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Letters from Dec. 29, 2007
the real reason
for the season
Tis the season to be giving. This sometimes gets confused to Receiving rather than to Giving. This happens so easily when we are continuously bombarded by modern day advertising. And Receiving may in fact be proper. And this brings to mind the simple question, What would Jesus do?
Recently there have been serious fires in California where many people lost all they had. Some may have been rich, but definitely there were some who were not. And more recently there has been severe flooding in Washington and Oregon. Many folks lost all they had to the flood waters, and even worse, some lost not only what they had, but lost their very livelihood- their farms, dairies, etc..
You may even know some of the folks that lost much. And now comes the question of what can we do? And the question, What would Jesus do? Individually we may feel stymied, but collectively this can be easily handled.
Have you heard an appeal from the pulpit of the church you attend, to contribute to a fund to help these poor folks? The fire and flood victims? Or is your church involved in a modernization/renovation project which has somehow precluded bringing up from the pulpit, giving to help the less fortunate? Is that church project really urgently needed, or could that project be put on hold and funds (or at least some of the funds) for that project be used to help those who have lost so much? Or looking at this another way, How many people would love to have a church such as the one you now worship in? Without any renovation? Would they find it adequate to meet their spiritual needs? Those are questions which come up especially at this time of the year. To me, frills are not needed for worship just the basics are all that are needed for worship.
I think that is probably in keeping with the parable of the good steward. Certainly no one plans a catastrophe such as the fires and the floods. And many may have been living close to their meager means, and now they are totally devastated. To me that parable of the good steward is really not about contributing (giving) but rather about proper handling and distribution of what is received. Which on more thought seems to say that those that receive contributions must properly use those contributed funds. To me that pertains especially to the churches that any money contributed is used properly for a good end. And helping the fire and flood victims certainly would be a good use.
Which brings up the question again, What would Jesus do?
Some resolutions for a better 2008
In the year 2007 we, as a nation, have achieved a new low level of personal disrespect and incivility. Open discussion of community and political issues has resulted in descent into personal attacks and demonization of those offering contrary positions or ideas. We no longer engage in debate. We minimize or destroy by invective. We move further away from the basic foundation of our country and the rules we made for ourselves to live by.
As a common 2008 resolution for all citizens, I propose the following:
In January 2008 we will read again the Declaration of Independence to recapture the essence of the American experiment.
In January 2008 we will re-read the U.S. Constitution and the Washington Constitution to regain understanding of the limited power and authority that We the people delegated to our government.
We will reinforce that our unalienable rights were bestowed upon us by our Creator, that government has no rights only the powers we delegate to it, and that the primary function of government is to protect the rights of each individual.
If we can restore our understanding and belief in those basic documents, we can restore civil public debate, the cornerstone of American greatness.
A song for the
To the tune of: I wont be home for Christmas
I wont be home for Christmas
To hear old Santa shout.
I wont be home for Christmas,
Cuz, the ferries are still out.
Our Gov. and all her Elves
No solutions have they found
To ferry Santas helpers
across the Puget Sound
For many years they rusted
and pitted every day.
Just to keep the ferry riders
stranded here on Christmas Day.
So, to all you taxpaying riders
Left standing on the Pier,
From the Gov. and all her Elves they wish you,
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.