Eat Chicken!

How do you know if someone is a fit for marriage? If they are willing to be the rear end of a cow with you! This is Sara and me practicing in my Cow Costume (which I still have 20 years later!) eight months before we were married. I got it for a Christmas Play where Hark, from the Herald, traveled through time to interview different characters from the Christmas Story (shepherds, wise men, innkeeper, etc.) in order to discover the “True Meaning of Christmas.” However, I thought it was too sacrilegious to have “Hark” interview Mary or Joseph in the Nativity, so I had him interview a cow off to the side instead. I was very excited when I got my two-man, er, one man – one fiance cow costume, and Sara was happy to help me figure it out and practice with it while were on a Thanksgiving retreat with my family that winter. Cow or no cow, we’ve made quite a team over the last twenty years!

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Luke at the Nativity

We searched the house, where could Luke be? Finally, we went outside… and there he was… at the nativity, worshiping Jesus. What did he bring? Was it Frankincense? Myrrh? A toy car? OK, so the picture was posed, but it has been wonderful to see our son’s understanding of Christmas blossom this year, especially as this was the year he asked Jesus into his heart, and all by himself one evening when he was alone. “Quizzed” by his parents later, he assured us he knew what he was doing. We’ve seen so much fruit to reflect a change in his heart and vocabulary we are assured that the Christ of Christmas now lives in our little boy. Now he won’t let a day go by without Dad teaching him something new about Jesus! It’s made this Christmas all the more special to us.

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Grand Prize Gingerbread Champs!

And the GRAND PRIZE, “The Bastian Family!” We couldn’t believe our ears! We were at our church’s Family Gingerbread House making event, and there were well over 100 families making yummy houses. When they announced there was a competition and my wife saw my face slightly change she said, “You’re not competing are you?” I answered, “Of course!” (Men, you understand.) But I didn’t seriously think we had a chance, after all, I had a four year old on my team who I was not going to cut out of the process to increase my chances. We struggled away with our house, since we didn’t cheat and use a kit (!) and even added shingles and a chimney! When we heard the ten minute warning three sides were still blank! I then realized that the chimney look a little like a steeple, so I quickly added a triangle and a cross just as we slapped on frosting and stuck candy all over the sides! When I got to the tables and saw all the amazing creations I thought we don’t have a chance but as I was setting ours down I overheard the judges say, “Look at that and its…

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Will the Real Santa Please Kneel

On the center table of our home is a figurine of Santa kneeling down and worshiping Jesus. It was the one thing I wanted from my childhood. My mom promised it to me as a little boy. To me, it summarizes the role Santa plays in our home. He is a part of Christmas, but he is subservient to Jesus. Over on Kidology.org we have a thread the gets action ever December: How to answer Kids questions about Santa. I invite you to chime in! My story is a funny one, because in my home, we enjoyed Santa – but not only did I not “believe” in Santa, I didn’t know any kids actually believed in him until my first Christmas as a children’s pastor! I found out in the most horrible way. Teaching on the “true meaning of Christmas” in kids church I must have mentioned that Santa wasn’t real… (well, he isn’t!) I didn’t intend any harm to children, it wasn’t the point of my lesson, I also said it wasn’t presents or lights or snowmen or trees! I don’t even remember exactly how it came up! Maybe I was asked by a child. But Monday morning I…

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Jimmy Jim Says TRY JESUS!

Don’t Like Green Eggs and Ham? Jimmy Jim says TRY JESUS! JESUS LOVE YOU! I’m Jimmy Jim! JESUS LOVES YOU! Will you accept Him? That Jimmy Jim! That Jimmy Jim! I do not like that Jimmy Jim! Do you know Jesus? Do you know Him? Would you like to accept Him? I do not want to be a Christian, Jimmy Jim! I do not want to accept Him! Would you accept him here or there? I would not accept him here or there. I would not accept him anywhere. I do not want to be a Christian. I will not accept him, Jimmy Jim. Would you accept him in a house? Would you accept him with a mouse? I will not accept Him in a house, I will not accept Him with a mouse. I will not accept Him here or there, I would not accept Him anywhere. I do not want to be a Christian, I will not accept Him, Jimmy Jim. Would you accept Him in a box? Would you accept Him with a fox? Not in a box, Not with a fox. Not in a house, Not with a mouse! I would not accept Him here or…

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