Saturday, December 15, 2012

Road to Bethleham

Hello Friends.

Yesterday I had a good romp in the newly fallen snow.  It was amazing.  As I was running, plowing through piles of snow, splashing in puddles and playing with my friends, I got to thinking about this road we are on in this Advent season.

The road to Bethlehem is never a solitary journey. We have fellow travelers in faith and uncountable others who require our care and compassion along the way. We are all fellow-travelers on this journey.

Of course, the #1 traveler with us on the road to Bethlehem is Jesus himself. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” That word “Emmanuel” literally means in Hebrew “God With Us.”  “With” is God’s middle name. John the Baptist preached about the coming of Emmanuel, whose very sandals, John said, he was not worthy to untie. We must make room for Jesus to join us on this journey. This is why John’s message of “repentance” is so important.

So many have rooms so filled with clutter and junk that they have no room for anything new to enter, no room for anything new to happen next, no room for Emmanuel to be born again in our lives. Repentance is cleaning out the “stall material” from our hearts and lives so that we can find the energy and vision to encounter and engage the Child born on Christmas day.

So friends are you stalled out, are your peeps? Is it "stall" cleaning time in your life? Is it time to let go of “stuff,” to clean out the chaotic places in our journey and make room for something new to be born within us and among us? 

The Spirit of the Living God can make your ‘stalled’ places a nursery where the Spirit could be born.

John the Baptist gathered crowds alongside the river in order to invite them to step into the water, to leap into a new life.  Then they got working. John put people “on the road” by giving them something more than being “wet-behind-the-ears.”  He gave them a road map for their new relationship with God.

The road to Bethlehem is one we travel every year. But it is not a super-highway with six smooth lanes of asphalt going whatever way we are headed. It is a narrow road with many obstacles and potholes.  And oh, what problems potholes can cause.

But us furry ones, like children in big rubber boots, have another name for pot-holes. We call them mud puddles. Mud puddles are momentary mysteries encountered on the road.

 How deep are they? How much splash can we make? How many times can we jump in them before they empty out? Pot-holes are a pain. Mud puddles are an adventure.

Life is not just filled with pristine pools and clean water.  Life is filled with dirty pits and miry places. The only difference is whether we curse at them or splash our way joyfully through them, trusting in the Providence of God. Jesus turns potholes into mud puddles.

On the road to Bethlehem this Advent, will you let Jesus turn your damaging potholes into wonder-filled mud puddles? No pothole is so big, so bruising, so burying that Emmanuel can’t turn it into a marvel-making mud puddle.



  1. You've made Mom and me think about a few things tonight, Goose, and I thank you for that. You always have such wise words! And I am a big fan of mud puddles from time to time.


  2. Hi Goose
    Mom and I are about to head off to bed. Last night she slept poorly due to the days events on her mind and wondering why and how such bad things happen. This post has given her a kind of peace
    Thank you
    And hugs
    Madi and mom

  3. Mud puddles, huh? That's a good analogy. You dogs know how to rejoice, regardless. We humans contemplate the deep cold mud without as much happiness. There's so much for us to learn.

    Your photos are glorious.

  4. We have lots of mud puddles, we are waiting for him to bring us some of that pretty snow! But, whatever comes our way, we will be joyful and thankful and blessed.

    Wyatt and family

  5. Thanks Buddy, we love your Sunday Posts.
    Bert and My Vickie

  6. Great post Goose. It was exactly what we needed to hears right now!
    How did yous know?

  7. Woof! Woof! Beautiful Sunday Words Goose. And who else is going to tackle that obstacle ... of course it our buddy Bert. There's always a joyful path on every obstacles. Golden LOVE. Lots of Golden Woofs, Sugar

  8. beautiful photos and beautiful message.
    wags, bailey

  9. What a beautiful message and pictures to go along with it. We agree with Madi's Mom. Mama didn't sleep well last night either...thinking of all of those families with their lives in ruins. We all can use spiritual healing right now. Bless you, Goose, and your MOM.
    xo Jeanne, Chloe and LadyBug

  10. Ditto we say what a beautiful message that is. Sometimes life leaves you with nothing simply so you can move on and embrace the new. There is always a good side to everything if you want to see it. Have a super Sunday Goose & Mum.
    Best wishes Molly

  11. Yikes that water must be freezing
    Benny & Lily

  12. I beleive every word you said here and this quote

    Life is not just filled with pristine pools and clean water. Life is filled with dirty pits and miry places. The only difference is whether we curse at them or splash our way joyfully through them, trusting in the Providence of God

    this one is so true. when bad things happen people tend to ask God Why, the answer is in your quote above. life has pot holes and we fall in them and use God to climb out.

    i love the ROMP in the snow and LOVE the deep diving shot

  13. three years ago i found this song on youtube. your post made me think of it.
    Take a walk through Bethelem, Trisha Yearwood.

  14. Sometimes it seems easier to step around puddles or ignore them.....but then we never learn how to splash or to trust in he who protects us

  15. Thank you both for reminding us about pot holes and mud puddles. Sometimes we all lose our way, but you've brought us right back to where we need to be.

    Mommy took Grandpa to a live nativity last night and it was beautiful! Mommy was in tears by the end of us. It was all put on by children. She said it gave her a warm, fuzzy feeling inside her heart.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  16. That was a nice post... mom read it to me and I listen to her while I was watching your pictures - it was like an early christmas ;o) - THANKS!

  17. Simply beautiful... love the stall cleaning and the stalled-out... thank you!

  18. Amen...and thank you for the reflections today!!

  19. Goose, my brother, dare I say this is one of your best posts EVER?!!?
    Yes, the photos are beautiful, but your words even more so. There's an awful lot of profundity in your analogy: "Pot-holes are a pain. Mud puddles are an adventure." Challenges like that CAN be turned around. What is it they say? "With God anything is possible"? That's it. And there's that word "with" again. Hmm. Lots to think about, buddy. You're the best!

  20. PS: I hope you don't mind, but my mom is going to post a link to your blog on her FaceBook page. She liked your post as much as I did! Woo.

  21. Oh Goose, so beautifuls!! And, might I add, the pics were perfect for the post, too! LOVE it, buddy!


    pees: I've been tellin' Ma she needs to clean out her 'stalls' for a loooong time!! BOL

  22. Beautiful photos and very wise words.

    My younger brother told me something many years ago (he is a wise person). That those things that seem to tear holes in our heart really do tear holes. But, those holes can open up our heart to let in more of the love and light of God.

  23. What a beautiful and fitting post. xoxoxo

  24. Woo-hoo, thanks fur such a marvelous message, Goose! We like your attitude!
    (We are a little jealous of your snow, though....) Gorgeous pics!

    Jack & Moo

  25. Ah, Brudder Goose you has done it again. As you knows I has a Girl and Friday was very hard on my parents. But you has made them think and understand a little mores and I thank you furs dat.
    I is sendin' yo and your MOM hugs fur kinda always showin' us da way.


  26. That was a really beautiful post. Thank you.

    Loveys Sasha

  27. A lovely & thought provoking post, thank you Goose & Mom
    Wally & Sammy (and Mom)

  28. What beautiful pictures and words..I bet that water was freezing :) Have a fantastic day xx00xx

    Mollie and Alfie

  29. We sure missed a great walk! Hope you find a mud puddle today!

    Your pals,

    Murphy & Stanley

  30. Beautiful pictures, very beautiful story!


  31. Oh what a beautiful post!!! I am so glad I came!!! Thank you for your compassion toward me, Goose and Mom.
    I am so broken from losing Zoie!!! I know it was all in his plan but it still hurts so much.
    I hope you two have a blessed Christmas........

  32. Thank you for this timely post. We will try and join you in splashing through life with love and joy in our hearts!

  33. Those photos are beautiful! The snow looks amazing and it looks like they had a really great time. The message is also very uplifting, thank you for sharing :)

  34. Mud puddles. That's it. Mud puddles are beautiful in this amazing trek of life we're romping through - even the "deep" parts Bert explores so brilliantly. Thank you for this reflection.

    Sending see beautiful thoughts your way!

  35. Goose, Thanks for making everyone stop and rethink were they are going. Just came From Berts, and his pot hole just turned into a happy mud puddle, and your gonna get your nose whaped! Life is good when you get to enjoy the trip. Thanks again Goose

    Your Happy Pals
    Susie & Bites

  36. Wonderful post. I wish I could share it with someone who sadly is not able to read it right now.

  37. Hi Y'all!

    Oh Goose those are beautiful pictures! What a fairyland!

    Computer hard drive problems are keeping me from commenting more.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog