Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Our 2008 Christmas poem

Several things in our lives have made it rather hard

To organize and send out a traditional Christmas card

Instead I will narrate our year with some poetry

And conveniently send it out en masse electronically


We began the year with 5 in our clan

We outgrew our car and bought a minivan.

The kids thought it was cool to have a new ride

Mommy loved the practical space we had inside.


In February Christopher came down with the flu

I also felt sick and just figured I caught it, too.

Weeks went by and I still felt all wrong

Until a sonogram showed I was nearly 12 weeks along!


You can imagine the surprise and all of the fun

Of hearing this news before Hannah turned one.

Another McCracken would be added to our number

And she would be born some time in September.


In early April, John got in a wreck

Someone ran a red light and totaled our Buick.

Thankfully John walked away without much harm

But a few days later, Christopher broke his arm!


After a cast and 4 weeks, you know how boys do

His arm healed up fine and he felt good as new.

We drove up to PA for the whole month of May

To visit my family that lives too far away.


We returned to Texas in the heat of the summer

After perfect weather in PA, this sure was a bummer.

We spent most of our days at the neighborhood pool

Sarah learned to swim while we tried to stay cool.


Christopher developed an obsession that went way too far

He poured over books to know all about dinosaurs

Before we knew it, he was reading very well on his own

His interest in fierce and wild animals has grown and grown.


At the end of August, homeschooling had begun

Though I was nervous at first it has really been fun.

We learn lots and work hard in the first part of the day

While his sisters distract us with their loud and hearty play.


On September 11th we got to meet face to face

With our new little bundle - precious Mary Grace.

Now 3 months old she is chunky, happy and bright

But most importantly of all, she sleeps through the night!


Hannah is walking, talking and charming with her looks

She loves for us to read her lots and lots of books.

Sarah loves to color and put puzzles together

She also takes good care of her sisters and brother.


John’s been the pastor of Trinity for more than 7 years

While he’s still not yet 40 he has lots of gray hairs!

We love our church family and are excited to find

How the Lord will work in our church in ‘09.


While sleep-deprived and busy we must tell you this,

We love you and wish you a Merry Christmas!

We hope you’ll stop and wonder in the midst of all the fuss

That the Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Don't Be a Scrooge about Christmas

Here is an article on Christmas by RC Sproul that pleasantly surprised me. I like it.  

Here is a snippet:
Every generation has its abundance of Scrooges. The church is full of them. We hear endless complaints of commercialism. We are constantly told to put Christ back into Christmas. We hear that the tradition of Santa Claus is a sacrilege. We listen to those acquainted with history murmur that Christmas isn't biblical. The Church invented Christmas to compete with the ancient Roman festival honoring the bull-god Mithras, the nay-sayers complain. Christmas?A mere capitulation to paganism.

And so we rain on Jesus' parade and assume an Olympian detachment from the joyous holiday. All this carping is but a modern dose of Scroogeism, our own sanctimonious profanation of the holy.

Read the whole article.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On omnipresence and incarnation...

Christopher, our 5 year old, has asked me on a few different occasions if God is bigger than Jupiter.  I've told him that God is bigger than the entire universe.  Not able to get his mind around that, he asked, "How can God be bigger than outer space?"  I said, "Well, remember God is everywhere."  "But how can God be everywhere?"  I said, "Well, God is a spirit and is bigger than everything He created and...well, that's just a really hard thing for little people like us to understand, isn't it?"

The other day while the kids and I were driving down the road in the minivan, Christopher asked me, "Mommy, if God is everywhere, does that mean that we are driving over God?" Chuckling at first but then wanting to give him a serious answer, I confidently replied, "No Christopher, remember that God is a spirit and doesn't have a body like men."  I was hopeful this would satisfy him since the answer recalled one of the catechism questions he has memorized. But no.  He then said, "So does that mean we are driving on God's non-body?"

Today as we were driving home from church, our 4-year old, Sarah asked, "Mommy, is Jesus in the van?"  Happy that I could again refer back to already-memorized catechisms I replied, "Yes Sarah!  Remember, God is everywhere and Jesus is God."  Unsatisfied, Sarah demanded, "No, I said is Jesus right here next to me in this van!"

Then after we arrived home, Hannah and Sarah were sitting together on the sofa reading a book and I noticed that Hannah had something in her mouth.  I immediately asked her to spit it out and saw that it was the baby Jesus from their Playmobile nativity set.  I found myself laughing while saying, "No, Hannah - don't put baby Jesus in your mouth!"

On the one hand, it is true that God is a spirit and does not have a body like men.  This is an incredibly abstract concept for us to grasp, let alone to explain to our children.  On the other hand, John 1:14 is also true - "The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us."  This infinite God who created the universe and everything in it, entered our world by taking on human flesh.  This is Christmas - God became a man.  I find that my children better understand and grasp who God is when they hear about Jesus.  In Jesus, "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell."  (Colossians 1:19)