Wednesday, December 14, 2016





Christmas --- What a Difference a Year Makes?

 
 Borrowing from the Dinah Washington hit from the 50’s (“What a Difference a Day Made”) I decided I would write about how every Christmas is different and then a peculiar thing happened – rather than write it I started to experience it. What I mean by that is all of a sudden I didn’t want to write a Christmas letter this year. And that for me is a first. Now what that does is point out for me, for a variety of reasons, this isn’t like any other Christmas.
  Let me mention some reasons – I’m in a different space, a different place (both in terms of location and in terms of attitude). I now reside at Juliet Fowler Christian Home. The official address is 5810 East Side Avenue, Apartment #F310, Dallas, Texas 75214. For those who pay attention to such things, that’s my new “snail” mail address. It’s a great place and I couldn’t be happier with it. More room, very neighborly neighbors, not that far from my old place and even the Laundromat is located on my floor, a few doors down and an extra bonus – it’s cheaper to use than my old place. Plus the rent here is $3.00 less than my old place and here instead of paying for an efficiency apartment I’ve got a single bedroom. So in way, as far gifts go, God gave me my Christmas present early.
  I had been on the waiting list to get in here since this past Spring so I was elated to be able to get in at last. My church, Wilshire Baptist Church, came through like “gangbusters” when it came time to move. Glad they did because I couldn’t do much of anything besides pack some boxes.
   Which brings me to the “different place” part of my earlier statement -- I’m currently dealing with some heart issues, brought on by an incident that took place in October while I was visiting my pals, The Duckett family, who live in Townsend, MA. This event resulted in my spending five (count ‘em, five) days in Mass. General Hospital in Boston. A fine hospital to be sure, world renown but frankly I would have preferred to skip my visit there altogether. What they discovered is that my heart is not getting enough blood flow and hence not enough oxygen. No surgery possible and so I got loaded up on medication. (Now that’s the “Reader’s Digest” version).
   I’m currently undergoing treatments that require I go spend an hour a day, 5 days a week undergoing a procedure. It’s for 7 weeks and I’m half way through it. Once again Wilshire is helping in a big way. Now all of that aside, I find that this Christmas the reality of one’s mortality, the challenges of dealing with possibly an on going problem and the frustration of not being able to do things for myself that I could normally do most certainly puts me in a different “place”, say from last Christmas.
   And so a question springs to mind and it’s one well worth asking, methinks. Every Christmas is different but is it really? Is it more a question of our perspective on how we feel about Christmas in any given year or does really change from year to year?
   Let’s tackle the basics – throwing out the gifts, the gatherings, the great parties and going to be with family what do we have left. Well, first off it’s about somebody’s birthday, ostensibly. This somebody was reputed to be the Savior of the world and his name was Jesus. His coming was such a big deal that a whole multitude of angels were hired for the occasion and the lowliest (the shepherds) and most noble (Wise men) were let in on the celebration. It wasn’t much of a place to be born, if you’re supposed to be a King – a stable with smelly, dirty animals. However there was a star in the sky that was so bright it could be seen for miles and miles and miles. That’s the basics right – if you’re one who considers himself a believer in Jesus Christ. If not, then your version of Christmas is your version of Christmas and I wouldn’t presume to change your mind about such things in a single letter – not that I could. But if you’re a Christ-follower then what I’ve stated is more or less the basics when it comes to what Christmas is.
  Okay, what about that story has changed? … that’s right, nothing. It’s timeless, it’s God-blessed, it’s forever and it’s what makes Christmas, Christmas.
   So for me, I’m going to do my darnedest to hang to on to that, to let the Spirit of that envelope me, even while I may bemoan the fact that this is not way I would have preferred to feel at Christmas. And believe me, I don’t begrudge anyone who honestly is disappointed in the way they’re feeling at Christmas as compared to past Yuletide celebrations. But let’s all try and not lose sight of the fact that Christmas will always be Christmas as long we remember the story and what the story means and why it’s still worth singing about and sharing. In the meantime … cry if you need to, wish hard if you need to and even moan a bit even if you need to. It’s okay – at least to my mind – but let’s each and all of us hold on fast to the hope – a hope for peace and joy rooted in the forever truth that on that first Christmas “A Savior was born – Christ the Lord.”

Merry Christmas
George Gagliardi, 2016

Saturday, March 26, 2016



Question?


  What does Easter Mean to … you? (or me, for that matter). An interesting question, is it not? Of course how you answer it depends entirely on your belief, or lack of. And I believe that the source of the answer can be broken down into three categories. A – Jesus was raised from the dead. B—Jesus was not raised from the dead. C—Not sure if he was raised from the dead or not, maybe so but then again …
    (I skipped apathy because that sort of speaks for itself. If you don’t care one way or the other, then you don’t. Not a lot you can do with that. So I don’t care about that – and please note the intentional irony there.)
 So we’ll start with C – Not too much to say about that because with that sort of perspective Easter is kind of nice but not all that essential. It’s pleasant but not all that significant. Although folks who feel that way may secretly wish they could believe in the resurrection, they just can’t bring themselves to accept that as a reality.
   However don’t imagine for a moment that many of us who consider ourselves believers are completely free from doubt when it comes to the resurrection. There are still times when we have difficulty with how fantastic the whole notion is – somebody rose from the dead, really? And we’re not talking about Jesus as a zombie. Nope, he wasn’t merely undead, he was as alive as you and I are. (Depending on how alive you feel, I suppose.) So doubters take heart – I’m prone to believe that honest doubt may well be the path to discovering real faith. Or perhaps to put it another way – out of searching, wondering, wandering and questioning sometimes one can catch a glimmer of light. Remember that old spiritual – “This little light of mine” …
  Okay, on to B – Resurrection didn’t happen, it’s a trick, a myth, a scam, a … you may fill in the blank with whatever negative response you see fit. And whereas not all who espouse these thoughts are cynical, angry skeptics, some are. And you know if I believed what they believe I can see how they could get ticked off.
   “To think someone is trying to insult my intelligence, to con me, to take me for a simpleton, to “sell me a bill of goods” and expect me to swallow the whole thing just because they say it’s so – well, I’m not going to do it. Moreover they condemn me because I won’t go along with the deception. They behave in a very hateful way and won’t even bother to hear my side of things. Well, count me out.  I’ve got no use for that sort of attitude.” (By the way, neither did Jesus.)
   For the B folks Easter is, at best, Peter Rabbit, Easter egg hunts, Spring awakening (though not necessarily in Texas), maybe some pastels, pretty flowers and Irving Berlin’s hit song, “Easter Parade”.  It’s nothing much more than that. Sadly, it can’t be, really.
   Here is where I want to point out that this bit of scribbling has not been created to convince you that I’m right and you’re wrong. Nope, that’s not my job and not my purpose in laying out these particular paragraphs. If I truly am to treat you in a Christ like manner then that means allowing you to choose whether to believe or not – not brow beat you into thinking the way I want you to think. Here again – that’s not the way Jesus dealt with folks in His ministry – brow beating was not on His list of how to do things. And since he set the standard, well then …
 Now we come to the A people, people who do believe that Jesus was in fact raised from the dead on Easter morn. For us the event was real. It happened and it was/is life changing. Now I’ll pause a minute or so as to avoid going into “church speak”, lest this part sound like the “pitch” for a bargain I’m trying to get you to buy into.
   Okay, let me digress for a moment.
   When I thought about writing down the preceding paragraphs it was obvious to me that at some point I needed to answer the question for myself “What does Easter mean to me, today?” Remarkable as it may seem, this was not as easy to answer as I thought it would be – short of just giving a kind “knee jerk” reaction. And so here’s my answer to the question I started out with.
  Easter means nothing stops God from doing what He decides to do and that includes death. God has a way of bringing new life out of destruction, despite what it may look like to begin with. Anyone who saw what happened on the Cross when Jesus died would not have stood up and sung “Victory in Jesus”. Not then – but later, after the resurrection they could and would. Easter means the same God who raised Jesus from the dead can raise my spirits when their low, give me hope when it’s hard to find hope, give me a peace that really makes no sense in light of the circumstances, make me believe in the impossible because with Him impossible is just a word and most importantly help me believe that’s God’s big enough to … (fill in the blank.)
   So I’ll leave you with this to ponder –  Jesus being raised from the dead was either the greatest event in human history or it was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the human race. You get to decide. We all do. What does Easter mean to you?

Happy Resurrection Day
George Gagliardi, March 2016



Question?


  What does Easter Mean to … you? (or me, for that matter). An interesting question, is it not? Of course how you answer it depends entirely on your belief, or lack of. And I believe that the source of the answer can be broken down into three categories. A – Jesus was raised from the dead. B—Jesus was not raised from the dead. C—Not sure if he was raised from the dead or not, maybe so but then again …
    (I skipped apathy because that sort of speaks for itself. If you don’t care one way or the other, then you don’t. Not a lot you can do with that. So I don’t care about that – and please note the intentional irony there.)
 So we’ll start with C – Not too much to say about that because with that sort of perspective Easter is kind of nice but not all that essential. It’s pleasant but not all that significant. Although folks who feel that way may secretly wish they could believe in the resurrection, they just can’t bring themselves to accept that as a reality.
   However don’t imagine for a moment that many of us who consider ourselves believers are completely free from doubt when it comes to the resurrection. There are still times when we have difficulty with how fantastic the whole notion is – somebody rose from the dead, really? And we’re not talking about Jesus as a zombie. Nope, he wasn’t merely undead, he was as alive as you and I are. (Depending on how alive you feel, I suppose.) So doubters take heart – I’m prone to believe that honest doubt may well be the path to discovering real faith. Or perhaps to put it another way – out of searching, wondering, wandering and questioning sometimes one can catch a glimmer of light. Remember that old spiritual – “This little light of mine” …
  Okay, on to B – Resurrection didn’t happen, it’s a trick, a myth, a scam, a … you may fill in the blank with whatever negative response you see fit. And whereas not all who espouse these thoughts are cynical, angry skeptics, some are. And you know if I believed what they believe I can see how they could get ticked off.
   “To think someone is trying to insult my intelligence, to con me, to take me for a simpleton, to “sell me a bill of goods” and expect me to swallow the whole thing just because they say it’s so – well, I’m not going to do it. Moreover they condemn me because I won’t go along with the deception. They behave in a very hateful way and won’t even bother to hear my side of things. Well, count me out.  I’ve got no use for that sort of attitude.” (By the way, neither did Jesus.)
   For the B folks Easter is, at best, Peter Rabbit, Easter egg hunts, Spring awakening (though not necessarily in Texas), maybe some pastels, pretty flowers and Irving Berlin’s hit song, “Easter Parade”.  It’s nothing much more than that. Sadly, it can’t be, really.
   Here is where I want to point out that this bit of scribbling has not been created to convince you that I’m right and you’re wrong. Nope, that’s not my job and not my purpose in laying out these particular paragraphs. If I truly am to treat you in a Christ like manner then that means allowing you to choose whether to believe or not – not brow beat you into thinking the way I want you to think. Here again – that’s not the way Jesus dealt with folks in His ministry – brow beating was not on His list of how to do things. And since he set the standard, well then …
 Now we come to the A people, people who do believe that Jesus was in fact raised from the dead on Easter morn. For us the event was real. It happened and it was/is life changing. Now I’ll pause a minute or so as to avoid going into “church speak”, lest this part sound like the “pitch” for a bargain I’m trying to get you to buy into.
   Okay, let me digress for a moment.
   When I thought about writing down the preceding paragraphs it was obvious to me that at some point I needed to answer the question for myself “What does Easter mean to me, today?” Remarkable as it may seem, this was not as easy to answer as I thought it would be – short of just giving a kind “knee jerk” reaction. And so here’s my answer to the question I started out with.
  Easter means nothing stops God from doing what He decides to do and that includes death. God has a way of bringing new life out of destruction, despite what it may look like to begin with. Anyone who saw what happened on the Cross when Jesus died would not have stood up and sung “Victory in Jesus”. Not then – but later, after the resurrection they could and would. Easter means the same God who raised Jesus from the dead can raise my spirits when their low, give me hope when it’s hard to find hope, give me a peace that really makes no sense in light of the circumstances, make me believe in the impossible because with Him impossible is just a word and most importantly help me believe that’s God’s big enough to … (fill in the blank.)
   So I’ll leave you with this to ponder –  Jesus being raised from the dead was either the greatest event in human history or it was the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the human race. You get to decide. We all do. What does Easter mean to you?

Happy Resurrection Day
George Gagliardi, March 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016




As Long as We’re Still Here

The Christmas season has come and gone
It’s time to sing a different song
A song I wrote, a song of hope
That I hope will bring a cup of cheer
For the coming year

Long as we’re still here
Why not live out our own dreams
Those lovely, fragile, precious things
We hold within our heart
As long as we’re still here
Why not take a leap of faith
For endless possibilities
That just might be the key
To making a brand new start
Sure I know sometimes
The past is like a shadow
An unwelcome guest
That’s hard for us to shake
Delighting in reminding us
How often we mess things up
And especially that big mistake
But the past is just that
And I say, if it’s a burden
Why carry it
Go ahead and bury it
And then move on
Long as we’re still here
Although I know it sounds cliché
Tomorrow’s still a brand new day
 Let this be a time of hope
We can live life like life really matters
As long as we’re willing to be free enough
To believe we can change through the power of love
Isn’t it worth a try this year
As long as we’re still here

George Gagliardi, December, 29, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015



Friends,
It’s been one fine year and I could easily take up the bulk of this Christmas greeting with that sort of info but I’m going to keep it short – if not sweet (Though it was very “sweet” for me.) There was a lot of music made and lot of trips taken. There were new songs written, new friends and old friends and yours truly experienced a lot of love from both. There was good health, good food and good times all around. I hope your past year was one of wonderful memories and lots of hugs – in short I hope you were blessed. As I’ve been fond of saying the whole year – my cup has been beyond overflowing. It’s been so full as to have spilled out into the street and I hope, maybe some of those blessings I’ve been able to pass to the world at large. I have quoted this phrase more than once from “It’s a Wonderful Life” but I never tire of feeling the truth of it year after year, Christmas after Christmas – “Here’s to George, the Richest Man in Town”. I feel just like that too.  So here’s a  great big thanks to all of you who make feeling a genuine reality. And now to this year’s contribution, it is my latest foray into a comment on the commercialism of Christmas.

When Mr. Greed Almost Stole Christmas
Mr. Greed was the sort of man
Who could never get enough
Of Food, Clothing, Money
Of Anything at All
Not content with what he had
He constantly craved more stuff
Until one day he got in his greedy head
(For at heart he was a thief)
To make a play, to steal away
A sure money-making holiday
Which was already well on its way
To being in his pocket (as they say)
Some sleight of hand
Some bait and switch
Create tempting illusions
And just like that
Christmas would be his
He’d extol the rewards of big bucks
Over beliefs
And once beliefs were dead and gone
It wouldn’t take too much effort to get
The sheep-like masses, with no regret,
To join together and forget
The simple story, truly quite passe’
Far out of place in these SMART PHONE days
When heads bow not for grace or prayer
But robotic heads are bowed to be
Servants to technology
So Mr. Greed surmised
The child-like fairy tale wouldn’t stand a chance
In a world where God is no more than a word
And for quite a few a word that’s often heard
As a word absurd and not The Word
Now with a world like that how could he ever fail
“I’ll simply steal Christmas, it will be a snap
I’ve got plenty of disciples who will help me spring the trap
One day when they’re least expecting it
I’ll snatch that holiday
It will be a great, cash cow and nothing more
Except a feather in my cap”
So Mr. Greed, indeed was so very sure he would succeed
And he might have done just that
If none had dared to intercede
Or dared to heed the warning signs
But you see Mr. Greed made a fatal error
And flaw he failed to see
It was his failure to perceive a certain truth
Of course with dollar signs for eyes
He couldn’t realize that those who are truly wise
Knew deep in their hearts what mattered
They were not fooled, they dared to believe
They said --- “God is not just a word
Jesus, the one born on Christmas day
Was The Word
And if you think you can take such a life changing event
And stuff it in your wallet or turn it into some outlandish “whatchamacallit”
Well, that’s what we’d call absurd
So you can “take this to the bank”
(So to speak) Mr. Greed,
You’ll never steal Christmas
You’ll never succeed
Though God knows (I mean that literally too!)
That won’t stop you from trying
With your selling, seducing
Scheming and denying
Exalting, like some merchandising monarch,
The supreme sacrament of accumulating more and more
Well, we say, give it up, man
Because as it says in this quote
These three short lines from Mr. Longfellow”

“God is not dead nor does he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men”

So Mr. Greed, you see you’re bound to fail
Because of a basic fact you’ll never understand
For people of Faith --
Some things are not for sale

Merry Christmas
George Gagliardi, December, 2015

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered



Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered

   First off, the title is certainly an apt one for the wordage that follows. I could have entitled it – “Conflicted, Confounded and Confused” but Lorenz Hart (of Rodgers and Hart) did a much better job with his alliteration plus his title is much more sing-able.
   Those of you who have been kind enough to read my semi-annual meanderings are well aware that I write an Easter “letter” every year and have done so for several years. And I had planned to do it again this year but I’ve been experiencing the very challenges indicated by the title. No focus, no ideas, no inspiration, no time – in other words I’ve really and truly been someone in the “no”, these recent days. This, of course, is not the best state of mind to create something positive and uplifting.
   Then I started toying around with a notion. It was a notion that began to evolve piece by piece in my feeble, underused brain. And piece is the correct word. What I’ve come up with is very much like a patchwork quilt with oddly shaped, peculiar designed, multi-colored pieces that may or may not be that lovely to look at – so make of it what you will.(Pun very much intended.)
   I have four distinct “patches” to offer and here they are – Bed bugs, Hosanna, Bad men and a Mother’s love.
   Bed bugs – I’ve had them recently and they are a scourge, an abomination, a nuisance, a plague, an annoyance and that’s being kind. (Great Gagliardi, sorry to hear about your woes but let’s get back to Easter, shall we, hm?) Yes, oh voice that scolds, you’re right in bringing that up. So here’s my take on it.
   My apartment is like a world, in a way, because it’s my world. It’s where I live a good deal of the time. And bed bugs were truly an invasion, a kind of evil that was not invited or welcomed or encouraged and yet there they were. (Happily it appears I can, for now, use the past tense.)  So here we have a real, active curse of evil in my “world”. And suddenly I need some help, big help – the kind of assistance and rescue I cannot do for my self because I’m not equipped to handle it. (By the way, does this begin to sound familiar regarding God’s involvement in individual lives?) Is it that far a stretch to say that just maybe this was a kind of living parable in action? (Albeit an unpleasant one.) I don’t think I’m that far off the beam on this. You decide for yourself if it is. I will say this -- when I hear that old children’s couplet, “Sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite”, I now have a very different take on what that means.
     Speaking of children, my heart was nicely warmed hearing our Wilshire children on Palm Sunday sing Hosanna at the beginning of the service. And what struck me was how simple it was, how basic, how cheerful. There’s something about a child singing “save us”(which is the definition of hosanna) that is moving. They don’t wonder, necessarily, if God will or can or might they just assume he will because He’s God. And maybe they don’t understand the full impact of those words but then again, do we?
    Bad Men – Okay, does it bother anybody else out there or has it ever bothered anybody else that Jesus went through all he went through – suffering, agony, shame, abuse, death --- for the “bad guys” too? I mean the guys that you just wish would evaporate or get “taken out”, ala the Mob. I mean, there some horrible things being done to people by people I can see no good in whatsoever. (Can you say ISIS?) And I’m supposed to believe that Jesus died for them too – and rose again for them too, not just folks who are nice and good and kind?       
   Well, I have to say that really is not an easy pill to swallow. But much like medicine that tastes like a mixture of turpentine and liquid chalk, when we take it, it eventually helps us get better. Now I sure don’t like to take medicine even when I have to. If it was up to me, the “bad guys” would certainly not be eligible for God’s love. Does that sound harsh? It should because it is. Then again sometimes it’s very hard for some of us to say we’re sick and need to be healed. Thank God, He’s the Great Physician.
   A Mother’s Love – I was in our local IHOP, eating a late breakfast, not thinking about much of anything when I glanced up and saw a mother and her little boy leaving the restaurant. The child was holding tightly to his Mom’s hand and I noticed, with some sadness, the child’s left hand was deformed, it hadn’t grown to the right size. Then I saw the young boy smiling as he and his Mom left. And I felt the Spirit speak to me.
     The young boy was smiling because his mother was holding his hand -- he was safe, he was okay, he was loved. If that wasn’t a picture of our Father’s love to us then I don’t know what is. How many times have you and I felt ugly, ashamed, fearful, disheartened until we realized who was holding our hand. And in that moment we somehow knew we’d be okay. He wasn’t going to abandon us and maybe even when we thought we’d let go of His hand, it was only an illusion because He never had let go of ours.
    What does the preceding have to do with Easter? Maybe nothing then again, maybe everything. For if Easter doesn’t belong in the seemingly ordinary stuff of every day life then maybe it doesn’t belong anywhere. Easter has got to be more than a one day purple and gold, happy hallelujah, wear my “Sunday best”, trumpet blaring, organ triumphant, chorale of joy and celebration that happens once a year. Yes, it needs to be all that and more but we need to work at allowing it to flavor our lives every day so that Jesus gets raised up all over again every day that we live.
   I guess if any of this introspection has any value this Easter for me it’s this -- may be it’s this simple. Go on and let Jesus jump out of the grave, surprise me, fill me with wonder and get me all excited about it today, tomorrow, and the day after. Maybe every day is supposed to be Easter… You think?
George Gagliardi  Happy Easter, Ever After

Tuesday, December 9, 2014





Christmas 2014

  This Christmas letter will be a kind of “take off” on the old “good news--bad news” shtick. In light of my hospital visit and what I went through during the Thanksgiving season, it’s a concept that’s fresh on my mind. (For the gory details you can e-mail me or call me but I’m weary of rehashing it by now.) Suffice to say that December 5th was a banner day for me – it was the day I realized I could play the guitar again. Up until then I didn’t know if I’d have the strength and I’m not ashamed to admit I wept out of sheer joy and relief.  And I can truthfully say that next to my heart surgery a few years back this has been one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to deal with.
But as I write this, I’m on the mend, on the way back to being myself again.
   So … are you thoroughly fed up with hearing about my woes? Well, if you’re not, I am.
   Here’s my version of “good news/bad news” – more good than bad, happily.
This year I’ve had moments of both – Highlights on the good side – Going to see Tony Bennett with Ms. Hackett, Jazz Vespers at Wilshire BC, Jesters Show, Charlotte trip, “His Story … My Songs”( Soon to be a CD, I hope), Birthday celebrations both local and in Vegas, “Phineas Peabody’s Magical, Musical, Circus”(My return to do a drama/music workshop in Winnsboro, TX),  Recording session in Cisco, TX with Dave Washburn’s group, Steve Martin concert, Reunion with St. Augustine group in Birmingham, Trip to New England and NYC and of course all the various gigs with the groups I play with – AChord Trio, DW ¾ Fast Jazz Band, Mark McKenzie Quartet, Singapore Slingers, Pocket Sandwich Theater, Nobles of Note, Dallas Banjo Band, Wilshire Winds. And in addition there’s been some new songs.
    As for the bad news --- this recent medical bout was an unwelcome intrusion. I planned to go to visit Wes and Heidi Turner in Columbus, OH, for Thanksgiving but that didn’t happen. However, that particular occurrence is a nice segue into the whole “good news/bad news” balancing act.
    Bad news --- I didn’t get to go to Columbus. Good News – I caught the problem before I left on the trip. Had I been on the train and this stuff would have happened then that would have been a disaster of huge proportions. God’s timing was much better than mine, as per usual.
    And throughout that ordeal I had numerous people to be thankful for – I was well cared for. That’s some darn good news.
   Okay, Gagliardi, thanks for the update on your medical journey but what does this have to do with Christmas.
    Let’s try this on for size, shall we. Think back to the first Christmas and imagine what was going on in the lives of those involved in the now familiar story.
Bad News -- Here’s King Herod who marshals all the might and power of his kingdom to find a couple of teenagers (More than likely the right age for Joseph and Mary) and kill their baby son, Jesus. Good News – God sees to it he doesn’t succeed.
   Or let’s imagine one of the shepherds, we’ll call him Sam, was hoping to be at home asleep on that fateful night but he got “night duty” and had to be there. For him that probably seemed like bad news but  look at what he would have missed --- A massive display of heavenly pyrotechnics with light, sound and more than likely one heck of an orchestra announcing the best news the world had ever heard or will ever hear.
   And let’s not forget Joseph who is told by his soon-to-be wife that she’s pregnant and guess who the Father is? For a young man to hear this would have been “bad news” indeed but the good news is he believed her, he trusted her, he trusted God. You know he didn’t have to. He could have been well within his rights to denounce her and abandon her but he didn’t.
   So this Christmas as you move through the season and you have your share of “good news/bad news” moments just remember it’s always been that way. Even so God has been and is faithful – at least that’s my belief.
   May you have more “good news” events than bad during this season of really “good news” and may God grant you the ability to cope with those bad news moments.

Peace,

George Gagliardi