Dear Bro and Co.,

     I must say, I’m in more of a Christmas spirit this year than in years past.  It’s a strange feeling to be sure.  I was thinking, “Why?  What’s wrong with me?”  I believe I have the answer:

  1. Minimal decorations –  we have a modest tree, a wreath on the door, and stockings on the wall.  I managed to escape the ordeal of hanging outside lights this year – and taking them down in July.  🙂  Also I didn’t have to help assemble and decorate Troy and Janie’s tree this year.  Mathias and Kiara got that merry treat to themselves  when they stayed with them right after Thanksgiving.  Yes, we may have a junior Grinch in the making . 
  2. Minimal shopping –  The kids get one want, one need, one item to wear, and one item to read.  I’ve managed to stay out of the mall entirely and trips to Wal-Mart and Target are strategically planned to avoid crowds and browsing.  We pretty much have an attack (get in – hit objectives – get out).    We’re very much like a S.W.A.T. team in that way.  This has, of course, minimized our exposure to the commercialism of the outside world that tends to taint the season.
  3. Other than Best Buy commercials; even the television ads haven’t been too annoying this year.  Either that, or I’m watching less t.v. than years past. 

     …..speaking of brain checks, Alice in Chains has a song called “Check My Brain” off their latest album which is, for lack of better phrasing, stuck in my head.  It has a crazy buzzing riff with an insane bend that is catchy.  Although I’ve never been what you would call a “fan” of the band; I’ve always admired and enjoyed their unique sound – the guitar and vocal harmonies that can only be described as haunting.  I think the new vocalist, William Duvall, sounds good (in studio at least).  And, it seems like he is a good fit for the band.

     I’ve heard about half of the new album.  They have a video for one song; “Your Decision” that I found to be most interesting.  Long story short – a guy follows a temptress to a party and gets more than he bargains for – He gets on the menu at the venue.  The address of the party mansion?  – 1 Corinthians 10:23

Which says:     All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient:  all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not. 

I doubt the fella’s in AIC are professed Christians’ but perhaps Lane Staley’s death has them thinking/searching a bit more.

     …..speaking of cannibalism, I recently read where the authorities in Chile arrested a crime ring for killing dozens of obese people.  Why?  They were harvesting their fat.  What for?  Selling it to cosmetics companies. 

     …..speaking of crime rings, we got a memo at work last week about drug smugglers trying a new method for moving cocaine – they were solidifying the powder into a cast.  I’m not sure what tipped the authorities; maybe someone caught the dude trying to snort his leg.  Ha!  I can think of at least two possible drawbacks to using such a product:

     …..speaking of solids, awhile back when KeiLynn had that croup – we bought that Vick’s vaporizer (which really helped a lot – thanks to Tammy :)).  Where it helped clear the babies lungs, it effectively gooped up the fish bowl.  I went to feed Rainbow Sherbet (our supposed gender confused fish – Kiara liked the color of the male fish, but insists on calling it a girl) and found him, rather than the baby gasping for air.

     …..speaking of solids and water – KeiLynn and I were having a fun, pleasant Daddy-daughter bath the other day.  Everything was going good; we had splashing, laughing, bubbles, and even the wind-up swim toys going.  In fact, I was winding up Grape Ape the surfing Gorilla, when I heard a grunt from the other end of  the tub.  I looked up and there she was, my sweet little baby, all red-faced and squeezing the life out of her tub toy turtle:

     I knew – she was either ticked off mad at that turtle or she was about to poop in the tub!!!!  Either way, tub time was over.  I called for Amanda who immediately rushed into the room – but, it was too late.  Simultaneously, as I lifted her out of the water, she launched the brown torpedo…  KERSPLASH!!!  I was stunned, the baby relieved, and Grape Ape the surfing Gorilla sunk by a direct hit from the great baby nugget from the sky. 

     On another note, Amanda seems to be feeding the masses these days.  Pumpkin bread, banana bread, candies, cakes, and pies oh my!  🙂  So here is my wife – wildly popular due to being attractive in both appearance and personality; throw in all the baked goods and everyone adores her – especially the fellas she works with.  Am I worried? ….. Not at all.  Am I jealous and on guard? …..You better freakin’ believe it!!!

     …..speaking of bread and Mac Grill, since Amanda has started working there, I have found that my favorite thing to get there is soup (both chicken and tomato are great) with a fresh round of peasant bread.  It’s a meal by itself; and, even when we have to pay, it’s only five dollars. 

     I like to break the bread and dip it in the soup.  Each time I do this, I am reminded of the two miraculous meals when Jesus fed thousands of people with a minimal amount of bread and fish.  In both instances mentioned (in Matthew Ch. 14 and then Ch. 15), He gave thanks and blessed the meal, then He broke the bread and gave the loaves to the disciples who passed the bread on to the multitudes. 

     Jesus is cool.  Not only did He minister and teach the people, He miraculously fed them all, AND gave us our model for how church is supposed to work.  I know He’s God and all, but I’m still impressed with the multi-tasking on such a large-scale since I struggle with single tasking on a minimal scale.

  • Go out to eat at least once a week.  Through daily devotional studies, prayer, worship and such, we are nourished during the week – milk to keep us focused and maintain our strength and appetites.  (A spiritual anorexic has a hard time digesting food.)
  • Pastors are like the disciples – waiters or servers for the people.  *(Matthew 14:19; 15:36) Jesus broke the bread and gave it to the disciples and the disciples to the multitude.   The point of all that being a good spiritual shepherd will lead his flock to green pastures – for spiritual nourishment and overall prosperity.How good of a teacher/shepherd was Jesus?  During the second “service” it took three days for anyone to stop and say, “Let’s take a lunch break!”  That person being Jesus Himself.  I’ve never done anything so good that I was able to not think about food for 3 days.  Our pastor, Robert Morris, is a great teacher.  His sermons are always interesting, educational, humorous and entertaining; yet it isn’t uncommon for my mind to still wander:  Of course, that probably says more about me than it does anything else. 🙂
  • The people received and shared the meal.  I’m guessing fellowship and communion come into play here.
  • There were leftovers at both meals (12 and then 7 baskets full).  So, we go feast at church, then we carry the leftovers out into our communities, out to feed a lost, starving world.  Cool.

     John 1:1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. 1:14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.  We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only, who came from the Father, full of Grace and Truth.

     John 6:33 “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”  6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life.  He who comes to Me will never go hungry, and he who believes in Me will never be thirsty.”

     1 Corinthians 11:23  ….The Lord Jesus, on the night He was betrayed, took bread, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you, do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way, after supper He took the cup, saying, “this cup is the New Covenant in My blood, do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”

     So, once again as we enter into this season of giving with so much of the world focused on presents and concerned with shortages of “dough” and “bread”; as it always has been, still is, and always will be the Greatest Gift is Christ’s presence – in a manger, upon a tree: the Bread of Life broken for you and me.

Love and God bless, Uncle Buck “Wango” Lamb and the Tango Tribe