The 'BARKING OWL' always has something to say, and like the feathered version, can be either WISE...............or ANNOYING!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Christmas Dilemma; Defeated!

A friend used to say, perhaps only half jokingly: "Life's a bitch, and then you die."  I say perhaps only half jokingly because within a year or two of his spouting what seemed to be a lighthearted quip, the 28 year old man, in the prime of his life, with a loving wife and two young sons, went out to the beach one night and shot himself.  Overwhelmed by life.  An impending lay off, rainy climate and light deprivation, chemical depression, car troubles, hang nails, sore feet, dirty dishes....whatever.

We all know the joys of life, but the hardships come more continually and in all shapes and sizes.  Tremendously difficult tragedies are rampant and if they are diluted down at all,  it is most often only by the medium mayhems, smaller sadnesses and ongoing obstacles of everyday, day-after-day, life.  If it weren't for the ability to find the bright side and see the glass half full once in a while; and without the near mental demand that we justify our troubles at least by listing hopes, we might all succumb to a night at the beach when the tide is lowest.

Now add the wonder and dread of the aging process to the mix and try not to despair because you will likely outlive your demented Grandparents by 20 or 30 years!  Of course we want to live as long a life as possible, but honestly, even in my 50's I have begun to recognize the inevitable crush of entropy upon my body, and am forced to imagine what its degrading influence will bring with more years.

To maintain a flicker of hope, try not to consider the race going on between our economy and the culture at large.  One is headed for the fiscal cliff (any current arrangement notwithstanding) and the other just might win, going over the moral cliff first, and never to regain what we then might call a high ground of rectitude, self-control and peace.

Even during the Christmas season, when smiles are expected and gifts are generously  given (if not prescribed); when commonly relished songs are beaten to death by planned delight, and white and silver and red and green should magically maneuver our moods, the reality of stress and poverty and disharmony triumphs, and we can only find solace in the lengthening of days.

I love the lengthening days, and have convinced myself that I can measure the nuanced difference by some sixth sense.  But my real comfort works equally well after the summer solstice when the days are shrinking.   This God-given comfort is one that overcomes culture's demands and personal shortfalls; one that holds me close through the hot and humid, the sneezy and rainy, the driving wind and rotten leaves, and even the depths of drifts and frozen finger mornings.  It is the simple birth of the Christmas Baby.

They can take away our manger scenes, and inhibit our "Merry Christmas" greetings all they want.  Friends may fail and brothers may die and joints will creak and groan.  Organs waver after so many years and even our minds may sink into a mire of forgotten recollections, but that baby, that Jesus Christ the Savior did come to us and in a form to which we can all relate.  He does not speak to us as through a vapid speech which may or may not have any truthful intent behind it.  Nor as a teacher, does He feed us facts and figures merely to be tested.  And not even as a dreamed of lover who may never really connect across the divide.

Jesus came to you.  And to you He can relate.  He came as a human being so that you could know, that He would know, what you already know  (That life's a bitch, and then you die.):  But knowing that He understands our plight, we might also believe in His Prescription!   The Good News (the Gospel) is that we can live our lives out despite all the disparaging and discouraging truths we are terribly familiar with, and rejoice in being reconciled to God through the Son!  Though our bodies are literally ravaged by time, we can choose to live renewed and forever with Him!  While our circumstances conspire to steal our happiness, His joy is made complete within, and can not be hindered!  He came, purposefully, that you "might live an abundant life"!

Many people suffer the most during the Christmas season because expectations are driven so high by outsiders, and delivered upon with such reality, by those who are the closest.  Jesus Christ came in the most humble of circumstances, but gave Himself for sinners, the most deserving of piles of coal, and seeks to deliver each of us into the wonder and beauty and glory of an eternal life in God's presence where we will be given imperishable bodies and where there will be nothing to cry about ever again!

My friend's line was understandable as far as he knew then, but a better summation of truth might be more like this: "Life is hard; God is good!"  Let your circumstances rattle and roar.  Let your body wither and die if it will.  But repent today of your own recognized sin and give your heart and life to Jesus Christ for His safekeeping and His good plans.

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrum Cacophonous Conclusion

Since you endured all 21 Christmas Carol Conundrums, I thought I'd give you number 22 in the original style first established by speakers of real English.  Most of our songs have been dumbed down for the masses, and most people don't even realize that there was a time when language was more precise.  Even our beloved Christmas Carols have been reduced to the point of insulting simplicity.  "Jingle Bells" for example is only the pedestrian version of the original "Tintinabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic resonant cups" we used to sing up in the ivory tower.

So, for all of you Courageous Conquerors of Contemporary Conundrums who deserve a refreshing sample of how we used to sing these songs back in the good old days, may I present........

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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums Seven!

In case you are asking yourself; "When will this stupid list ever end?"  I have an answer.  Whether you like it or not, today's post contains the concluding collection of chaotic Christmas Carol Conundrums.  So, whether you like it or not, here they are.  And these are the best!

A classic:

"Proceed forth declaring upon a specific geological alpine formation."

Perhaps you've been waiting for this one, especially celebrated by the secular culture,

"Tintinnabulation of vacillating pendulums in inverted, metallic resonating cups."

And finally this sacred lullaby which so embodies the simplicity and beauty of the Gospel!

"In a distant location the existence of an improvised unit of newborn children's furniture."

Well, there is ONE more, but perhaps I will try to compress its embellished verbiage into song and post the video tomorrow!  So, since you will probably not ever come back to MILLERWRITES again, let me say


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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums Six!

For extra bonus points, which famous singer of a few decades ago made this song his own?

"In awe of the nocturnal time span characterized by religiosity."

And here is another one I would rather "enjoy" for maybe only two or three days.  Like that's gonna happen!

"Geographic state of fantasy during the season of mother nature's dormancy."

This one should appeal to all of you English majors; if only you would admit who you are!

"The first person nominative plural of a triumvirate of far eastern heads of state."

(Did I mention that, sadly, I did not compose these CCC's?  Only wish I had.  And since I've had this list for a few decades, I have no idea where they came from.)

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums Five!

This one will chill you good!

"Obese personification fabricated of compressed mounds of minute crystals."

And is this your present circumstance?

"Expectation of arrival to populated area by mythical, masculine perennial gift giver."

Or tonight, will you be...

"Natal celebration devoid of color, rather albino, as a hallucinatory phenomenon for me."?

(Hope not.  I really don't like to shovel!)

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums Four!

Had enough yet?  I don't think you have!

I like this one a lot but it makes me wish all the more that I had come up with these.

"Diminutive masculine master of skincovered percussionistic cylinders."

The unfortunate thing about creativity is that once someone comes up with something, it can never be "come up with" again!  But, we can share right?

"Omnipotent supreme being who elicits respite to ecstatic distinguished males."

And especially for those suffering in Connecticut right now, we all wish them...

"Tranquility upon the terrestrial sphere."

Lord, please do pour out a comfort and a peace that can come from nowhere else.  And forgive us our debts.  In Jesus name.

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Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums Three!

Getting the hang of this puzzle now?

To which orthodox Christmas Carols are the following twisted phrases referring to?

"Twelve o'clock on a clement night witnessed its arrival"

Huh?  No, it has nothing to do with Clementine's coming around a mountain!

What about....

"The Christmas preceding all others"?


"Small municipality in Judea southeast of Jerusalem"?

Are they getting easier or harder?  Let me know your interpretations as a comment below!

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Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums Two!

Got brains?

Well Merry Christmas, let's see how they're working today!

Here's a Carol we sang in church last week to kick off the season:

"An emotion excited by the acquisition or expectation of good given to the terrestrial sphere"

That's a tough one to sing in one breath, but this one is a little easier to manage.

"Embellish the interior passageways"

When was the last time you used the word "hearkened" outside of the Christmas season?

"Exalted heavenly beings to whom hearkened"

Can you interpret these titles?  Leave your results in the comment section.

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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Carol Conundrums!

So who is up for some MILLERIFFIC Christmas Caroling?  Not that MILLER thought of these, but he is sharing the fun!

How about let's get together and sing this old favorite?

"Move hitherward the entire assembly of those who are loyal in their belief"

Or this classic made so infamous in It's a Wonderful Life?

"Listen, the celestial messengers produce harmonious sounds"

You don't recognize these carols?

Well what about this one?

"Nocturnal timespan of unbroken quietness"

Leave your unwoven song title in the comments below.  We shall see what we shall see.

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