Archive for December 2008

It’s not a skirt!

December 30, 2008

I recently became the proud owner of a kilt. I purchased it mainly for hiking and the tartan (pattern) which most often shows your clan (family or group of families you belong to) is “Leatherneck.” My Scottish heritage is through my mother’s side and is of the Gunn clan.

There is also a law enforcement tartan, so I have several choices for future purchases. Although, I don’t think I’ll switch over my entire wardrobe J

I wore mine recently while we were visiting Colonial Williamsburg. I found I was not the only man wearing a kilt there, and had the pleasure of meeting the other gentleman yesterday while visiting Yorktown. It turns out his name is Rocky and he is a kilt maker. (No wonder he has so many J

I also received as a Christmas gift, a belt and sporran (the pouch worn with a kilt) from a dear friend. These had belonged to her father and had no doubt been worn with pride. I wore the buckle and sporran while we were in Williamsburg.

The picture below was taken on a recent outing to Moore’s Creek battlefield. Although, I must admit, I think the Highlanders were on the wrong side on that one!


Merry Christmas to All!

December 24, 2008


One of the best all time Christmas shows has to be The Charlie Brown Christmas. When Linus goes out on the stage and recites Luke’s account of the first Christmas, it makes the show.

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:1-20 KJV)

Dead Sea Scrolls

December 23, 2008

My wife and I went to see the Dead Sea Scroll exhibit yesterday. The exhibit was very informative and interesting – but if you’re planning to go don’t expect too much from the actual scrolls.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but in the dark you’re not actually going to make out any of the writing. Still, it is amazing just to lay eyes on these pieces of history.

The rest of the exhibit brings a lot of OT and NT history to life. Each tour comes with an audio guide to walk you through each display. There are architectural representations of the buildings at Qumran. There coins, cloths and even a pair of leather sandals. (The kid wearing Rainbows in the Christmas play wasn’t far off, apparently! J

It took about an hour and a half to go through at a fairly steady pace. Gas for a round trip to Raleigh $15. Admission to the Dead Sea Scrolls $22. Spending the day with my wife priceless J

The link to the museum is here –

Christmas Reflections from Williamsburg (and reflecting God)

December 19, 2008

When our son, Jared, was about 5 or 6 we began our (almost) annual family Christmas tradition of going to Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Compared to theme parks, the visit is dirt cheap.

We have so many great memories from those visits over the years. From the first year, when we got a foot of snow on the day of our arrival, to last year when he asked Paula to marry him at the gate of Bruton Parish Church (she said yes, by the way).


Bruton Parish

On one trip, we were visiting the silversmith who was making a candlestick. He told us that to get the metal “workable” it had to be heated, hence the fire and bellows. He explained this was delicate process because if it got too hot, it would basically turn to ash.

Since there were no thermostats, I asked him how he knew when the metal was the right temperature. He said “when I see my reflection in it.”

Wow! As I thought about that later, I thought how when, as Christians, we go through the trials (fires) of life God is getting us to that point where we can be made usable for His work. How “hot” does it have to get? Till He sees His reflection in us.

Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

May others see His reflection in us as well.


A New Christmas Favorite . . .

December 12, 2008

I want to share a new favorite Christmas song. It is How Many Kings? from the group “Downhere.”

Click here

It is number 6 on the playlist on the right. Enjoy J and

Merry CHRISTmas!

A Slippery Slope Indeed

December 9, 2008

I read three interesting, and seemingly, unrelated stories (so far) this week.

One was Al Mohler’s take on the Newsweek assertion that Bible is (apparently) irrelevant to and at the same time, not against the homosexual marriage argument. I must confess I have not read Newsweek in some time, but I’ll take Dr. Mohler’s word for it.

If you’ve not read it you can find his article here

The basic premise of the Newsweek article seems to be that the Bible is old, outdated and we are much smarter than the people in the Bible. So smart and sophisticated we do not need a “Word from the Lord.”

The second story was about a push from the American Humanist Association which asks, “Why believe in a god?” It calls folks to be “good for goodness’ sake.” So, if we head down this slope, we see not only have we become so smart, we have now developed our own innate, rational, and immutable sense of goodness.

You can read more about that ad campaign here –,2933,450445,00.html

The truth is we cannot be good without God, because without God there is no goodness.

For those who outright reject God’s Word, neither goodness nor morality has any basis whatsoever. The greatest evidence of that is found in the evolution debate. Now, Pres. Bush has said that you can mix the Bible and evolution.

This is not a new argument, and it makes no more sense now than it did when first posited. Either the Bible is true or it is not. Either God is, and does what the Bible says He is and does, or not. But, it can’t be both ways. When God’s word is watered down to a point of human rationale and universal agreement it ceases to be God’s word.

A slippery slope indeed.

Well, it’s started again . . .

December 5, 2008

. . . Or, shall I say, continues. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not surprised in the least. Disappointed, dismayed and disgusted –yes, but surprised no.

What am I talking about? The incredible ooze of political correctness which overwhelms our nation. UNC-Chapel Hill has removed all the Christmas trees from its library. This decision was made because of complaints about the “Christian display.” I never realized Wal-Mart was such an evangelical organization.

We are moving ever closer to the condition described by C.S. Lewis in “The Chronicles of Narnia” where it was “always winter and never Christmas.”

I’ll not give up, Merry CHRISTmas!

Trusting God for Guidance

December 5, 2008

On a recent trip to the mountains of NC, I came face to face with one of my greatest fears. No, it wasn’t a bear – to me it was worse. We were driving down the mountain in the dark and the “fog” rolled in on US 321 between Boone and Lenoir. I say “fog,” because down here where we live, when you have “fog” 3000 feet up, we call them clouds. Another difference is down here in the flatlands, you may run off in a ditch or in someone’s yard. Up there, if you run off the road – you may wind up in Tennessee.

On this particular night we were in an area of road construction so many of the lines were not up to DOT specs, and you could not see from one reflector to the next because of the thickness of the fog. It was awful.

But, the truth is – that is way it always is for many areas of our lives. We don’t know what lies ahead, we don’t know where the next “bend in the road” is for us. No matter how talented or smart one may be – no human knows what the future holds.

In Proverbs 3:5-6, God has promised if we will rely on Him, He will get us safely home. He certainly did that night!