’tis the season to be serving

falalalalaaaa lala la la

all the time is so un-nerving

falalalalaaaa lala la la

spent away from wife and children

falala lalala la la la

Christmas’ past has been a burden


Okay, now before you get the wrong idea, I’m not really that cynical, but the other day, I was thinking to myself just how much I’m looking forward to this holiday season.  Granted the christmas adds were out before Halloween, and there’s one Chicago radio station that has been playing Christmas tunes all day every day for a couple of weeks now.  I really think that it’s over the top, and I really do think that it gets earlier and earlier every year.  None the less, I’m really looking forward to the season!!  Why so much this year?

I think primarily it’s because all 3 of my kids have reached the age that Christmas means something to them.  It’s something that they look forward to.  They may not yet look forward to it for the reasons I would like, but that will come in time.  I love their excitement as they sense the season approaching.

Joni and I have also started some family traditions that I look forward to.  The family trip to cut down the tree, hanging the lights, Brookfield Zoo for the lights (new this year!), etc.  That stuff is just more fun when the kids are a part of it, especially when they tell me that I’ve done such a good job (I’ll take affirmation from anyone!).

But I think that if I really self-evaluate (therapy is beginning to work), it has to do with my reduced work load this “season” at church.

In the past, Christmas has started as early as August for Joni and I, as we would put together lists and recordings of christmas music for Tom, to help inspire him to get going on the newest Christmas script;  meetings in Sept. & Oct. to put music to the script that he’s written;  the team meetings in Oct. & Nov. to cast vision for the Christmas program;  the brainstorming sessions to choose the band and vocalists for the show;  should we have a big team and involve as many people as possible, or should we have a small team so that the entire team is not toasted for the sunday services leading up to Christmas;  praying that those people not chosen for the “special” will not have hurt feelings and recognize their importance in the week to week operations of the team;  spending the bulk of my parent teacher conferences transcribing the music to be performed; weekly rehearsals beginning just after thanksgiving;  rehearsals every night during production week; 3 or 4 shows leading up to christmas, tear down and collapse.  Oh yeah, remembering that all the hard work is for those that don’t yet know Christ as their personal savior, you know, the reason for the season?

And I must confess, that in the 10 or 12 years that I practiced this routine, God did AMAZING things.  Thousands of people were blessed by our hard work and effort.  People saw God in a new way, and accepted him as their Lord and Saviour, or recommitted themselves in a new and fresh way.

The people I served with are also the absolute BEST!!!  Rich, Linda, Celeste, Robin, Beth, Gess, Jim K., Celia, Dennis, Jay, Bob, Mike W., Dan L., Hendo, Brian Z., Jeff, Tom, Jean, Christy, Kevin K., Brian W., Packy, Markus, Peter, Jim P., Walt, Dan H., Ian, Marisa, Kyle, Teresa, Dawn, Sherri, Mona, Gary, Bill, Van, Kevin C., Charles, Alex, Scott, Katie, Laurie, Mark S., Mark R., Brian B, Brian B., Bryant, Jim R., David, Jennifer……….  For heaven’s sake I met my wife serving on this team!!!!!

I’ve spaced and left out I’m sure dozens of lifelong friends that have influenced me and made me the man of God that I am today.  Some of the most joyous and most painful times have been spent with this group of warriors, standing back to back, fighting the spiritual battles that ALWAYS arise when good, unified, and GODLY work is being done.  I wouldn’t change any of it {well, if I could omit the spring of 2002……  ;^)   }, again because the experiences were life changing, good and bad were all for the better!!!

I MISS THOSE PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!………………………

but I don’t miss the work.  I’m not sure if that’s a bad thing or not, because most if it was done in the right spirit with a good attitude (I said most….) and for good reasons, but I don’t miss it.  I’m certain it’s because I’m older, and my priorities have changed.  I’m in love with my wife and kids more everyday, and the thought of spending the better part of 3 months away from them is not currently an option.

I’m also certain, that God has me in this “place”, to continue healing and growing.  That’s the beauty of hindsight.  You can look back and reflect on it all, and then apply it to today, and the circumstances that surround us all.  I’m certain that God was telling me the same thing then, but when I get my service “blinders” on, I find that my ears for God often don’t work as accutely as they should.

I think for now, for this season, it’s time for a different “band” of warriors to fight the long hard “battle”.  I’m still in the fight, but I’d like to think that I’m in more of a supportive role.  I’d like to think that I can be a voice of experience; to lend aid when needed, offer advice when asked, and to also help fight when the troops get weary.

For this season, I’m going to do all I can to remember that gift  given to us a couple thousand years ago.  That miraculous baby that through others wisdom and experience, has helped to shape and mold me.  That miraculous baby that I pray will help me to grow and mold my own children and help me to lead and be the best husband I can be.  I pray that others will see the joy that miraculous baby brings will be evident this season.  That the love and joy of Christ will be evident in the look on my face, the tone of my voice, and the way I live my life.

I pray that you too can have a thankful and joyous season.

God Bless!!!



Filed under "Head" issues, Church stuff

3 responses to “Christmas@thechurch.ugh

  1. Joni

    Good words dear. I love you too. We have an awesome family and you are a great husband and father. Looking forward to another fun-filled holiday season and hope I can make our home as God-glorifying as we tried to make our church services in days past. Different job, same goal.

  2. Lisa


    I understand the long hours of work you speak of for specials and what not. I was awestruck by your message.

    It was worth it, but it is right to also be where God leads you to be in the moment.

    One year, Corrie said to me at the Christmas Tea that there are times we can serve and times that we need to be served. I hope you are served by your family this way in a mighty way.

    I remember watching you and Joni pour it all out and was moved by not just the performances, but the sacrifice that those performances took. I was moved by the dedication that each member of the team showed and the committment to His purposes for the season. For me, most of the time it was not the production that was so wonderful but the people who would give of themselves. It was also knowing the sacrifices that their families willingly made to have their spouce gone for all the time it took to put on such a production.

    We are now at a different congregation that is much smaller and we do not do big productions like you talked about. But there is dedication!

    May Jesus fill your heart this season.

  3. i would always love to hear those christmas music with a very happy tune *,-

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