Surfing around tonight I saw a movie supposedly set in SC. “Carolina Moon” was the title . . . What I found was the typical Hollywood attempt to mimic the south.
*Accents that sound as if they came from a Cracker Jack box, turning many one syllable words into two or three
*Lots of mud and farm equipment
*Most of the locals had a cumulative IQ of 87 (I literally mean if you added all of their IQs up, it would total 87)
*And, of course, the obligatory use of old, old words drawn out ever so slowly.
All I know is this: I don’t know anyone who sounds, talks, or acts like these folks in South Carolina. Now, maybe in Georgia . . . .
About three weeks ago I stood at a graveside with a family, buring a father and grandfather. Yesterday, I sat with that same family because of the sudden loss of ANOTHER father and grandfather. Two days after Christmas. It is a breath-taking thing for them . . . Unexpected.
For us, a reminder that life really is precious and there is NO guarantee of tomorrow. I say those words from the pulpit from time to time, but this is evidence of the TRUTH of those words.
Hug your kids, tell EVERYONE you need to that you love them, and live life to the fullest. And, by all means, let your family know where you stand with Jesus Christ. One of the only positives in the events of the last couple of days for this family is the fact that they know, with no doubts, their father/grandfather accepted Christ and lived for Him. His hope is secured in Christ. What a gift for his family!
Because, I have been following her around quoting Tiny Tim. I have probably done it 1000 times (seriously) since last Wednesday. And, I threatened to make her end the Christmas Eve service last night by standing up and saying it.
In my zeal to make a joke, I realize that there is an entire generation who might not know who Tiny Tim is, and who have no idea of the significance of the line.
So, my Christmas gift to you is this: I searched You Tube, and other spots on the web, and could not find the clip. So my gift is this: WATCH A CHRISTMAS CAROL and you will get it!!!
WORLD PEACE . . . (Or, Whirrled Peas) That is what I told Krissy last night when she asked me the question. She pressed me on it, so I told her the yellow Hummer at Craig’s Used Cars (anyone who knows me KNOWS that is not true: I would stress out too much every time I pulled up to a gas pump)
What do YOU want for Christmas?? What would you say? I wonder what the most popular gift is this year . . . What is the really hot item that no one can find?? A few years ago it was Tickle-Me Elmo. People were paying big bucks for a little red dude that danced . .
The gifts of the first Christmas were powerful: SALVATION . . . Peace on earth, goodwill to men. A couple of years later, gold, frankencense, and myrrh were popular. But, seriously, if you could have ANYTHING you want for Christmas this year, what would it be??
Something to think about as we fight traffic, long lines, and the stress of the holiday . . .
Last night at the youth Christmas party, Keith Pettigrew and I were sent on a pizza run. We had a house full of kids and not a lot of food. Dena called it in and we hit the road . . .
When we got there, we found a Papa Johns that was understaffed and several impatient people standing around. Our pizza order had about three minutes left so we stood there with everyone else. Phones were ringing off the hook, guys with flour all over them were answering, it was utter chaos. Then I saw our stack of pizza and the guy finally went back to get it.
BUT . . . One of the guys yelled at the cooks, “YOU SHORTED ME A CHEESE!” About a minute later, he came up front and told us they missed one pizza and it would be about five minutes.
In reality, five “pizza man” minutes is actually about TWELVE. In the mean time, almost all of the people in there with us are getting impatient, because they are getting their stuff at a snail’s pace.
The happy ending is, we finally got our pizza and got back to the youth house. The youth, of course, had ALREADY EATEN and were in their worship service. But a bunch of us adults had fresh, hot pizza. And when the kids finally got out, they had COLD pizza (and ate it up like crazy).
All in all, it was a very merry Christmas.
To: Mall Santas
Welcome aboard in your new role as one of “Santa’s Helpers.” Please review the following guidelines carefully, so that the mall and its patrons can have a happy, healthy and non-litigious holiday season.
1.) As you’ve no doubt heard, “Ho Ho Ho” is no longer considered an acceptable holiday greeting, having been deemed potentially offensive to women and gardeners. The substitute “Ha Ha Ha” has also been banned, as it is possibly damaging to a child’s self-esteem. Also, Santas overheard saying “Merry Christmas” will be summarily removed from the premises. Instead, we recommend you listen attentively to the children, nod, and affect a blank stare devoid of any emotion, particularly fear. They can sense fear.
2.) Please keep in mind that not all children believe in Santa Claus or celebrate Christmas. However, please make no attempt to determine this based on physical cues, such as yarmulkes or “Proud Jehovah’s Witness” T-shirts, as this would be considered profiling. If you have any questions, please consult the mall’s attorney, who will be standing behind the fake snowman.
3.) Plump Santas are no longer considered “jolly.” Instead, they serve as a bleak reminder of our nation’s struggle with obesity and are a poor role model to our increasingly overweight and inactive children. Please make every effort to appear slim and fit, and to encourage children to leave you celery and soy products rather than cookies and hot chocolate on Christmas Eve. Also, please note that smoking is permitted in the break room only.
4.) Please do not promise children that Santa will bring them anything in particular, as promising a gift that the parents cannot afford or do not approve of could result in a lengthy and expensive lawsuit. Be pleasant but non-committal. If the child is persistent, try to distract him with one of the celery sticks we now give out in lieu of candy canes; if that doesn’t work, send him behind the snowman to speak to the attorney.
5.) It has been deemed inappropriate, and a serious legal risk, to have children sitting on a strange bearded man’s lap. This year the children will sit on a stool, separated from you by a sheet of soundproof Plexiglas. This also serves the purpose of keeping you from being able to hear their gift requests (see No. 4).
6.) The concept of elves has been determined to be offensive to a host of protected groups, including little people, pointy-eared people and people with high squeaky voices. However, so as to give you the support you need, we are looking at several possible replacements. Right now we’re leaning toward attorneys.
We’re sure that if you follow these simple guidelines you will succeed in making the children’s visits with Santa as unremarkable and non-offensive as possible. Welcome aboard the team here at the mall, and have a merry … a happy … Oh, whatever.
(Copyright 2007 Peter Chianca. Permission is granted to send this to others, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.)
Three phrases that sum up Christmas are: Peace on Earth; Goodwill to Men; and Batteries not included.
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Last week, 80 degrees in Florence, SC. Last night on the way home from basketball (approx 9:15), it was 26 on one of the bank thermometers. TWENTY-SIX!! Google says it is 24 right now in Florence.
I have always been more partial to warm weather. I like bumming around in t-shirts and shorts. Dressing up for me in the summer could include a nice pair of shorts and a polo shirt (if Diana will permit). I would probably preach in those clothes if I could get away with it.
This year, for some reason, I am ready for it to be cold. 80 degrees on the 12th of December is unnatural. But, thanks to our friends in the global warming department, these kinds of temp swings will probably occur more often untill the polar ice caps melt and we are living on a planet much like the “Waterworld” bomb starring Kevin Costner. (Hey . . . wait a tick . . . Dennis Hopper was in that movie, too. HOW DID IT BOMB??)
Anyway, it IS beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. And right now, that is alright with me.