Daily Archives: December 8, 2019

“Love’s Story”

Tonight is the last night of our church’s production, “Love’s Story.” I have been “directing” this event for the past 4 years. Directing is a pretty loose term for what I do. I kick things off and creative people make it happen.

This year has been amazing. I love how our people have taken on the challenge to tell the story of God’s gift to man – from prophecy to the virgin birth to the angels announcing the Messiah to the shepherds to the wise men meeting with Herod to the life and ministry of Christ, to His death on the cross and then to His glorious resurrection. What an amazing story it is.

I thought I would share some of the “fun” of this year:

– Sheep, goats, a calf and a donkey that are well socialized. And humans (no matter how old) who cannot resist petting them and loving on them.

– The sweet taste of joy chocolate and hot cider with a Christmas cookie eaten outside on a dark night with stars and Christmas lights.

– The debate while roasting marshmallows – toasted or burned to a crisp.

– A talented actress who helps us see burlap and wood as a village.

– The little girl who wanted to be “baby Jesus” too. And, when placed in the wooden manger would say, “waa, waa, I’m baby Jesus.”

– And, her little brother playing baby Jesus by wandering around the animals who were all taller than he.

– The smiles as children played with pretend bread and tried to help the bread lady do her work.

– The smell of perfume as the story of Mary washing the feet of Jesus was told.

– The joy of a hayride in the dark, no matter how old we are.

– Angels in beautiful costumes singing the praises of God.

– The sweet man asking us if we had a reservation at his Bethlehem inn (made of pallets with no door or roof).

– The fun of a cast dinner (that I did not have to plan, make, or clean up – SWEET!!)

– The irresistible urge to ham it up when Christmas pictures are taken.

– The simple joy of a star hanging in the sky.

– The welcoming greetings of people at the door.

– The fun of watching grade school kids become shepherds.

– The peace of seeing men with years of walking with the Lord pretending to the Herod and the wisemen.

– The way a campfire causes us to slow down, to gaze intently and to chat with strangers and now friends.

– The empty tomb that could not hold Him.

The Christmas season is just starting. Find a way this year to walk under the lights on a dark night, enjoy the cold and the quiet or the sounds of the season. Spend time knowing that Love’s story isn’t finished. The baby in the manger was as vulnerable as we and yet He became our Savior, our Redeemer, our Lord.

Merry Christmas!

Jill (just one of God’s kids)


Beware the enemy

Today is the 78th anniversary of an enemy attack on Americans stationed at Pearl Harbor.  And, today, is the one day anniversary of an enemy attack on Americans stationed at Naval Air Station Pensacola – the place I worked for over 30 years.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that those attacks are the same at all.  One was the decision of the leaders of a nation, taking the lives of more than 2400 people; the other was the decision of one or more individuals, taking the lives of 3 people.

These two incidents, 78 years apart were attacks made without warning and without provocation.  Both attacks intended to strike the heart of America and Americans.  And, both attacks were made as we Americans prepare for the celebration of our Savior’s birth.

As I reflect on these events, it is clear to me that we must push harder than ever to prepare for what the world may bring to our door.  We need to put a shield of protection around the hearts and minds of the young and innocent.  We must pull our families tighter around us, gathering together against a world that preys on our fears.  We must fortify our resolve to stay close to God and to dive deep into His word.

These are challenging times.  Hold on tightly to God; hold on tightly to those you love.  You will never go wrong when your focus is on the things of God.


Jill (just one of God’s kids)

God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not be afraid, even if the earth is shaken and mountains fall into the ocean depths; even if the seas roar and rage, and the hills are shaken by the violence.” (Psalm 46:1-3)

pray for pensacola