Advent is now upon us. It is a time of waiting and a time of preparation for the anniversary of the coming of the Son of God. Instead of making spiritual preparations during Advent, many of us get caught up in the demands of the holiday season. Any extra time we have is spent on the material preparations that have become an annual tradition, such as buying gifts, decorating our homes and work areas, planning parties, and baking treats.
You’ve probably never heard of Lee Pitts. He’s a syndicated newspaper and magazine writer and the author of several books. One of his books, People Who Live At The End of Dirt Roads, is a collection of essays that describe a simpler time in America. One of the essays in the book is entitled These Things I Wish for You and was popularized by Paul Harvey, a famous radio broadcaster for ABC Radio Network from 1951 to 2008. Harvey read Pitt’s essay to his audience during his morning radio show on September 6, 1997.
I periodically receive a letter or email from someone who has never communicated with me but has written to me because he wants to complain about something I wrote. He usually starts out by saying that he has been reading my articles for a while and that he sometimes agrees with me. Then he drops the hammer on me by complaining about a topic I wrote about.
Her name is Victory Boyd. She’s 27 years old and she grew up in an African American, Christian family of nine children. She started singing with her family when she was four years old. I had never heard of her until I read an article that reported that she had been scheduled to sing the national anthem on September 9th at the National Football League’s (NFL’s) opening season game. The day before the game, the NFL cancelled her performance because she had not received the COVID-19 vaccination.
I’ve written before about my sister, Anna Maria. She was the 11th child in my parent’s family of 17 children. One of my earliest memories of her is when she was two years old. Every time I saw her, she was clutching her security blanket. It didn’t matter whether she was sitting, standing, walking, running, or laying down, it was as though her security blanket was attached to her body. She was always happy, and out of all my sisters, she had the sweetest disposition.
My wife and I took a few days off last week and drove to Branson, Missouri, for a short vacation. It was our third trip to Branson. Our last trip there was more than 15 years ago. One of the reasons we wanted to go to Branson was because we had heard about a Broadway-quality musical show about the life of Jesus that was playing at one of the theaters. The title of the show was Jesus.
I have a client — I’ll call her Joanne — who is a devout Christian. Joanne periodically contacts me and asks for my opinion about a faith-based issue she is struggling with. She recently asked me if I think she has an obligation to assist her husband’s mother — I’ll call her Frances — with her basic personal, healthcare, and financial needs.
The year was 1969. I was 12 years old and I had a paper route, money in my pocket, and a radio on the nightstand that was next to my bed. Back then, the world I lived in was as close to paradise that a 12-year-old boy could get. Other than 8-track tape players in cars, the only way we could listen to prerecorded music was on a radio or a record player.