Robin’s midnight Christmas moment

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Today’s Catch comes from a story by one of our regular readers that was inspired by yesterday’s Catch about silver bells. We appreciate it so much when you share your stories with us, and, as much as possible, we like to share them with everyone.

I also want to take this opportunity to remind you all about Church at the Catch, Sunday at 6pm Pacific. Through the magic of technology, you can log onto facebook.com/thecatch and watch and participate. Join us this weekend. Even if you have your own church to go to on Sunday morning, make us your Sunday night church! Do like my daughter-in-law does: she sets the alarm on her smart phone for 5:55pm Sunday so she won’t forget. Time for church!

Also, don’t forget to make use of our Prayer Warriors. They are literally standing by for you!

I love the sound of bells ringing at Christmas time — church bells chiming, bell choirs ringing, Salvation Army Santas jingling. Songs about bells this time of year are especially meaningful to me since I can’t see the brightness that twinkly lights proclaim to a world of darkness. Bells do for me through their sound what lights do in the dark for those who see.

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Silver bells, and not a day too soon

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It’s December, and the city stoplights are already blinking a bright red and green. I don’t know how they know how to do that, but suddenly, every December, they do. One of these years, I’m going to stay up all night and study those street lights just to see if I can find out at what point they switch to the bright red and green of Christmas. It’s like magic. It’s as if the stoplights know, just like the snow knows when to crunch, and the kids know when to bunch because Santa’s big day is just around the corner. We’ve turned the calendar page on November. There are no more pages to turn. This is it. It’s Christmas time in the city.

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‘He died climbing’

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It’s been said that high in the Alps there is a monument to a faithful guide who perished while ascending a peak to rescue a stranded amateur in inclement weather. According to the story, the monument contains these words: “He died climbing.” Whether such a plaque actually exists or not, I was unable to verify, but regardless, I love the concept. It’s the way I want to go. I want to die seeking. I want to die questioning. I want to die wondering. I want to die learning. I want to die exploring. I want to die expanding (not shrinking).

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A different kind of church

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The Catch is a place where believing is not necessary for belonging. We have people at various stages of belief and unbelief. If you are on the journey, you may walk with us. Belief is not the absence of doubt, anyway; it’s a direction we are all going. Along the way, we entertain all questions, in fact, we love questions. Questions mean someone is thinking. Blind faith is not part of our agenda. We advocate a seeing faith — not that we see everything, but we see enough to believe, and the more we see, the more we get, and the better our eyesight becomes.

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Being bad enough for Grace

Vancouver, B.C.

Vancouver, B.C.

Some of the best comments about the national mood in America so far have come from our northern neighbors in Canada. Perhaps that’s because a little distance can give you a certain perspective on things. As an example, Drew, from beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, writes:

“Attitudes and sentiments didn’t just ‘happen.’ They’ve been around all this time, and the ‘social progress’ of the past half-century has, in fact, had little or no effect on the hearts of people [example: racism]. People change their behavior through their hearts, not through legislation, and I believe we’re seeing a whole lot of people who have been forced into silence for fear of being called any number of names, from ‘NIMBY’ to ‘uneducated’ to ‘deplorable.’”

And then Drew reminds us, “We have to remember that the ‘deplorables’ are worthy of Grace, too.”

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What can we do to help fix this mess?

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Last night on our BlogTalkRadio show, Republican consultant, Rob Stutzman, gave us some of the most practical advice I’ve encountered so far as to how to treat this election and its aftermath, and continue to manifest grace turned outward in the midst of a hostile environment. I highly recommend … no, I require you to listen to that discussion by clicking on the link below. Now, of course, I am not in a place of authority to require you to do anything, but in as much as I do have your best interests in mind, I can’t over-stress this.

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Something to make you smile

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There’s truly no other way I can interpret this event I’m going to tell you about except for the fact that God and His angels must care about us, right down to things I wouldn’t imagine are His concern. And, given the seemingly unfriendly world we live in right now, that’s a story worth telling.

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Swallow the bug

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Gary drinks a grape juice and quinine water drink every night before he goes to bed and claims it has stopped him from waking up in the middle of the night with leg cramps. Well a few nights ago he noticed a little bug floating in his glass of juice. Instead of losing the whole drink over this, he chose to sip it carefully, avoiding the little bug “until there’s half a teaspoon left. Only then did it get tossed.” Then it dawned on him, “That’s how I came to my compromise in the election choice.” I think he was saying he chose the candidate with the most amount of qualities he could affirm, and had to just disregard what he didn’t like or agree with about that person.

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