.

You might ask what was left but you already know. Love was left. A love that told me I didn’t need to live in this house. A love that told me I was forgiven. A love that showed me who I am. A love that told me to unlock those doors and throw away the key. A love that told me my house isn’t haunted. A love that told me I could’ve left that house anytime I wanted. A love that told me I never had to build that house.

Mansion by NF – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uF5QE3-ox4o&w=560&h=315]

My Own Prison by Creed – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBBqjGd3fHQ&w=420&h=315]

Empire In My Mind by The Wallflowers – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJdalfe75ko&w=420&h=315]

Demons by Imagine Dragons – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8&w=560&h=315]

Baptize My Mind by Jon Foreman – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lqn6wtToIE&w=560&h=315]

Change Your Mind by Sister Hazel – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71KdkbT7FKA&w=420&h=315]

Keep Your Mind Wide Open by Annasophia Robb – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYFwJR73R50&w=420&h=315]

Outta My Mind by Anthem Lights – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AT9Ieal8TMo&w=420&h=315]

Peace Of Mind by Decemberadio – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T1GLg4a73o&w=420&h=315]

Voices by Sumerlin – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usdmb_32G4g&w=560&h=315]

Hearing Voices by Anberlin –  [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaDziaupqHE&w=560&h=315]

March Out Of The Darkness by Papa Roach – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DJ9UxY8ENb0&w=560&h=315]

Out Of Mind by Queensryche – [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fb4Uu9objag&w=560&h=315]