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Monday, December 27, 2010

What I'm Thinking about in the After-Days of Christmas

"...that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, and length, and height, and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge" 

(Paul via Ephesians/NASB)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What this Pastor's house sounds like tonight...

Jordan wanted to do a little recording tonight, so we fired up GarageBand and set out on some of our favorite songs.  If you've ever wondered what our house sounds like at just such a time... here it is... far less than perfect, way more than a little bit of love, just enough craziness to make me smile and laugh while I'm led through princess moments and pirate dreams!

Who knew that this would be the great adventure?!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Honeycomb and Memories...

Tonight, the kids didn't eat all of their cornbread that Penny made to go with the perfect cold-weather soup; so in true Daddy fashion, doing my part to clean up after dinner, I broke out some of the honeycomb a dear friend of our family had sent over, and cut out just the right amount to cover up the bottom half of that piece of cornbread.

The funniest thing happened right about the time I started thinkin' about the perfect culinary delight of nature that was about to hit my taste buds.  All of a sudden, my mind took me back to Arkansas where my Great Uncle Raymond, the Assemblies of God preacher who kept bees and would give my granddad honey with the comb, used to live.  I could feel the old seat of my granddad's pick-up; I felt a hug from my Uncle Raymond, that six-foot somethin' lanky old circuit rider, and rode horse-back between my other Great Uncle and my Granddad through the Ozark mountains.  I could feel the tug of overalls, feel the fit of my hat, and hear the tall tales of mosquitoes that used to carry off un-warry riders in the hills.  I could feel the warmth of folks who valued bein' heard by a young boy who loved them, and could see, like yesterday through thin fog, the old family guns, guitars, mandolins and fiddles they used to show me how to use.

Ain't it somethin'... all in a bite of honeycomb.  I hated to see it end.

What a trail it is that we ride in this life!  Why in the world would something so simple bring back something so rich?

I don't know, exactly... but I sure am glad I got to go there tonight!

Thank you, Peggy, for the honeycomb!  I've missed those ol' boys for quite a while.

In the peace of Christ,

Pastor John

Ridin' the Chimney Trail... just a taste

from the 2010 album, Christmas from the Trail I Ride, by John Franklin
for CD's, contact

The Main Thing

Charlie Brown is trimming a broken down little tree.

Our Elf on the Shelf is moving all over the house, it seems.

I'm laughing my head off at favorite Christmas movies like "Elf" and "The Grinch."

Do we really have THAT MANY parties to go to, this year?  Outstanding!

We're running out of hiding places for presents.

And finally, the wind keeps knocking down that one difficult piece of evergreen on the porch... hello again, ladder!

It's so easy to get locked into the busy buzz of the holiday grind, and find ourselves in the frustration of Christmas, instead of in it's joy.

JeeP is at the office with me this morning.  Penny is making a hospital visit, and the sermon for Sunday is going to be cool, but has some facets which are clogging my brain... thus, the brain pause to write this blog.

Do you know what I love about all the things I listed above?

They all point me to Jesus if I'll just stop and let them.

In an age that tries to extract Jesus from His own birthday, He is still simply there... simply here... simply born, lived, died, and alive again to save us.

While Buzz Lightyear has joined the safety brigade of our manger scene, the manger still holds only Jesus.

While the lights on the tree were out and had to be restrung, the lights still point only to Jesus.

While the commercialism of Christmas might make our heads spin and want to pop, that precious little gift will help me explain... you guessed it... JESUS to my little girl and boy.

This year, I want to dive in to all of it more than ever.  I want to swim in a sea of Christmas candy (even though my diet won't let me eat all of it), wondering in child-like awe at the clanging bells of Santa's sleigh... and to stop long enough along the way to look at what, or Whom, each part of this massive pageant of propaganda and presents points to... the one place it can really point to... the whole reason it all exists, Immanuel.

Finding the "main thing."  Sometimes we really do miss the forest for the trees, don't we?

It would be silly to chop down the trees, hoping to find a forest in the end.  Instead, how about we just pause ever-so-often and look at the big picture as it paints a mind-blowing portrait of God With Us... JESUS!

May your Christmas be hilarious, fun, and full of hope... after all, forgiveness is a truly amazing gift!

In the Peace of Christ,

Pastor John

Thursday, December 2, 2010

"This Christmas Time of Year"

from the 2010 album, Christmas from the Trail I Ride, by John Franklin
for CD's, contact