Today I enjoyed my first day off in 21-days of working retail during the holiday season. My hat is certainly off to those who do this for a living! The stories I can share of how ugly humanity can be are almost endless. The sad thing about working all these hours is the fact that I will only be able to allot less than $100 per child to get Christmas gifts. The sweet thing about that is the fact is it be an opportunity to teach our children the hope of what Christmas once meant—the hope that my family instilled in me as a child. It is a hope that our once great nation has abandoned. Don’t misunderstand America is still a powerful nation. However the values and morals that this nation once held as true have slowly evolved into a bureaucracy that values power over people. The hope of Christmas—certainly shared by millions; but no longer by our nation—is a babe born in a stable who one day took away the eternal stains of sin thus allowing us access to a loving heavenly Father. But enough about that. I have been encouraged to assist folks that are buying an Angel Tree present for a less fortunate child. It has warmed my heart to hear of the stories of complete strangers wanting to purchase exactly the right gift for the child. American’s are still a great bunch of people. There have been some positive things happen over the past twenty-one days. I have started scheduling time with my children around the times between jobs. It happened out of necessity and has proven to be tremendous joy. I was able to give my wife a day off to get out and do something without children or obligation. My wife and I also talked about being creative with the available funds in getting our children gifts that will be meaningful. It is encouragingly refreshing to shop with a purpose without running up a credit card bill. Last year we began a family tradition of going to a movie on Christmas day. This year we will see the final installment of the Hobbit tale. I think the children are anxiously awaiting the outing. It appears that something is brewing in heaven concerning a positive change in our situation. The sense is that whatever “it” is will take place in January. We know for certain that a change is on the way. We believe that it is a positive change. Beyond that we cannot say. Keep posted to find out what happens. There have been so many wonderful insights that I have received during this time. For example the Old Testament book of Proverbs speaks about a foundation of trust in God. If trust is your foundation, then anything else erected must rest on that trust. Since trust is the explicit confidence in something or someone, then it stands to reason that whatever is being built is done so through complete confidence that the someone—in this case Jehovah God—will look and function like something that is both acceptable and pleasing to him–God. The challenge for me is to let go of what I think it should look like in order to allow the one I have placed my trust in to create it the way He desires. I mentioned in an earlier post that I am working on a website. I still need some assistance getting it right; but it is in the works. On this site I will have the opportunity to go in depth into things spiritual. The focus of the site will be to address questions and issues surrounding the traditional church and those who have been hurt, damaged or turned off by it. The site will also address relational issues with God that build community. There are many positive things in front of us. Scheduling limits what I am able to delve into now, but that will change in a few weeks. I trust to make at least one more post before Christmas. Blessings on you all.