Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Message

The smell of the stable was ripe. The sheep, donkey, and cows filled the air with their special perfume. The straw was well used and dusty. The stone walls cool from the night air. The screams of child birth filled the ears of the animals. The sudden cry of a new born baby.

A special night for mankind, the most important night, took place in the lowest of places. Who would have thought that the One who would rescue mankind would be placed in a bed of straw? Who would have thought that the Shepherds, who next to the leper, was the lowest on the human scale of class and dignity, would be the first ones the Angels would announce the birth of the King to? Who would have thought that a virgin would give birth to the Savior? Who would have thought?

An uncommon place for an uncommon birth for an uncommon Baby. The Christ Child. The Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. The Bright and Morning Star. Immanuel, Prince of Peace. Friend. Brother. Savior. God's free gift to mankind.

Enjoy this holiday, but embrace the reason for it. It isn't gifts, Santa, or even being with family. Those are the side benefits. The true reason is to celebrate the One who left Paradise to live among us, show us how to live, and then pay the price we could never pay. The birth of my Friend. The birth of My Savior.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Different Christmas Poem

I received this a couple of years ago in an email, still a remarkable poem;

A Different Christmas Poem

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night." "It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at 'Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of 'Nam',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S.service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities. Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Why I Don't Write Poetry - Part 13

The temperature rises and falls.
My neck is getting tired.
My eyes are bouncing up and down.
Tightness all around.

My mind is all confused,
Can't focus on a single part.
The heart is racing,
Feet start pacing.

I must tell her,
To wear a bra,
Or I'll have a heart attack,
When she does jumping jacks.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Weight Update

At today's weigh-in I passed my 10% goal a month early - lost 6 lbs for a total of 31.4. I'm going shopping for a speedo tonight. Think Victoria Secret needs a male model?