70 Years Ago—Dec. 12, 1939: Battle of Tolvaajarvi begins—Finns will repulse Soviet attack.
65 Years Ago—Dec. 12, 1944: British launch Third Arakan Campaign toward Akyab, Burma.
70 Years Ago—Dec. 11, 1939: Movie premiere of Another Thin Man, starring William Powell, Myrna Loy, and Asta.
65 Years Ago—Dec. 11, 1944: U.S. Eighth Air Force launches largest mission to date—1586 bombers hit rail targets in western Germany.
65 Years Ago—Dec. 10, 1944: Norwegian paratroops cut rails to prevent German retreat from northern Norway.
The gifts that touch us most involve sacrifice by the giver or meet a deep need.
At Christmastime, we fixate on finding perfect gifts for our loved ones. We say this tradition arises from the joy of the season and our love for others, or that it reflects the Gift the Father gave us on the first Christmas morning, the gift of Baby Jesus in the manger.
As the best gift ever, it involved sacrifice—more sacrifice than we can imagine.
• Jesus gave up His heavenly home to live on earth with all its mud and bugs and darkness.
• He took on human form, complete with fatigue, hunger, and disgusting bodily functions.
• He came as a baby, dependent on a teenage girl for every need.
• He didn’t come as royalty but as an uneducated working-class man from the backwaters.
• He associated with humans—petty, annoying, mocking, clueless, violent, and prideful.
• He who had never sinned took on the full burden of all sin of all humanity for all time.
• On the cross, He experienced the wrenching pain of separation from the Father.
• He sacrificed His life.
And as the best gift ever, it met our deepest need of all—our need for a Savior. Through His death, our sins can be wiped away forever and we can enjoy a relationship with God and life—true, fulfilling, purposeful, eternal life!
Hebrews 10:10 tells us, “We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”
To receive this gift we don’t have to go through endless rituals or do a certain number of good deeds or get rid of our bad traits beforehand. All we have to do is reach out and accept the gift.
May you have a blessed Christmas!
70 Years Ago—Dec. 9, 1939: New song in Top Ten—“Oh, Johnny, Oh!”
70 Years Ago—Dec. 7, 1939: In Soviet-Finnish war, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark declare neutrality.
65 Years Ago—Dec. 5, 1944: U.S. launches final offensive on Leyte in the Philippines, driving into the Ormoc Valley.
70 Years Ago—Dec. 4, 1939: Movie premiere of Marx Brothers at the Circus.
65 Years Ago—Dec. 4, 1944: Civil war breaks out in recently liberated Greece between Communists and Royalists; British intervene.
70 Years Ago—Dec. 3, 1939: RAF bombs Heligoland Bight in Germany, no damage done.
65 Years Ago—Dec. 3, 1944: British Home Guard is officially stood down.
I did it. I killed a Cutie. Not premeditated, but murder nonetheless.
Today I drove a carpool for my son’s high school choir as they performed at elementary schools and assisted living facilities. Since it was supposed to be an all-day event, I packed a lunch – a sandwich, diet cola – and a Cutie orange. Little did the Cutie know, but it was doomed.
I spent the day listening to the kids delight young and old with a cappella Christmas carols. Well, they delighted everyone except one sweet elderly gentleman with hearing aid issues. He kept yelling, “I can’t hear you!”
Speaking of volume, he should have been in my car with five musical teen girls and one slightly befuddled teen boy. Four of the girls were sopranos. Are you getting the picture?
All of this to set the stage for murder most foul.
After dropping the kids off at the high school, I drove home and unloaded the back of my Highlander. My lunchbag had spilled, so I picked up the contents. All but our unsuspecting victim.
I closed the garage door only to see the Cutie, which had rolled out of the back of my car, directly in the path of the door. Did I push the button again to stay the execution? Did I rush to rescue the poor citrus? No, I did not. In morbid fascination, I watched the door descend like a guillotine. Would the fruit trigger the stop mechanism? Would the rubber gasket bend around it?
Nope. Orange guts all over my driveway.
So lock me up. Call People for the Ethical Treatment of Citrus. Post incriminating comments on my blog.
Stop me before I murder again.