Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Rethinking the Story

My sons and I just finished setting out "reindeer food" for Rudolph and his eight compadres, when I happened to look up at the night sky. The rain had stopped, leaving a clear, cloudless sky full of stars. Beautiful...

Let's switch gears for a moment. Why do we celebrate Christmas? What is its purpose? As most would probably acknowledge, it commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. Was Jesus born on Christmas Day? The answer is unequivocally no. The ancient scriptures point to a date closer to early Spring.

Why then was December 25th selected as the day to mark the birth of the Christ? Here's why...

Since the Autumnal or Fall Equinox, the days have been getting shorter and shorter. December 21st, the Winter Solstice, marks the darkest day of the year. The days remain in that darkness for approximately three more days. Then, on December 25th, the sun moves one degree higher, heralding the lengthening of the days. So in a very real and a very symbolic sense, light is being born into a world of darkness.

Think about it for a moment. What better day to choose?

Let me go back to the reindeer food. When I looked up at the night sky, I immediately noticed the three star belt of the constellation Orion. Actually, the three pyramids at Giza in Egypt are patterned after the three stars! The Great Pyramid of Khufu, the pyramids of his son Khafre, and his grandson Menkaure, are aligned to match the three stars with incredible precision.

Thus, the three stars are sometimes referred to as the "Three Kings." On December 24th, Christmas Eve, the "Three Kings" line up with a star low in the sky called Sirius. It is the brightest star in the night sky this time of year.

Follow me now, the "Three Kings" follow the "star in the east" or Sirius. They line up and point to...

The place where the sun rises on December 25th.

The birth of light into this dark world. What a powerful image to be woven into the heavens!

So as I clean up the reindeer food and tuck my sons into bed, I'm reminded that we are a part of a much bigger story than any of us realize.

Good night. Oh...and Merry Christmas!

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Rethinking the Natural World

A recent survey apparently showed that children in our modern society are beginning to "lose touch with the natural world." It seems that very few young people were able to identify even common animals. Only two out of three children ages 9-11 were able to identify a frog. How did this happen???

Sometimes we lose the things that are truly precious...slowly. We get busy. We get distracted with the cares of this world. We gradually exchange the things that are magnificent and magical for the things that are profitable and practical.

Remember, this is the season of Hope. There is a great program available to the youth of New York City called the Fresh Air Fund. The Fresh Air Fund provides the opportunity for inner city students to experience the great outdoors. What a gift!

Watch the video below. If a picture says a thousand words, then a video should say about a million! Please consider supporting this effort to broaden the horizons of our nation's most valuable natural resource...our kids.


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