Thursday, December 25, 2008


Luke 2

The Birth of Jesus
 1-5About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David's town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

 6-7While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

An Event for Everyone
 8-12There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."

 13-14At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: 

   Glory to God in the heavenly heights, 
   Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.

 15-18As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.

 19-20Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!

 21When the eighth day arrived, the day of circumcision, the child was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived.

 22-24Then when the days stipulated by Moses for purification were complete, they took him up to Jerusalem to offer him to God as commanded in God's Law: "Every male who opens the womb shall be a holy offering to God," and also to sacrifice the "pair of doves or two young pigeons" prescribed in God's Law.

 25-32In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God: 

   God, you can now release your servant; 
      release me in peace as you promised. 
   With my own eyes I've seen your salvation; 
      it's now out in the open for everyone to see: 
   A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations, 
      and of glory for your people Israel.

 33-35Jesus' father and mother were speechless with surprise at these words. Simeon went on to bless them, and said to Mary his mother, 

   This child marks both the failure and 
      the recovery of many in Israel, 
   A figure misunderstood and contradicted— 
      the pain of a sword-thrust through you— 
   But the rejection will force honesty, 
      as God reveals who they really are.

 36-38Anna the prophetess was also there, a daughter of Phanuel from the tribe of Asher. She was by now a very old woman. She had been married seven years and a widow for eighty-four. She never left the Temple area, worshiping night and day with her fastings and prayers. At the very time Simeon was praying, she showed up, broke into an anthem of praise to God, and talked about the child to all who were waiting expectantly for the freeing of Jerusalem.

 39-40When they finished everything required by God in the Law, they returned to Galilee and their own town, Nazareth. There the child grew strong in body and wise in spirit. And the grace of God was on him.

from The Message

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

More Christmas ads

With my recent posts I'm not trying to get out of doing actual blogging (writing), I'm just sharing some fanciful holiday items.  No apology, just a note to the curious.

Closer still ...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

And closer...

6 Christmas CDs

The meme has struck...
If you were trapped on a desert island and it was Christmas and all you had was a small generator, Christmas lights for your coconut tree, an endless supply of Christmas cookies and eggnog, your CD player and 6 Christmas CDs , which 6 albums would you want them to be?

I think I'd select:


Okay. I started thinking after I posted. I need to add one. Therefore taking one away.

I'll add: 3 Ships

I guess I'll take away Celtic Christmas, Vol. 2. Sorry.

If you'd like to listen to some Christmas shows of an eclectic radio show, take a listen to the following:

Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas Ads of Yesteryear

These ads were culled from issues of the Plattsburgh Daily Press. The years range from the late 1930s through the 1940s.

Getting closer ...

image taken from: 
Plattsburgh Daily Press, Tuesday, December 19, 1939

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A must read

Ben, over at his baseballcard blog, has been working on converting the poem, Casey at the Bat, to baseball cards.  I applaud him on his effort.

Please take a moment to visit his blog and read it.  Ben will be leaving that blog and moving on to other endeavours.  I've enjoyed his quirky takes on baseball cards, the industry and collectors.

Good luck, Ben.  And thanks.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

On pins and needles

Or not.

Last week I got inoculated for the flu season. First time in many, many years. I had the nasal variety. I don't like injections / shots / vaccinations. I really don't. Ask just about anyone I know. They'll tell you the same.

The local Walgreens was providing the service, for a fee. I went in the afternoon, but there were too many cars in the parking lot for my comfort level, so I blew them off.

Angie suggested that she go with me and that she'd run interference. She did a good job and I'm better off. I guess.

On another note, I took Caroline to the doctor's office yesterday. Angie was tied up in meetings and didn't get there until before the doctor arrived. Which means that I got to check Caroline in, talk with the nurse and wait in an exam room for many, many minutes.

I'm getting better about my phobia of doctors / hosptials / shots / blood. I know that there are still those who protect me by not introducing the topics, by asking the medical professional to clear the table of syringes, by suggesting that we watch "Dancing With the Stars" instead of "E.R." I thank each and every one of them.