Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"The wonder of the Christmas story is this: God's power makes regular intrusions even when we make no room."

Although many people read the account of Jesus' birth each Christmas, how many slow down and truly reflect on the circumstances surrounding this marvelous and miraculous moment in history? It is the moment that all of creation had been waiting for with great anticipation. Prophets predicted it. Men and women of God prayed to see it. Still, the world was completely unprepared for how this moment would unfold.
Bethlehem was bustling with congestion and busyness created by the mandatory census issued by Caesar Augustus. No one was exempt from the census that required families to return to their town of origin. Despite being very close to her delivery date, Mary and Joseph braved the long and tiring journey home to the City of David. Without the hotels and restaurants that populate large cities today, hospitality was a precious commodity under normal circumstances but the crowds for the census had exceeded Bethlehem's capacity for this type of hospitality.
Into this hectic scene rides an expectant Mary led by her betrothed, Joseph. With the fulfillment of prophetic promises coming in mere hours, the couple found no housing in their time of need. There was no room for them.
Mary and Joseph were alone in a foreign town, finding themselves in a precarious situation. No room, no accommodation, no regard from others. They were surrounded by a town overcrowded with people who were too busy to make room for them.
It isn't unlike today when we gather together to celebrate Christmas. Some of us return to the town of our family's origin. Our streets are crowded. Towns are buzzing. Inns are full. Accommodations must be negotiated — where to stay, for how long, and with which relatives. In the midst of this chaos, do we make room?
For others, cultural traditions and social obligations battle for priority. The centrality of Christ in the Christmas season comes under attack from pluralistic, hedonistic, and materialistic societies. Christmas has quickly become a series of twinkling lights and sparkling presents with no inkling of the eternal Truth of Christ. In the midst of our cultural traditions and social obligations, do we make room?
In the midst of that crowded city, the Messiah quietly came into the world. The streets were still busy, the inns were still full, the travelers were still abuzz in the town, and God took on flesh. Can you imagine being in Bethlehem that night and missing this miracle?
The wonder of the Christmas story is this: God's power makes regular intrusions even when we make no room. No room in the inn? God still took on flesh. No room in your holiday traditions? God still calls to your heart. No room in society's agenda? The gift of God is still offered. No room in your isolation? The Savior still invites you to intimacy with Him.
God's plan continues even if we make no room for it. The awesome and the miraculous occur every day as He calls men and women from death to eternal life in Christ and He wants us to experience these miracles. Do not crowd God out at Christmas. Open your heart, mind, soul, home, family, and traditions to God. Make room for Him — not just at Christmas but every day.

Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


That's what they're saying. Maybe an inch +. More than a 50% chance!
Here in Houston it's a big thing. We're not prepared for it at all. Traffic on the roads is so light unless it catches everyone at work..... If you do get out, the stores are so empty! Good time to go Christmas shopping if you ask me!
Usually if we have snow in Houston, it's "rented snow". Machines set up in our cooler tempratures so kids can have just a taste of what it's like.

These pictures are from years past.
Last year they predicted a little snow.... I talked to Gilda and she said at her house, just a few miles south of here, it snowed for about two hours. The next day I spoke with my friend Donna who lives just a couple miles north of us and she said they had snow and the kids loved it!
I was telling Janine who is just on the next block about how Donna and Gilda got snow and we didn't.... She said "We did! " Her grandkids had a great time in it! THE NEXT BLOCK???? Oh, poor Bleah! She's never seen snow and it was just on the next block!

Well, tomorrow..... We're gona go look for it if we have to!

Didn't think about it till this morning..... Need to show some pictures of my heater... Maybe tomorrow.