MONTANA — Greetings from the Big Sky Country.
I have to admit that winter has actually arrived in Missoula. Temps dropped into the single digits a couple of times in the last week and snow and ice are hanging around on the roads.
I guess it really is time for Christmas.
Which brings me to my story this week.
Maybe it’s the fact that the kids have long since grown up and left the nest, but Christmas hasn’t felt very Christmassy this year.
We put up and decorated the tree but there are no presents under it. No one is planning to drop by later but we will try to contact family via zoom or the phone.
I haven’t noticed any real Christmas decorations even in the stores. Sure, they have aisles full of “Christmas Stuff” but those are the aisles that seem to change fairly regularly — Halloween stuff, Valentine’s Day stuff, Mother’s Day stuff, Thanksgiving stuff … I think you get the idea.
Some of the houses on our street have lights up but I think Halloween had a lot more decorations this year. It just doesn’t feel like Christmas.
I was reminded of an NFL broadcast I saw over a decade ago. At Christmas time the network sent out their Game Day crew to do their show for the military. They would go to military bases and ships around the world.
Toward the end of one of the shows, one of the hosts tried to lead the troops in singing Christmas carols. I say “tried” because as I watched the people it appeared more than 90% of the troops didn’t know the words to the songs.
Unfortunately we have done an effective job in preventing our children from learning about Christmas, even the traditional Christmas carols.
I was curious to see what songs are currently filling the minds and hearts of our children, so I did a quick check of Billboard’s Top 100.
Perhaps I would be able to find some songs to play in the background while I went about my day. Well, I found a number of the songs that were sexually explicit and a few with lyrics that were filled with the “F” word.
It was definitely not the kind of music to get you into the Christmas spirit.
But it is indicative of our culture.
The true meaning of Christmas, God sending His son, Jesus, to pay the debt for our sins and offer us eternal life, is a message that is not getting much play time in our society today.
But I want to end this newsletter on a positive note.
I’d like to share some songs that might make this time of year feel a little more Christmassy.
Here are some of the songs I remember listening to during the Christmas season. I encourage you check them out and enjoy them!
“Oh, Holy Night” by Andy Williams.
“Mary, Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry.
“Silent Night” by Bing Crosby.
“The Virgin Mary” by the Chad Mitchell Trio.
“Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano.
Here are some stories I found interesting last week. You might want to check them out.
“Interview with Dr. Ben Carson” by Jan Jekielek. If you haven’t heard Ben Carson share his story, you really need to.
“We’re Cursing More” referencing a Wall Street Journal article that details the growth in the use of profanity in our culture today.
I have to admit that I excel at doing dumb things. So, I appreciate wise advice on how to avoid acting like a fool.
This tip on living life well comes from God.
It’s appropriate for this Christmas season and for any time during the rest of the year.
Before I go I’d like to share a thought with you from the Word of God.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Micah 6:8 (ESV)
Until next time … be the reason someone smiles today!
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