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Monday, November 26, 2007

If I live to be 80 and never experience another "Black Friday", it will be completely fine with me. Really. Last Friday, I did something I had not done a lot of in my life time. To the best of my memory, I have only gotten up for shopping on the day after Thanksgiving maybe once or twice. I honestly don't know what we were thinking when we did it on Friday.

Maybe I should have been given a clue when so much excitement was generated by the fact that one of the major department stores was opening their doors at 4 a.m. !! Seriously, how much luggage can one person get? How good can a George Foreman grill be? My philosophy on getting a deal falls under the Dorito's category--buy all you want, they'll make more. So, why hurry?! If the shelf is empty, come back tomorrow. You'll find another in it's place and it might even be the new and improved model.

Nevertheless, at around 5:30 a.m. (about the time I am normally catching my last couple of zzz's before the alarm) I found myself standing in the midst of utter chaos--better known to many of you as Old Navy. The line already wrapped around the store like some kind of giant snake intent on squeezing every last dollar from those caught in its trap. Lisa and I shopped briefly but soon retreated under the overwhelming thought of standing in that long line for something that was 50% off. I was more enamored with the Krispy Kreme just down the road. I was thinking to myself how good a 50% off deal with golden, frosted doughnuts would be. I was quickly snapped backed to my dark reality when I saw the line of people outside an office supply store waiting for it to open at 6. Okay, enough! They are paper shredders, people. For crying out loud, how exciting can they be?

As you can tell, there is nothing super spiritual about this morning's blog. Simply this thought. Is it any wonder that so many people in Bethlehem missed that first Christmas? I'm sure there were no "Black Fridays" yet and the Jerusalem mall was probably not open for business. But, in their own way, the people of that sleepy little village were taking care of business...looking for success, chasing their dreams, pursuing fulfillment. There were innkeepers making a buck, citizens paying taxes, shopkeepers luring the crowds and a marketplace full of "ravenous" shoppers. But most of them missed what happened that sleepy night. They missed the one thing that mattered. My prayer this season is that you won't miss out on Christmas.

If you are in town, we would love to have you visit us over the holidays--friends, family and new relations. Our series this season at Ridgeview is entitled "Missing Christmas!" As you begin to unpack your decorations and prepare for this busy season of the year, I pray that you and I will remain with an attitude of thanks for all that we have and not become consumed by all that we don't. Happy Monday!

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