December 2010

No post this Friday due to the holiday.

Have a happy and safe New Year!


My dad passed away suddenly earlier this month. This post is excerpted from the funeral meditation I shared.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change…. The Lord of hosts is with us…” (Psalm 46:1,2, 11a).

When someone passes away at Christmastime, it’s probable that the holiday will for a long while or maybe forever have a pall cast over it. But let me suggest that more than any other season besides Easter, this time of year offers profound hope for the grieving.

That’s because it bids us “Don’t be afraid,” just as Mary and the shepherds were called not to fear. Why? Because God is “with us.” When all other companions are gone, even the companion of a lifetime, God is with us in Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should move.

© 2010 Tom Cheatham

I will not be writing for the next two weeks at least. Please check back later, and thanks for reading!

Keep awake therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming (Matthew 24:42).

…we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye… (1 Corinthians 15:51,52).

Two articles in my hometown paper caught my eye over Thanksgiving. One was from Lancaster, PA. A woman encountered a cow standing in the road. She was concerned that the animal might be hit by another motorist, so the woman tried to shoo Bessie off the highway. She got a head-butt down a hill for her troubles.

In New Jersey, a little girl was knocked down by deer during a 5K charity run. Apparently the animal was frightened and confused by all the noise of the event. The deer ran away, and fortunately the girl was not hurt.

Other than proving again the old saying about no good deed going unpunished, these stories remind me that anything can happen, at any time, for good or ill. Tragedy can strike, but so can grace touch us. All it takes is a “moment, the twinkling of an eye,” a nanosecond, to alter our lives maybe forever.

Advent is a time to reflect on and be prepared (as much as possible) for such uncertainty in life, to hear the words of Jesus that we do not know when our Lord will come, whether in death or to right the wrongs of history, be it our own or the whole planet’s.

When we got home from our Thanksgiving visit, we watched again Memoirs of a Geisha, a powerful film. One line said by “the Chairman” has stayed with me: “When life goes well, it’s a sudden gift.”

May you be given such a wonderful sudden gift this season.

© 2010 Tom Cheatham