Thursday, December 31, 2009

Have A Happy New Year

My wish to you, make 2010 a great one!


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Power Of Tragedy

Tonight I watched a tragic story (otherwise known as a movie, but lately I've been so much more into story than effects...). It had a horrible ending (as in I hated it) but it also showed reconciliation in the face of adversity.

It got me thinking about the power of tragedy. So many times people have drastic life changes not when things are going well, but when things go bad. Many people can either point to the time where they regained faith in God, or lost faith in Him, to a point of tragedy in their lives. And I started thinking, why is this? Why do some people grow closer to God or even turn back to God at times such as this while others blame God and leave Him behind?

Ultimately the only thing I could come up with is the tragedy itself does not make the change, it is merely a catalyst. We make the change. In the tragedy we look to where God is and sometimes we see him holding us, sometimes we see His love in others, and sometimes we feel completely alone and decide to continue on like that.

When tragedy strikes, don't blame God. Don't use that horrific event to make a life change, rather allow yourself to see God in it. I'm so thankful for people who are willing to come alongside those who who are in these awful times and wade in the waters of despair with those barely able to swim so they can see God loves them and wants the best for them even if that isn't visible in their circumstances (thank you Stephen Ministers!!).

In the coming year, I hope and pray you have no tragedies. But if you do, stand strong, don't fall...

An old favorite:

Isaiah 40:31 ~ But those who wait on the LORD will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. (NLT)


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Simeon & Anna

These are two people that for some reason seem to be lost in the Christmas story. Two people who had more faith than those around them when it came to the Messiah.

Do you know who they are? If not, check Luke 2.

But my bigger question is this? How is it that in every cantata, play, drama, anything Christmas they never seem to get mentioned? The people who pronounced Jesus as the Messiah are missed?

Just something I was wondering, since their stories took place a few days after Christmas, I'd guess about 8 :)


Monday, December 28, 2009

The Gospel According To Lost?

It's a new book that's out. You can see it here:

Now, I love the show Lost. I like how it messes with my mind and makes me ask more questions than they give answers. But I am not going to buy this book.

I am tired of our "be the first" society. We know there's a buck to be made so we hurry to get things out first, not best. The show Lost, it's not done yet. 2010 is the final season. All the questions we have are culminating to the next episodes. But this person is writing a book without getting all the facts. They can't have them, the show is not done yet.

I would rather wait and make sure I have something quality. I guess that's what makes me different from a lot of society (who waits when you have credit cards?) but I would rather have something quality than quick.

And don't think I'm mad at this guy, he's only doing what everyone else is doing. Scene It Star Wars came out before the last movie was made, heck, Scene It Harry Potter after the third movie (when we knew there were seven books). The sad part is, the only reason it works, people buy it...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

The Whole Story

I don't know why this seems to always happen, but around Easter I always seem to be reading the Christmas story in the Bible, and around Christmas the Easter story.

Not knowing the mind of God, my best guess is that He constantly wants to remind me of the big picture. I am very thankful for this time of year, God showed up in all His glory to enter and be a part of our world. But there was a reason for Christmas, Easter. Jesus entered humanity so He could die and rise again for us. Without Easter, Christmas is nothing but a fancy show.

Keep the whole story in mind this season. There's also many years of teaching in between Christmas and Easter people seem to skip...


Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Just wanted to get on quick and say Merry Christmas to everyone! Now, back to the turkey...


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Can You Leave It Behind?

A question for Christmas Eve, since many will be leaving Jesus behind for presents and many other things Christmas related. There's a story in the Bible of a blind man who heard Jesus was coming to town, and also knowing Jesus could heal him, he called out for Jesus. Eventually Jesus asked people to bring this bland man to Him, then this happened.

Mark 10:50 ~ The blind man jumped up, left his coat there, and went to Jesus. (NCV)

This mane left his coat behind. It doesn't seem like much in our culture, but think about it. He would have had one coat. He was a beggar, he was probably lucky to have it. And he doesn't know what it looks like so not only could someone have stolen it, if someone claimed it as theirs he would have no way to tell if they were lying or not. What was probably this man's only possession and necessary to keep warm at night, he threw away at the chance to meet Jesus. Meeting God face to face and being made whole meant more to him than what he owned.

This Christmas Eve, meet with God, and don't worry about the possessions. Merry Christmas.


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

It Took A Second Time

This is one of those stories that always bothers me.

Mark 8:22-26 ~ They arrived at Bethsaida. Some people brought a sightless man and begged Jesus to give him a healing touch. Taking him by the hand, He led him out of the village. He put spit in the man’s eyes, laid hands on him, and asked, “Do you see anything?”
He looked up. “I see men. They look like walking trees.”
So Jesus laid hands on his eyes again. The man looked hard and realized that he had recovered perfect sight, saw everything in bright, twenty-twenty focus. Jesus sent him straight home, telling him, “Don’t enter the village.” (MSG)

One of the first questions I want to ask God when I get to heaven, why did it take two times for this to happen. I refuse to believe that Jesus had trouble healing this person, so what was it? There's no other story where this happens. Some people even are healed by Jesus without Him knowing about it (the woman with the issue of blood touched Jesus' clothes and was healed, Jesus had to ask who touched Him). So why the intermediary "people looking like trees" step? Was the man's blindness healed, but he was near-sighted so Jesus fixed that the second time?

So many questions...


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I Believe Therefore I Am

I woke up thinking about this, what if we treated everything in this manner. After all, some people think they are followers of Christ simply because they believe God is real. Let's see if that works in the rest of the world...

I believe President Obama is a real person, does that make me a Democrat?
I believe satan is real, does that make me a satanist?
I believe football is real, does that make me a NFL player? (if so, someone owes me a paycheck)
I believe Italy is a real place, does that make me Italian?
I believe there is a cosmos outside of our atmosphere, does that make me an astronomer? An astronaut?
I believe chickens are real, does that make me poultry?
I believe it is cold outside, does that make me cold?
I believe in Ecuador it's warm, does that make me hot? Or Ecuadorian? Or both?
I believe the jeans I am wearing are real, does that make me made of denim?
I believe Lorie loves me, is that what makes us married?
I believe Jesus was and is a real person, does that make me a follower of Jesus?

It doesn't work, does it? Believing President Obama is a real person doesn't make me a Democrat, if I joined the party or how I voted determines that. Believing there's an Italy doesn't make me Italian, me living there and holding citizenship in that country determines if I'm Italian. Lorie's love is great, but that's not what made us married, it was a ceremony in which I made a promise to love her and be with her.

Now go back to God, does belief by itself work? I don't think so. What made me a part of the things mentioned above were my choices, how I acted, how I lived, where I made commitments. That's how our faith should work too...


Monday, December 21, 2009

Go With The Flow

Earlier I was reading some of the writings of Lao Tzu (he's the guy who started Taoism). Pretty smart guy, it's all very poetic. But here's what I was reading. He was talking about well known sayings.

And this one also, 'Rolied as a torrent.'
Why roiled as a torrent?
Because when a man is in turmoil how shall he find peace
Save by staying patient till the stream clears?

To explain it in modern day terms, think white water rafting. When you fall out of the boat you are taught not to swim, not to fight the current, not to save yourself. Those things are all dangerous. You are taught to point your toes downstream and ride the current until you get to a safe, calm place.

Tzu is saying the same thing here for life. Sometimes when things seem overwhelming we want to kick and fight it and solve our problems when really, what we should do is be patient and wait out this time of trouble, not making any rash decisions in the midst of the problem.

Smart guy. Not basis of a religion smart (legend has it he was born an old man with white hair and a white beard after being immaculately conceived, I'm not so convinced...)


Saturday, December 19, 2009


I'm not sure if you knew this, but earlier this year Compassion hit a milestone, they had their 1,000,000th child sponsored. To see more, visit here

Keep up the good work, I hope soon we hit 2...


Friday, December 18, 2009

Prayer Of Dedication

Earlier this week Lorie and I were watching the original televised opening of Disneyland. As Lorie said, "It's like we're watching someone's home movie." It was quite fun, especially seeing all the things that we would be experiencing in the world of tomorrow, otherwise known as 1986.

But there was something that struck me. At the opening were all sorts of important people, including actor Ronny Reagan, but people along with Walt like the governor of California. And all of them stood for a moment while a pastor friend of Walt's asked there to be a silent prayer to christen Disneyland (done in silence so no denomination would be biased). Then the governor came forward and asked that God's blessing and love be on this place.

It just made me think, that would never happen today. Today we would never allow that, especially in a public place and on television. But what else is now allowed on television and accepted in public places? Just the other day a kid was sent home from school for drawing a picture of Jesus...

I don't know, maybe we need more public prayers and asking God to be a part of our world, even if it is a fantasyland.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Series Of Moments

it's a quote I heard the other day. "Life is not a series of endings but a series of moments."

it's true. Life never ends. There are things, pieces of your life, relationships, jobs, vacations, who knows what else that are not really a start or end to your life, they are simply a moment in your life. None of them have the power on their own to end our life, only the power we give them.

Some moments are harder, more fun, longer, more important than others, but our lives are made up of all of them. Maybe if we stopped looking at certain hard things as "the end of it all" and instead as simply a moment that is both occurring yet passing things won't bother us so much.

Just a thought.


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Like To Be Disturbed

In my reading, this verse popped out at me and kind of stuck with me today:

Mark 6:20b ~ Herod was disturbed whenever he talked with John, but even so he liked to listen to him. (LB)

I wonder how many people feel that way about church. They like it, but it disturbs them. They know what they should be doing, and they like hearing about what they should be doing, they just don't like being encouraged to do what they should be doing.

Isn't it funny how god's Word can have that effect on our lives? We like it but are disturbed by it at the same time. Maybe that's the power of it, that the Word of God inspires us to be better, which we like but at the same time is also hard.

I don't know. Food for thought.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thank You Ladies

Today I want to give a big thank you to the ladies who help put the Sanctuary back to normal every Monday!!

for those that don't know, we have a group of volunteers who come in every Monday and take attendance sheets, fix hymnals, even take the time to check all the pencils and sharpen any that are dull or broken. Thank you so much!

To me these people are vital for two reasons. One, they do the little things that most people seem not to worry about. Actually, I take that back. No one worries about the little things when they are asked to do them, but they seem to care a whole lot about little things when they aren't done for them.

Which brings me to two, these ladies do it well. They know the importance of doing all things well, especially the little things. Too often we get sidetracked looking at the big picture and wondering how we can make it better all the while ignoring the fact there is no big picture, there are only small components that make up a big picture. If we all focused on doing the little things as well as these ladies do, our church, our world would be a better place.

Thanks again, I appreciate all you do!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Our World

Every once in a while I get a glimpse into our world and wonder "what the heck?"

On Saturday I had the fun job of cleaning and restoring our computer (it got a virus that just did not want to go away). So I did what needed to be done and had to update Microsoft (that little yellow shield in the corner). Of all the updates, most of them, I'd say over 2/3's, were security issues.

Imagine what kind of computing systems we'd have if the software programmers didn't have to spend all their time creating security programs because of people who have nothing better to do with their time than try and mess up computers? How fast/easy/prolific would our programs be if they didn't spend so much memory warding off intruders?

But then again, wouldn't the world be a better place if people simply looked out for people instead of themselves (and thereby harming others)?


The Princess And The Frog

It's the new Disney movie, so of course Lorie and I went and saw it yesterday (we like going to see movies at 2 in the afternoon, there were 8 people in the theater including us).

It was pretty good. Again Disney spun a story that most people know, and I really wanted to go back to Louisiana and get some food after the movie. But all in all it was good.

What amazes me though is how thorough Disney is. After the movie we went and did some Christmas shopping. We decided to stop at the Disney store and see if they had anything for Raymond, a character in the movie. The entire front of the store, all Princess and the Frog stuff. All of it. You could get anything you want for the movie. One girl at the showing before us was even dressed as the princess in the costume that just came out.

I don't know, I just kind of wish the church would operate like this. We have a great story to share, one the is life changing. Disney took a story, presented it well, then gave you the ability to take it home with you. Isn't that what we should be doing?

By the way, I wanted to talk about the movie, but I won't ruin it for anyone. I'll just say it was worth the $6 (another advantage to 2 in the afternoon).


Friday, December 11, 2009

Do You Know The Real Story?

This morning I was reading the original Grimm's version of the fairytale "Cinderella". It's a story most people know, but they know the newer version from which the Disney movie was based off. It was a nice little story, no fairy godmother but a bird living in the tree on the grave of Cinderella's dead mother who gave wishes. And I really liked the part where the wicked step-sisters try to put on the golden shoe the prince used to find his bride, one cut off her toe, the other her heel to try and make the shoe fit.

As I was reading I was thinking about how we so seldom know the real story but we know the version that eventually gets to us after it has been repeated and passed down many times. After all, in our age of "dramatic licence" very few stories are now told as they once were (Disney's "Hercules" is one that always gets me. Kids only know the movie story, they have no idea how awesome the original Greek version is). No, we don't read the original anymore, we listen to someone else tell it, who had listened to someone else tell it, and so on.

The reason I think about this now is Christmas. The story that is told at this time of year is the most often told, acted out, watched, story in the church it seems. But not often read. Last Sunday the Sr. High students had to write out the story from memory and see how well they "really" knew it. We had some parts missing, some parts were added, but hopefully it opened up their eyes to how well they know the true story.

So my challenge this Christmas is to enjoy the movies, the plays, the Christmas sermons, the musicals, and the many other ways you will witness the Christmas story this season. But after it's all said and done, go back to the original. You may be surprised at the true story...


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Where Are We At?

I was reading the parable Jesus told of scattering seeds. It's one I've read a lot of times, but I saw something different today.

Too many times I hear this parable explained wrong (at least I think so). If the seed is God's Message planted in people (which Jesus says it is) then that means all the seeds/soil are people who have at least heard the Gospel, I think they have at least accepted it. So the story is not about four random people who hear about Jesus and only the last one are Christians, all four would be people who at some point gave their life to Christ. The fourth one is the one producing fruit.

Looking at the four then, which one are we? Which one is the church? The first one was the Good News in someone's life, than satan comes and takes it away. If satan took it away, they wouldn't come to church, so that's not us.

The second soil is people who accept the Good News with great joy, but then give up after a short time because the teaching doesn't go deep into their lives. I think there are some people in the church like this, but it's not the majority. In our church at least, many people have been there many years. Maybe they have given up but still show up on Sunday?

Skip ahead. The last seed found good soil, planted roots, grew and produced fruit (it says 30, 60 and 100 times more than the seed). I think there are some people producing fruit in our church, but not many, and not like this. If each person in our church produced one fruit, our church would double, and that's not the case.

So that leaves option three. Mark 4 says the person in this area heard the teaching and accepted it. I think many people in our church are there. But it also says that they didn't go any further. The teaching doesn't grow, it doesn't produce fruit. Instead of focusing on the teaching or the gospel these people focus on the world and all the worries of it. So the third group would be people who believe in Jesus Christ but they aren't doing anything to grow and because of that no one is asking them about their faith and they aren't producing fruit. It's sad, but I think the church in general is at this stage.

But there is hope. As we will be talking about at the Winter Retreat, you can fix soil. You can work soil and add nutrients and make it better to grow food. It just takes work and time. The question is are we willing to make that investment...?


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

It's Not The List

This Christmas I've noticed something I have not noticed this before (not that it hasn't happened before, but I'm more attentive now). People are obsessed with lists. It's all about getting the list of things someone wants for Christmas.

Now I know I did this too. I remember sitting down with the Sears Wishbook (remember those) and circling what I wanted or I remember giving my list to mom so she could farm it out to everyone.

But I was really thinking about this, is that the spirit of Christmas? It's supposed to be a gift, something special from me to you, not a thing on your list so you get what you want.

I still don't know what the balance is for this. I mean, on one hand if I know you and love you, I'd know what you want. Then again, I know I'm crappy to buy for and I have other people in my life like that too, I want to give them a gift but I have clue what the heck to buy!

I don't know. More pondering, but I hope that when we give gifts this Christmas it won't be to scratch something off the list but to actually give a gift.


Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Are We Doing Church Right?

This is not talking about serving or our hearts, discipleship, etc. I am wondering about Sunday morning services, that one (or more) hour of spending time with God. Specifically that thing we call a sermon...

Here's where I got this. Sunday night at our Student Ministry Drink Deep we talked about the importance of story. How storytelling and understanding stories is important to our faith (in this case the Christmas Story). And in this we went through the history of storytelling.

For thousands of years, storytelling was the thing. It was the only way in a community to convey a message, mainly historical, that we connect to in some way. So the Sunday morning sermon made sense. You would get the people in the community together to hear a story about God and have it explained somewhat. For the longest time, books were precious and rare, they had to be written by hand. Even after Gutenberg, still only the rich had books, and only those few who were literate. The idea of gathering together to hear a story was important.

But in our culture, is it? Everyone can read the story for themselves now. Forget reading a story, we can watch a story now! We have plays, TV, movies, we get to see high quality stories in HD all the time. Why would you want to essentially move backward and listen to someone talk and tell stories when we can go see them ourselves (with way cooler special effects)? Why would someone not raise in church, not knowing the importance of the stories want to suddenly want to join that?

I wonder if storytelling in the church will change? Obviously we can't put on a play every week or make church a TV program (where's the sense of community in that?), but what are we going to do? How is church going to keep up? (Even that's a foreign thought. For the last two thousand years the church was the leader in arts, architecture, design, education, etc. What happened there?)

Questions to ponder. No answers. If you have ideas though, I'm open...


Monday, December 07, 2009

Slow People!

I mean this title two ways.

First, people, slow down! It snowed here in Indiana last night. It's awesome. everything is pretty. It's just that right amount of snow for the first snowfall, the tips of the grass are just peeking through. Everything is beautiful, except the entrance to my neighborhood.

While I was shovelling my driveway I saw three people do this. Our neighborhood is on a hill. So what people are doing to get out is they gun their car and go as fast as they can to get to the top then stop suddenly (at the stop sign). Then they gun it again, except they don't go anywhere, they simply spin their tires, creating ice!! They do that until they slide down almost two houses, where they reverse back six more to the bottom of the hill and try it again. People, stop it! You're making it harder for you and everyone else. There was a lady at my driveway when I pulled out so she went down the hill behind me. I simply went up the hill without touching the gas, using fuel injection, nice and slow. And surprise, surprise, I made it. Then I slowly went onto Cumberland Road (our major road nearby) and again, surprise, I made it.

But then, people, stop driving slow! So you try to burn rubber on the snow covered streets, but you go 10 miles an hour on the roads that are paved? As a famous rapper once said, "Move! Get out da way!"

Driving in snow is simple, trust the Canadian who got his learners permit in November. Go slow when there is snow. When it's plowed, drive almost normal (I don't say normal because here in Indiana it's like everyone is a part of the 500...).

But all in all, I enjoy the snow!! I'm happy my wife is happy (she's been wanting snow for so long, part of decorating the house early for Christmas).


Saturday, December 05, 2009

Too Famous

A verse I came across while reading:

Mark 1:45 ~ The man left there, but he began to tell everyone that Jesus had healed him, and so he spread the news about Jesus. As a result, Jesus could not enter a town if people saw Him. He stayed in places where nobody lived, but people came to Him from everywhere. (NCV)

Could you imagine never being able to enter a town because you would be mobbed? I take for granted living in a suburb where I can drive a few minutes and have everything at my fingertips. What about Jesus? He couldn't even stay in a rown like that. Did He have to pack food because He would be staying out in the middle of nowhere? I mean, what did that look like, to be so cut off from everyone when He wanted to rest?

And yet, He still couldn't be alone because people would follow Him out there!

I don't know, maybe being popular can make you more lonely than we think...


Friday, December 04, 2009

How Important Is Christmas?

It's something I've been thinking about today. We have four different stories of Jesus' life, all of which work together to paint a bigger picture of what His life was like and what lessons He taught.

In those four stories, only two of them mention His birth. Did the other two figure the first two got it right so why bother? The miracle of Jesus feeding the 5000 is in all four stories, and they're all pretty much identical. We read of Jesus' baptism by John four times. All four stories spend an in depth amount of time on Jesus' death and resurrection, and every single one mentions something about His life after He was raised from the dead, yet only twice is the Christmas story or the birth of Jesus told.

And there are some amazing things in there. For a couple of hundred years we have no account of an angel talking to a person, yet here it happens multiple times. Other than at the tomb or mentioning spiritual warfare this is the only instance of many angels together, and outside of heaven it's the only mention of angels singing together. Before the sun and moon stood still but never was there a star moving giving direction to travellers to find God. And let's not forget the virgin birth, that hadn't happened before or since!

Why didn't God put it in all four gospels? Why not give a little nudge to Mark and John, "Hey, just put a little something about My birth"?

Or to go deeper, does this mean Easter is twice as important as Christmas (more so if you go by actual number of words used)? What would our world look like if we put twice the effort into our Easter services as we do in our Christmas services? Spent twice as much time/money on advertising Easter as we do Christmas? Had twice the songs to sing and twice the radio stations dedicated to them 24/7 (Lorie's got one on in the other room)? Decorated our houses twice as much for twice as long to represent something so important?

Just thoughts...


Thursday, December 03, 2009

Only When I Struggle

This morning I did what I do almost every morning. I came downstairs and said good morning to our little bunny Clover. You have to say good morning to him because every morning we give him a piece of papaya (it helps with his digestion) and to him it's a treat that he suffers a small addiction to, so if you forget, he will remind you by banging his cage, throwing his ball, anything that makes noise to get your attention and remind you he needs his papaya (I think our bunny has a couple of addictions to his treats...)

After doing this I picked him up and held him and pet him and had a little bit of bunny bonding time (as Lorie calls it). Clover likes being held, but he doesn't like being picked up or put down. When he doesn't feel the comfort of being held tight he gets a little worried. And this morning I found myself saying, "It's okay, I've never dropped you."

But that's not true. I've dropped him. Lots of times. One time I even broke one of his claws and Lorie was worried because he was bleeding and all sorts of trauma ensued. But I said it. And as I was thinking about it I realized something. The only times I drop Clover is when he freaks out and struggles. If he lets me pick him up or put him down, he's fine (like today). But if I start to put him down and he feels scared or a sense of I don't have him, he tries to get to the ground his own way, which doesn't work the best.

I started wondering how often we do that with God. He is holding us. He has us in His hands. But then He moves us ever so slightly. We need to be moved, but it's uncomfortable for us, so what do we do? We kick. We struggle. We claw our way out of His hands. And then we wonder why we hit the ground and we wonder how "God could have hurt us". It's not God. It's us. We have to trust that when things aren't going the way we think they should He is still holding us and we have to keep trusting in His hands. Otherwise we hit the ground...


Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Does It Go Both Ways?

I was reading this passage this morning, and something jumped out at me. See if you can pick it up.

Matthew 27:3-7 ~ Judas, the one who had given Jesus to his enemies, saw that they had decided to kill Jesus. Then he was very sorry for what he had done. So he took the thirty silver coins back to the priests and the leaders, saying, “I sinned; I handed over to you an innocent man.”
The leaders answered, “What is that to us? That’s your problem, not ours.”
So Judas threw the money into the Temple. Then he went off and hanged himself.
The leading priests picked up the silver coins in the Temple and said, “Our law does not allow us to keep this money with the Temple money, because it has paid for a man’s death.” So they decided to use the coins to buy Potter’s Field as a place to bury strangers who died in Jerusalem. (NCV)

Do you see it? I wonder how some people can have two distinctly opposing stances on the same issue and somehow reconcile it in their minds. You have a group of people who believe it is okay to take money from the Temple to pay someone for murder, but they don't think it's okay to take that same money back after the murder. So, the money's not tainted when you want to use it for murder, only after the murder's been done? Wait, that doesn't work either, Judas brought the money back before Jesus died. Hm...

If this is how people of faith operate, no wonder outsiders think they are hypocrites and don't want anything to do with it. We need to do what we can to be lining our faith up with our actions. After all, people can't see our hearts, only the reflection of our heart in our actions.


Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What Do You Get For...

It's a common question this season. I've been asking others, people have been asking it about me (and for some reason I continue to get socks...).

The other day I was talking with a friend and they are having a hard time buying for someone. But it was the question that intrigued me.

"What do you get for the person who pretends they have everything?"

It's a good one. Here in America I wonder what you get people that already have all they need, but this person took it a step further. What do you get people who are portraying the American dream, living in such a way to make you think they have everything?

More of that Christmas spirit drifting away in me... Sorry...