Fearsome Food For Thought

The Ghost of Christmas Present (Dickens’ A Christmas Carol) has beneath his robe, two children: a boy named Ignorance and a girl named Want. The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows to Scrooge the effects of deeds and thoughts toward mankind.

The following Coleridge poem, Phantom, might also be the deciding factor of how Scrooge conducts his future self. What would Scrooge’s self-portrait look like before and after his ghostly experiences?

PHANTOM
All look and likeness caught from earth
All accident of kin and birth,
Had pass’d away. There was no trace
Of aught on that illumined face,
Uprais’d beneath the rifted stone
But of one spirit all her own;–
She, she herself, and only she,
Shone through her body visibly.
~Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)

Reflect:
What would we look like if what we did and what we thought created our appearance, and not the looks of our parents or any physical accidents?  What would be the pictures of our inmost selves?

For Further Reading: (reference – synonyms)
Long ago, ghost meant simply the spirit (or soul) in a living person. Gradually it came to mean the spirit without the body.  So now ghost is the wandering spirit of a dead person. An apparition simply appears before people and is seen. A spector carries a special feeling of evil or danger. A phantom could be a mere trick of the imagination.

Read The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving, and decide which synonym could be properly used to describe the headless horseman that pursued Ichabod Crane.  Which one would Ichabod, himself, be most likely to use?

“Our deeds still travel with us from afar, and what we have been makes us what we are.” ~George Eliot

PMCBurkey 

What Do You Think ?

Please give this some thought and prayer…
How does someone resort to burglary and murder when he has professed salvation in Christ, was raised in a Christian home, was a youth leader in church, and seemed strong in his faith?
If you could ask him one question, what would it be?
If you could tell him something, what would it be?
What would be your prayer for him?
What would you tell your children about this, if they knew him?
(My family attended church in New Jersey with this young man and his family. The crimes took place later in Montana. I’ve always said we never really know someone. Only God knows the heart. You might catch the whole story sometime on a repeat of ‘Killer Kids’, episodes ‘Stand Out’ and ‘It Runs in the Family’, Comcast Cable Channels.)

PMCBurkey

What Can I Give Him ?

Who gets presents on your birthday?  You do!

Who gets presents on Christ’s birthday (Christmas)?  You do!

What’s wrong with this picture?  How then, can you give to Christ?

Four possible suggestions given in the past have been:

1. The Little Drummer Boy (song): He does what he does best, he plays his best for Christ.

2. My Gift (Christina Rossetti’s poem): She answers the question, “What can I give Him? – I’ll give Him my heart.”

3. Arthur Melanson (radio minister): “You can give to Christ by giving to a Christian ministry.”

4. The Bishop’s Wife (movie): The Bishop asks the question…”What would Christ wish for most?” He suggests…”Loving kindness, warm hearts, a stretched out hand of tolerance…all the shining gifts that make Peace On Earth.”

What would you put into Christ’s stocking this year?

Write down your gift to Christ this year and put it in His stocking. Next year look at what you wrote this year. Did you fulfill your promise?

May you all be blessed!

~PMCBurkey 2005

A kid that gets a Play Station 4, bike, and and iPad probably knows there is no such thing as a chimney sliding Santa anyway. Gift giving kept at a minimum for all would be a more helpful example for those kids who are on the near poverty end.
I know of a family whose Christmas presents were so numerous each year that the parents were in debt most of the next year in order to pay it off. What example does that set?
Just a thought…Who gets presents on your birthday? You do. Who gets presents on Jesus Birthday (Christmas)? You do. Maybe you could hang a stocking each year with a promise of something you would do for Him…Be kinder, be a peacemaker, be a comforter, visit the sick and elderly…maybe there’s a neighbor who lives alone…offer help at a soup kitchen, be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, read your Bible regularly, pray daily. I’m sure you and your family could come up with great gift ideas for Jesus each year. ~PMCBurkey

The Christmas Box

What was the first gift of Christmas?

Have you seen the movie, ‘The Christmas Box’ or read the book by Richard Paul Evans?
Movies sometimes take liberty with the source. The book answers…”The first gift of Christmas was LOVE, a parent’s love. Pure as the first snows of Christmas. For God so LOVED his children that he sent his son, that we might someday return to him.”
The movie version of the answer is…”a CHILD. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only SON…”
I’m sure you would agree that both answers sum it up for those who believe. ~PMCBurkey 2014

Westville

We moved many times but my favorite memories are of Westville. We lived above Local Union #322 on Broadway across from Dr. Camp’s and the post office. I remember…dressing up for the Halloween parade every year, won a couple times; walking to school across the tracks, in town, and Parkview; happy times at the pond; visiting the library over the police station helped me cope; lunch at FranDan’s; spending my church offering at Shorty’s (don’t tell Fr. Conklin!); attended St Luke’s and was married there; many movies at The Embassy (experienced puppy love and gift of Red Lilac Cologne from boy who was driven into town in the back of pickup, so sorry can’t remember his name); next door was Murphy’s Garage, Jimmy was a friend; when the creek overflowed we swam in the middle of Broadway, yikes! Each Summer evening the mosquito truck would emit the toxins to prevent the growth of the Skeeter’s…we tried to close all windows before it came by, yikes! Bought penny candy from the blind man across the street from school, and yes, he knew how to make correct change…amazing! Thank God for a lingering memory !!

PMCBurkey