Happy Christmas

When I think about that first Christmas many years ago, I am humbled. The King of the World, the Savior of our sins, God Himself in human form … born in a stable, lying in a manger, surrounded by animals.

It’s definitely not the way I would have planned for Christ to enter this world. Definitely not the way I would have hosted the favored guests, Mary and Joseph. Definitely not how I would have wanted people to come and worship at the foot of the King.

A less than suitable housing situation. No medical staff on standby. Animals most likely interrupting the stillness. Unexpected guests arriving to be a part of the wonder of the evening.

It’s definitely not the way I would have planned for Christ to enter the world.

But … God.

God saw the bigger picture. He knew the ultimate ending. He didn’t need perfection in the eyes of the world. He crafted this moment just the way it needed to be … and it was perfect.

This Christmas, you may be playing host to family events, church events, or corporate events. As you plan and implement your ideas of how things “should be,” remember the real reason we are celebrating this December.

Jesus, God Himself in human flesh, lying in a manger filled with hay. It wasn’t glamourous. It wasn’t inviting. It wasn’t the way I would have planned it. But, it was perfect.

Happy Christmas from Ridgecrest Conference Center and the Ministry Serving Ministry team to you! May your season be filled with love, joy, peace, and a sense of wonder as you celebrate the birthday of our Lord.

 

‘Twas the Night Before My Big Event

In the spirit of Christmas, I hope you enjoy this adapted version of a holiday favorite!

‘Twas the night before my big event, when all through the venue

Not a creature was stirring, except me, still going over the catering menu.

Did I order enough? Will the coffee be hot?

Gluten-free, vegan, nut-free—did I miss an allergy they’ve got?

 

“Ding” went my text alert—my main speaker just landed.

Fifteen delays later, just grateful he wasn’t stranded.

Sound checks could wait; I’d make time for those.

A panic quickly struck me. What if no attendee shows?

 

When all of a sudden, there arose such a clatter.

I ran to the auditorium to see what was the matter.

My stage set had fallen, the props in a heap.

How could this happen? It wasn’t at all cheap.

 

I sat on the floor. Should I cry or should I run?

I was frozen, in a stupor, what could be done?

All by myself, I thought, what a nightmare!

If I canceled the retreat, would anyone care?

 

I heard a door open and in walked my team—

Janet, Peter, Bill, Jim and somebody named Jean.

Tools at their ready with duct tape in hand,

My volunteers in their matching shirts at my command.

 

They shouted in unison, “Never fear, we are here!”

Jumping onstage, that mess would soon disappear.

Faster than lightning, in the blink of an eye,

That stage was reset and they all said goodbye.

 

“See you tomorrow,” I said with a smile.

In the morning this would all seem like such a small trial.

I’m sure more things would come my way,

But tonight, I thought, I should call it a day.

 

Past the registration area, straightening name tags on the table,

I’d try to get a bit of sleep, “Wait, did I remember the HDMI cable?”

As I walked through the front door out to my rental car,

I heard a quiet voice saying from afar:

 

“You’ve planned, you’ve prepared, you’ve got it all done.

Sit back, relax, and don’t forget to have fun.

Things might go wrong. You’ll figure them out.

For now, Happy Event Eve!” the voice said with a shout.