The Least of These

New York Times' writer Manny Fernandez tells the story of a homeless man who has been living in a "cave" in New York City for eight years and yet reaches out to the homeless and hungry. Click here to experience this awesome story.

Merry Christmas!

The best telling of the nativity story is the most simple. Click Here!

Winter Fun!

Can you identify with this guy?

So maybe the guy is a bit frustrated and disappointed but think about how the owner of the other car is going to feel. Imagine that you are the other guy/gal. Would you feel as if you had just been given a gift? Would you feel blessed? Lucky? Special? Chosen? Would it make a difference in how you went about your day? In the way you treat others?
In the midst of the busyness and distractions of the season I am reminded that through God's gift of Christmas each of us has been given a gift, we are chosen and blessed, and yes, it should make a difference.

It's A Girl!

I am sure that the story of the birth of our fifth grandchild, Jenna Ellie, will become a family legend. After 12 hours of labor, two ambulance rides, a Medevac Flight, and time in intensive care units, mother and child arrived home 67 hours after Jena's birth. Words cannot express our gratitude to those who prayed and those who cared for Susan and Jena. In this season of miracles, we know firsthand the power of God's love.

Jena with her Dad and Big Brother

The Nativity Story

The new film, The Nativity Story, is what a Sunday School Christmas pagaent would look like if a church had a big budget, adults in the key roles, and attempted to stretch the brief story told in less then 100 verses in the Bible to 101 minutes of film. I have often said that only organized religion could drain the excitement from "the greatest story ever told" but this film proves that Hollywood can do the same thing. It appears as if the film makers used their local Sunday School pagaent as a template for the costumes and dialogue of the one dimensional characters. Just as in any pageant, the three Wise Men appear immediately following Jesus' birth rather then some considerable time later as Matthew reports in his Gospel. Creative lisence is used to develop the three Magi as comic relief. We experience scene after scene of said Magi trekking across the desert and bantering with one another.
Having said all this, is the film worth seeing? Yes, I believe it is. The location filming is beautiful and authentic looking. The scenes of daily life are, I believe, quite accurate. Herod's paranoia and evil are dramatically portrayed. The young actress who plays Mary, Keisha Castle-Hughes, last seen in "Whale Rider, is believable. Unfortunately, most of the other characters are played as Biblical cardboard cutouts reading their lines. I believe the creators of this film missed an opportunity to humanize the characters while at the same time staying true to the Biblical account. "The Nativity Story" doesn't thrill and it should.

Happy birthday Little Richard!

Little Richard is 74 years old today and still going strong. Here he is in 1969 singing one of my favorites, "Tutti Fruiti". Click here.