Some Christmas Advice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christmas is my most favorite time of the year.  I grew up in the northern part of Wisconsin, and my most valuable and tenderest recollections are my Christmases.  I was raised in a Norwegian Lutheran church, (Think: Lutefisk.). Many memories flow from that; the cold, the snow and the tree and the presents.  I have been made a ‘rich’ man through all of these great memories.

I remember our annual Nativity play at Church. I remember the sticky, caramel-covered ‘popcorn ball’ each one of us would get from the church ladies aid.  I fondly remember a very bleak Christmas when there was no money to be had for presents. A local charity came through at the last minute with gifts. I was profoundly touched by all of this, and more. Even when it was bad, it was still very good.

I have no real way of instilling any of this to you. However I do exhort you, go out of your way to minister to the young hearts you have contact with.  Help them believe.  Make it easy for them to touch the miracle of the manger.  Let them leave your company yearning for  God’s presence in their day. 

It won’t take much, maybe keen imagination on your part.  But those things you do may spark, ignite and become a blaze that will direct them through their lives.  Be kinder than you need to. Purposefully do things that will impact them, even small things often carry an astonishingly strong influence.

You may be in the thick of it. You have lost the purpose and meaning of this day. But I’m pretty sure any failure isn’t permanent. But at least, try to do as much as you’re what able. Let us know if we could pray for you this season, alaskabibleteacher@gmail.com.

 

bry-signat-1-1

 

 

 

cropped-christiangraffiti1.jpg

 

A Lutefisk History – Lutefisk Recipe (Lyefish) http://whatscookingamerica.net/History/LutefiskHistory.htm

Peanut Butter, Hot Lunch and Dreams

Warning: Rambling post, very tedious. Don’t operate heavy equipment for two hours after reading this post.

I grew up in a big, brick house in Northern Wisconsin. Our beautiful home hid our desperate poverty, and it was quite difficult. My father and mother scraped by enough each week to feed and clothe us. But just barely.  Mom would take some elbow macaroni, and mix it with stewed tomatoes (from a dwindling supply she tried to manage.)

I was oblivious to our precarious situation.  I carried a plain peanut butter sandwich to school for years, but I had a simple dream of getting “hot lunch.” I was tired of peanut butter, as I watched all the other kids eat pizza, hamburgers and (my fav. mashed potatoes with a pat of butter.) I ate PB for several years.  You could stucco a house with what I ate.

I wasn’t really settled in my heart or thinking.  I developed into a bipolar childhood that had quite a bit of depression, and a load of impulsivity.  I was an impossible child, and I  was out-of-control. I was either terribly manic or profoundly depressed.  My Mom and Dad simply didn’t know or grasp my mental illness and how it was effecting me.

A repeated nightmare worked its claws into my thinking. I would wake up sobbing, almost inconsolable. I had this dream several times in my teens, and can still 40 years later taste the panic. In this dream, I would be lifted up and laid on a slow conveyor belt.  I would be on my back, and I would see over my feet a giant roller.  This roller had big nobs on it and it was rolling over what the conveyor belt brought to it.  In this dream I was paralyzed, unable to escape this giant crushing roller.  I kept fighting, and trying to escape.  But, I was completely frozen.

I would waken just as my feet met the roller.  The fear I had was as intense as any I ever had.  (Except when I had to go down to the basement, but that was more reasonable.)  I would repeat this dream several times, and it was always the same.  I haven’t had this dream for 30 years or more, but it still has a potency and fear to make me edgy.

Over the many years I have thought about this.  I certainly don’t want to mysticize it, or try to force an interpretation out of it.  But it has struck me as a metaphor of my life to some degree.  In this dream I was moving toward an inevitable crushing.  The paralyzing panic was a fair description of where I was at spiritually.

This explanation may sound childish and simplistic.  But it is so workable, and brings a certain comprehension to these terrible moments of fear. And our dreams, well, they are funny things.  All of us, somehow, and in some strange fashion are treated to a surrealistic and fantastical mini-story as we sleep. But what does it mean?

Much of the time, upon awakening, we try to piece together both the chronology and the meaning of what we had just dreamed.  It’s hard to do, most of the time it justs slips away.  Yet, our inner heart always wonders if that particular dream was “good, bad or ugly.”  There are rare times when we can grab on a sequence of events, and relay it to a close friend.

Some things will never be revealed in this lifetime.  But I believe there are certain things in our dreams that the Holy Spirit chooses to bring to light.  We are never sanctioned to seek the meaning of our dreams, but only the Lord Himself.  We should never lean on our understanding, but on our Father and His Word.

P.S. I realize in writing this, I don’t like peanut butter at all.

bry-signat (1)

cropped-christiangraffiti1.jpg

 

14 Odd Scraps About Me for Facebook…

  1. I was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at a very young age, lol.
  2. My parents were very young, my mom 16 and my dad was almost 18.
  3. I grew up in Northern Wisconsin. In a brick farmhouse. I used a hand-pump and an outdoor toilet for awhile.
  4. I was very close to my great-grand parents, Ben and Eva Tarbox.
  5. I joined the Army when I was 17, and stationed in Hawaii, was a hospital corpsmen.
  6. When discharged I came to Homer, Alaska to attend the Alaska Bible Institute. I graduated in 1984.
  7. Lynn and I met in 1987 in San Francisco, we married in 1989 and lived in the city for several months.
  8. I was stranded for 36 hours in a small car north of Fairbanks in January 1986. It got down to 30 below zero. A week later I was almost burned to death in a cabin fire. I have lots of scar tissue on my back.
  9. I drove an old van from Mexico to Alaska in 1998, I patched a big hole in the gas tank using a bar of lye soap. I drove it all the way to Homer without it leaking. Go figure.
  10. I pastored Kachemak Bay Christian Church for three years. I loved it.
  11. I had several medical crisis’ beginning in 2002. Brain surgery was needed, I found I had contracted HCV in 2003.
  12. I aspire to be a writer. I’m now negotiating with a publisher. I also have three blogs.
  13. I have severe tinnitus. I hear noise all the time. It gets old.
  14. As a boy, my dream was to be a writer, or a forester.
%d bloggers like this: