Tuesday, November 27, 2007

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown

I adore Christmas...but I am all about not starting the celebration too early. I don't shop during Thanksgiving week and I avoid anything that even resembles a shopping area the entire weekend after Thanksgiving. This year, as is our tradition, we were camping over the Thanksgiving break and it was a much needed break. Tonight, however, perhaps the greatest animated Christmas show of all time was on, The Charlie Brown Christmas show. I have to say that it is FABULOUS! Jacob wanted to watch it (yippee!) so we did. I love it when all the kids are dancing on stage -- it's great. I love the sad little Charlie Brown Christmas tree. The show first aired in 1965! 1965 -- the year after I was born, for heaven's sake. Johnny and I were talking about it and all the characters and Jacob asked how we knew so much about it. Because we've watched it for 40 years, that's why!! The best part, the very best part, is when Charlie Brown is so frustrated about all the commercialism surrounding Christmas (and the 60's didn't have anything on what's going on in 2007) that he screams out -- wanting to know if ANYONE knows what Christmas is all about. Linus knows...and they still show it on tv and it's still as powerful as ever:

"...And she (Mary) gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn..." Luke 2:7

Linus actually quotes several more verses than that, but when he is done he says to Charlie Brown, "That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown."

How did our eyes become so unfocused? I like to decorate my house even though I am not much of a decorator. I like to buy gifts and love to see the faces of my family when the gifts are received. I like the parties and being with friends to celebrate. I like the tradition and the food and even the smells associated with Christmas. I like it all but that's not what it is all about...

It's about the Incarnation. It's about the Son putting on the cloak of humanity in order to reveal the Father to mankind. It's about the Holy One leaving His rightful place beside the throne of God to become the Lamb of sacrifice.

The Charlie Brown Christmas show still moves me, after all these years. It's not Charlie's story, though, even though really I like his sad little tree and I always cheer for him to be a winner when I know Lucy is going to pull the ball out every time. It's the story of the Messiah that gets me everytime.

That's what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown/Jeanette Dickerson/your name

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Playoffs against the Permian Panthers

Our high school football team made the playoffs. Our opponent yesterday was the Permian Panthers. Yes, the team that the movie Friday Night Lights was about. We used to live in Odessa and my kids would have gone to Permian High School if we still lived there. The whole time we lived there the Panthers were not that good. This year they are awesome, wouldn't you know it! I decided to just enjoy the day, no matter what the outcome of the game. We got up early (Josh had to be at school at 6:15 because the team left at 6:30 --- that's AM!) took our 3 girls and stoppped at the store to get car chalk and they wrote all over the windows of the Suburban. We got to the stadium about 2 hours before game time. I did get teary when Josh jogged out onto the field for a pre-game warmup. I thought it might be his last football game -- his last time to put on his pads, cleats, helmet, and jersey for Mansfield High School. It was a beautiful, sun-shiny day and my boy was playing in the high school football playoffs. When the game was over we saw some friends of ours from Odessa in the parking lot. We also walked over to the field house and talked to some friends whose son played for the Panthers yesterday. Josh and their son played in the band for the student ministry at our church in Odessa. Josh talked to some of the guys he knew -- some of the guys he played football with in elementary school. Johnny coached a team one year and assisted another year. A couple of his players came over and said hi -- it was pretty cool.

So, another memory was made. Another day filled with a "last." We're cheering for the Panthers now -- hope they win state....

Go Panthers!


Thursday, November 15, 2007

Disappointments and Expectations

I have been studying for my class I teach on Sunday morning. I love my class and look forward to seeing my ladies every week. They are such an encouragement to me. And, there are just some things you can say in an all female class that you can't in a mixed group!!

This week our lesson is titled, "Persevering Through Unmet Expectations." It's from Genesis 29 but I was looking at a story about John the Baptist in Matthew 11 and Luke 7. (I got this really cool book called Synopsis of the Four Gospels that shows the parallel accounts side-by-side! I can look at one story in every gospel where it is recorded at once!) John the Baptist was in jail. That had to be disappointing. He was, after all, related to the Messiah, the Son of God. The mothers of Jesus and John the Baptist were cousins. (KJV uses the word cousin but the translation I usually read, NASB, uses relative in Luke 1:36) The mothers were pregnant with the boys at the same time. I wonder if they grew up hanging out together. I wonder when Jesus and His family went to Jerusalem to celebrate the feasts if the two of them got together. I wonder if that time when Jesus was 12 and His family was in Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover and Jesus got left behind and His parents found Him in the temple when they returned if John the Baptist was there -- did He know about it? Obviously, these are unanswered questions. But, John the Baptist did baptize Jesus in the Jordan River and he did hear the voice from heaven pronouncing Jesus to be the beloved Son of God. Certainly, John's expectation was not to be sitting in jail. So, John sent some of his followers to find Jesus. He just needed to know for sure -- "Are You The One or should we look for another?" The message Jesus sent back was reassurance, "Go back and tell John what you've seen and heard. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached." (My very loose translation of Matt. 11:2-6 & Lk. 7:18-23)

Life will bring disappointments. There's no avoiding it. Sometimes they sting like crazy. Sometimes it seems like the heavens are silent when I want things to change, when I'm screaming and begging and pleading for a different outcome. That's when I go back to what I know to be true. The blind, sick, and lame are healed. The good news is preached. The promises of God are true and He never breaks a promise. He will never leave or forsake (Josh. 1:9)... His grace is sufficient and power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9)...forgiveness is granted when I seek it (1 Jn. 1:9)...there is an inheritance (Eph. 1:14)...

This I know for sure...Jesus saves, Jesus saves...
Rescue me.

Serving Him because there is no other,


Monday, November 12, 2007

Mansfield Football Senior Night

I gotta report on Senior Night...it was such a proud moment for me. Just look at this handsome son of mine! So here's the scoop - we arrived at the stadium 45 minutes before game time and met up with all the other senior parents in the end zone under the score board. The band parents, cheerleading parents, mascot, drill team, and any other student participating, were all there. Football players went first because they had to get to the locker room. The players were out on the field getting ready when we got there. A coach lined us up according to jersey number so we were at the end...as you might guess when you see Josh's jersey number. So, there we stood on the sideline...Josh came up and gave me the yellow rose I am holding in my left hand. He did tell me I owed him $4 for it, though!! We waited our turn while making small talk with Josh. When it was almost our turn I told him how proud I am of him. I almost cried when we first stepped onto the field...but, they were showing the players and parents walking across on the big screen on the scoreboard and I didn't want to be crying on it. We walked across, got our photo made, and Josh went to the locker room and Johnny and I went to our seats in the stands. Even though it was our last regular season game we made it to the playoffs so there's at least one more game then it's over. Another chapter closed. Something else ended that gets us closer to the end of high school for Joshua. I came home from class today and Jess was watching the CMA Awards show she recorded and it just so happened that Kenny Chessney was on singing "Don't Blink." I've blinked a few too many times...
Another proud moment -- thanks for indulging me!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Graduation Application

I just filled out my graduation application. Wow! When I graduate in May it will be 21 years since I started my master's degree. I feel overwhelmed and excited and unsure -- unsure because I don't know what God has for me after this. Excited because I won't have to write papers like I should be right now. Overwhelmed because I feel proud and priviledged and blessed to be able to accomplish this. ok,ok...reality check -- first I've got to get to graduation which means I've got to finish all my classes this semester and all the ones I just registered for in the Spring semester....

Writing and writing and writing....Jeanette