Tuesday, December 27, 2016


The lively conversation over Christmas brunch was about books in general and protagonists in particular. I allowed as how I was old school and preferred my protags to be characters I could look up to and aspire to be like but that, disappointingly for me, the trend has been, for some time now, toward principal characters who have clay feet. In fact, the official designation of protagonist, as the ‘good’ guy, is no longer applicable, by the old standards, in most fictional stories. 

The unanimous conclusion was that, nowadays, people prefer the concept of ‘relatable’. In other words, we don’t need heroes that we can look up to, we need stories to unfold with folks who are flawed, like us, so we can feel as good as instead of in need of being as good as. Does that make sense?

Well, as usual I had to let all that foam around in my skull for a couple days. I felt there were dots to be connected. I thought about books I read and movies I watched as a child and I could not think of a single ‘flawed’ hero of fiction from my youth. The first full length chapter book I read, as a nine year old, was Robinson Crusoe. Master of survival, he proved there’s always a way if you never give up. Superman, Nancy Drew, Cinderella, I worked through a list.

The closest I could come to recalling a somewhat unpolished hero was Huck Finn but even he was a strong influence in many positive ways, especially considering his rough beginnings. 

Then a handful of recent headlines recalibrated my focus to how much easier it is to designate the title of Most Influential, now that our heroes no longer have to be individuals of, shall we say, highly enviable character. All one has to do now, to be hailed as outstanding (since ‘hero’ has been redefined to mean ‘anyone who has performed in front of many people and made lots of money’) is to perform and make lots of money. It matters not that the person of interest has no honor, has been caught in immoral or illegal activities multiple times, has been arrested, is a cheater, liar or complete failure in every way except on stage, a sport field or the silver screen, and would never be someone any caring parent would want their child to grow up to be.

The new word for hero or protagonist apparently is now - celebrity. 

I’ve mentioned this before but it bears repeating as we round the corner to a new year, holding our collective breath - when anything goes, and in this case I mean when no one has anyone or anything truly worth looking up to, then everything does go. Right down the drain - taking what is civil about civilization with it.

Call me old-fashioned - I still need real heroes - those who set the bar high and are truly worth admiring and striving to be like. 

For Him,


Saturday, December 24, 2016

The Ultimate Gift

On this Christmas Eve, sitting by a morning fire, sipping coffee, instead of contemplating all the ways we celebrate the birth of our Savior, my thoughts are mulling on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30.

A master is going away so he leaves three servants with responsibilities (talents) according to their abilities. One he gives five, another he gives two and the last he gives one. The story unfolds with the first and second servants doubling what they had and the last, who was fearful, burying his, thus doing nothing. The master returns and  praises the first two servants, ‘well done good and faithful...’ but not only chastises the third, he removes his talent and gives it to the first. 

(29 For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not, even that which he hath shall be taken away. 30 And cast ye out the unprofitable [servant into the outer darkness: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.)

These are not just tough words by the new standards of a touchy-feely era, when misbehaving and bad choosing becomes sympathized with, excused and enabled, they are fighting words. Those who find the idea of accountability as harsh, unforgiving and therefore reprehensible, will stand up and speak out against such ‘miscarriage of justice’ and even be lauded for their good mask of righteousness,

The problem, of course, is that our limited concept of justice can never be God’s. What is that old saying? Never confuse the will of the majority with the will of God.  

And what does this have to do with Christmas one might ask? Well, everything, actually. You see, Christ came to save us from ourselves. From our weaknesses, our myopia, our determined will to substitute SELF as God. He came as a babe, both human and God, so that He could experience our humanity and all the ways we can fail. He came to make a way for us to overcome it all. He took the tough 999 steps  so that all we have to do is take the 1. 

On Christmas we celebrate this incredible gift given to us by our Creator by the symbolic giving of gifts to others when what we really need to do is give back to Him by doing what the first two servants did with their talents - multiplying them. God doesn’t need our good words and intentions, like the third servant who held back, believing he was doing the right thing because it quelled his fear and thus justified his choice in his own mind. 

All God needs is for us to simply acknowledge what we have been given and then actively turn our little into much. 

This parable is often misunderstood and equated with worldly symbolism, like money and things. But what it’s really about is demonstrating the power of one-on-One and asks the question - what do we, as individuals, do for Him with what He has given us? 

That’s what I’m pondering here on Christmas Eve morning 2016. What can I give Him, besides good sounding intentions and words, not just today, tomorrow, but next week, next month, next year...?

For Him,


Thursday, December 8, 2016

Merry Christmas!

Sometimes life gets in the way of doing extracurricular things like - blogging. Sometimes life just makes you need to be quiet. And so, I’m going to take the rest of December to get quiet and regroup. There are so many things I want to say and I don’t even know why. 

I want to repost this link to share, once again, this beautiful Christmas video. 

Merry Christmas,
May you and yours be blessed with the peace beyond all understanding. Gloria!

For Him,