Thursday, December 24, 2015

And on earth peace, good will toward men . . . hmmm

It’s late on December 24th and Christmas Eve 2015 is quickly drawing to a close. Carols have filled my house for the last couple of weeks, not the Rudolf, Santa Baby, and jolly old Saint Nick kind, but the ones that tell of the truer, deeper meaning of the holiday – Silent Night, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Little Drummer Boy.

The music whispers peace and joy in the background, but my mind is focused in a far different direction.
O holy night the stars are brightly shining
It is the night of our dear Savior's birth
I’m focused on frustrating circumstances that have plagued my life over the last several months. I’m not talking ISIS or the Middle East or Terrorists. I’m talking about home, my backyard. I’m talking family. I’m talking friends.
Said the night wind to the little lamb,
do you see what I see
Way up in the sky, little lamb
The music whispers to me, but my heart feels frustration and discouragement and, yes, more than just a touch of anger. It churns in my gut. It’s a bitter taste.
Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o'er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
My music and calendar tell me it’s Christmastime. They speak to me of a holy time, a joyous time, and I suddenly feel my hypocrisy. Christmas calls to me to refocus my heart. It wants my heart. God wants my heart. My friends deserve my heart.
Little baby
Pa rum pum pum pum
I am a poor boy too
Pa rum pum pum pum
I have no gift to bring
Pa rum pum pum pum
That's fit to give our king

And I’m left with nothing more than this timeless simple message . . .

Merry and blessed Christmas to one and all. --Mark

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Red Wedding -- Stark Imagery

Recently I plopped myself on the sofa and indulged in some Game of Thrones binge watching. (For me, “binge” consists of watching two consecutive episodes before getting too antsy.)  LONG before HBO adapted George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series for TV, I’ve been a HUGE fan since reading book 1: A Game of Thrones back in 2001.

As I watched, I started thinking about the infamous Red Wedding. (A Storm of Swords / HBO series: S3E9) and the impact the scene had on readers and viewers alike. If you’ve lived under a rock for the last few years and haven’t read or watched the series, STOP NOW if you don’t want spoilers!