Christmas 2009 Guest Blogger Dick Staub

wreathRead Christmas Staublogs Past and Present.

• Order one of Dick's books for Christmas! Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters OR

The Culturally Savvy Christian: A Manifesto for Deepening Faith and Enriching Popular Culture in an Age of Christianity-Lite:

Dear Friend of Staublog & The Kindlings

"In a poem every word must pull its own weight," so said Irish poet Micheal O'Siadhail, as he and I talked over coffee about the cheapening of words in today's culture.

It strikes me that the words that matter most, the Christmas words, are being robbed of their rich meaning in our casual gift card use these days.

Peace. Joy. Love. Thanksgiving. For these words to carry their own weight in the Holiday Season and year around, this is my prayer. The spiritual substance of these hoped for not yet fully seen gifts from God are ours when we allow God's spirit to carry the weight of our lives, the burdens of our souls and all our heartaches and fears.

The lush lyrics of Christmas warm me this winter. "The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight." "Oh come to my heart Lord Jesus, there is room in my heart for you." "Jesus did come for to die for orn'ry people like you and like I." "Son of God, loves pure light." "Long lay the world in sin and error pining." "Word of the Father now in flesh appearing." These are words that carry their own weight.

But the need for a spiritual, creative intellectual renaissance has never been clearer. Poet T.S Eliot observed, "No culture has appeared or developed except together with a religion: according to the point of view of the observer, the culture will appear to be the product of the religion, or the religion the product of the culture." American's cultural and spiritual lives are spiraling downward together precisely because our religious and cultural lives reflect a symbiotic superficiality.

How do culture's lose their way? In his later years Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn said, Over a half century ago, while I was still a child, I recall hearing a number of old people offer the following explanation for the great disasters that had befallen Russia: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened." Since then I have spend well-nigh 50 years working on the history of our revolution; in the process I have read hundreds of books, collected hundreds of personal testimonies, and have already contributed eight volumes of my own toward the effort of clearing away the rubble left by that upheaval. But if I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: "Men have forgotten God; that's why all this has happened."

Weighing heavy on my heart this Season are the financial challenges we are all facing in America, and The Kindlings is affected like everybody else. I share our situation with you so you might pray for us and please make a generous year-end-donation to help us if you can.

The unraveling economy has hit many of our donors and it is showing in a 40% drop in giving this year. We've trimmed back an already bare bones budget and are trusting God for guidance as this fiscal year comes to a close and the new year begins.

The 2010 plans for Staublog, The Kindlings Muse shows, Kindlings Hearth Retreats and Kindlings Fest are directly tied to donations friends like you send us this month.  In that sense your giving will determine whether or not we can proceed with our 2010 plans. We really need a huge boost this December ~ it will take $50,000 dollars  this month to allow us to continue full steam in the first quarter of 2010.

The Kindlings are working to fan a small glowing spark; to illuminate the path back to God in whose image we are created; to enrich the culture through our enriched and transformed lives, and to do it together, each of us doing our part to the glory of God.

With peace, joy, love and thanksgiving for your friendship and support, yours fort the pursuit of God in the company of friends,

For the benefit of the world,

Dick Staub

Please send as generous a donation as you can, if you can. All donations are tax deductible: CFC TAX 94-3329592

TO DONATE:

1) PAYPAL: Click the "make a donation" button on the upper right column The Kindlings home page

2) WRITE A CHECK TO: CFC/The Kindlings and mail it to:

The Kindlings

PO Box 729

Eastsound, WA 98245

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends for the benefit of the world,

Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, "these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have." (For Now).

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