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Archive for December, 2011

Christmas Day, 2011

For many people today is just another day.  The stress of celebrating can get to be too much and even depressing.  It’s a reminder of loss and disappointments.  For them it may be good advice to say, “Don’t let Christmas be anything more than any other day.”  For others it’s a day long awaited filled with great joy!  It’s a day for happy family gatherings and meaningful traditions. To them we’d say, “Don’t let Christmas be just like any other day.”

But is there really anything special about today?  In fact, did anything really even happen on this day? (more…)

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Christmas Eve, 2011

The sweet music of Christmas tells the story of God’s love come to earth better than any spoken words can do.  Tonight our beloved Christmas carols deliver to us the good news of the birth of Christ, our heavenly king.  And not just tonight.  Last Saturday afternoon a group of us went out and took these and other carols on the road to bring the good news to some of our elderly friends. And for weeks we have been listening to this music from a variety of sources – in and outside the church.

It amuses me when Christians get annoyed and even angry or offended when they detect any indication that the secular world is ignoring this observance of Christ’s birth and its true meaning and then demand that our public schools and retail merchants recognize Christmas and not just the holiday or season.  “It’s a war on Christmas!”  Many claim.  Really?  Have you been listening to the music? (more…)

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Sometimes it’s not what you say, but how you say it.  Tone of voice adds meaning to our words and provides a powerful non-verbal dimension to our speech.  We can detect things like anger and frustration and affection and surprise simply by the inflection and pitch and quality in someone’s voice.

Most of us do a lot of communication by email or text – mediums of communication that make it  difficult to add this non-verbal nuance to what we are saying.   Consequently, the recipient may interpret a message quite differently and sometimes just the opposite of what was intended by the sender.  That’s why we need to be so careful in what we communicate electronically. (more…)

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