Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Jeanie Rhodes

Newness giddily excites me. . .

The potential of a pencil, sharpened a moment ago
The crispness of a brand new school tablet
The glossy, untouched surface of a just-opened jar of peanut butter
The heady aroma of fresh-ground coffee
The luxurious smell of the interior of a new car
The thrill of the first day of school every year
The creak of a never-before unopened book

My list could go on and on.

As always, the beginning of a new year excites me. Where will I travel? Who will I meet? What will I accomplish? How will I change for the better? What will I learn? In Matthew 19:26 Jesus said ". . . with God, everything is possible.” Isn’t that exciting?

Perhaps most exciting to me is the newness God promises in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!”

We don’t just get a freshly-sharpened pencil to write our life story; we get a whole new life to write about! We don’t merely sit in the seat of a new car; we begin a joy-ride with God in the driver’s seat! We don’t simply smell the aroma of fresh-ground coffee, we get to drink deep of God’s cup of mercy and forgiveness.

With the feet of happy butterflies dancing along my arms and giving me goose bumps, I welcome the coming of 2012 and all that God will bring and accomplish. How about you, my blogger friend? What excites you about the new year?


 ©2011 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Gift Goes On

“Your orders are free today!” the barista at C&C Coffee said with a huge smile and a merry twinkle in her eye. “Someone bought one of our gift cards and gave it to us to pay for anyone’s order till it’s used up.”

My friend and I looked at each other in surprise. How very thoughtful! And what a wonderful way to start our holiday!

It’s been a week of blessings for me. So many great cooks and bakers brought the fruits of their labors into the church office to share with the staff; Home Depot rushed a Christmas order for FREE; the postman delivered lots of thoughtful Christmas cards inscribed with messages of encouragement; and today the free Decaf Peppermint Mocha. I feel like God has made every day Christmas this week!

The truth is, He has! His gift of forgiveness from our sins is one we can claim every day. Though we set aside this time of year to celebrate God’s gift of His Son for our salvation, the gift goes on and on and on. And it is one we can share with others—and still keep for ourselves! There is no better gift!

I love the words to a song Sandi Patty sang many years ago called “The Gift Goes On” by Ron Harris:

The Father gave the Son
The Son gave the Spirit
The Spirit gives us life
So we can give the Gift of love
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on

Don't you love to get a present
Wrapped up in a Christmas bow
God gave each of us a present
On that night so long ago
It's a Gift that keeps on giving
If our spirits can receive
It's the secret joy of living
If our hearts can just believe

And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on and on and on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on
And the Gift goes on and on and on

When your life is full of Christmas
Then your life is full of love
You can give away the present
That began with God above
Just like ripples in the water
The circles of our love extend
What was started with the Father
Is a gift that has no end.

©1983 Ron Harris Music

Merry Christmas, my blogging friends, and may God pour His greatest blessings on you during 2012!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Legend of the Tabby--Part 2

Painting by Dutch artist Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, c.1550,
The Holy Family By The Fire
The Legend of the Tabby by Pam Williams

Hearing the scratching again, the tabby became instantly alert. She recognized the sound of a rat, come to steal the grain stored there for the few cattle and donkeys housed in the stable.  With the foraging creature never out of her sight, the tabby inched her way down the hay stack to the stable floor.

Intent upon its exploration of the area, the rat did not hear the cat's approach. It scurried over to the sleeping child and sniffed the edge of the manger where a small hand rested. Just as the rat opened its mouth to bite one of the tiny fingers, the cat leaped. With one snap of the feline‘s powerful jaws, the rodent's body went limp and the cat carried it from the stable.

None of the weary humans even stirred.

Returning later, the tabby heard a faint sound and noticed a wee fist waving in the air above the manger. Checking cautiously to be sure the man and woman still slept, she crept hesitantly over to the makeshift crib, sniffing the air for danger as she went.

Placing her front paws on the edge of the feeding trough, she stood on her back feet and peered in. The newborn looked helpless and unprotected. As the child waved his hands erratically in the air, tiny fingers brushed the curious cat's forehead causing her to flee.

Leaping quickly to her favorite resting place, she spent several minutes grooming her shiny coat.  The fur above her eyes felt particularly out of place. She repeatedly licked her front paws and rubbed the spot where the child had touched her.

The infant began to fuss. His insistent cries woke the young woman and she took him in her arms to feed him. The man awakened, too, and brought the woman some breakfast. Satisfied that all was being taken care of, once again the tabby rested her head upon her front paws, curled her tail around her nose, and, with a great sigh, drifted into a deep sleep.

Little did the brave cat know that the child she had protected was no ordinary baby. Though humbly born in a rude and lowly stable, His birth would impact all mankind. The mere touch of His hand had placed a permanent mark on the cat's forehead that no amount of washing could remove. And every tabby to this day carries that same mark on its forehead, an unmistakable "M", for the Messiah the watchful tabby protected that special night.

Merry Christmas!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams
Earlier version published in CATS magazine, December 1994

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Legend of the Tabby--Part 1


The Legend of the Tabby by Pam Williams

As the door to the stable opened, a cool breeze ruffled the cat's striped fur causing her to pull her legs in closer to her body and cover her nose with her ringed tail. Her efforts accomplished little. Raising her head, she sniffed to determine the source of the breeze. Someone was holding the door open. Her curiosity aroused, the tabby cautiously approached the edge of the loft. Crouching down in the straw, she quietly observed from her location high above the stable floor.

A disheveled man with a dark, bushy beard held the door wide for a weary young woman. Speaking softly and soothingly, the man helped his exhausted wife to sit down on a pile of straw. From her position in the loft, the tabby watched the proceedings undetected. The man left the woman only long enough to lead his donkey into a stall and supply some grain for the hungry beast.

Hearing a moan, the cat quickly swiveled her head around and riveted her eyes on the young woman. The man rushed to his wife's side, helping her stretch out on the straw, and covering her with his cloak. Although obviously tired and in pain, the woman seemed to draw comfort from the mere presence of the man hovering over her.

The tabby continued her vigil till well past midnight and then slipped quietly down over the piles of straw and out into the darkness to hunt her dinner. Returning to the stable a while later, the cat began climbing to her perch. A new sound startled her and she stopped abruptly to listen. The noise reminded her of the plaintive cries of a persistent newborn kitten. Creeping over to the edge of the stack, the tabby peered down on the humble scene below. A new family member nestled in an unused manger lined with clean, fragrant straw.

Soon the cries ceased as the baby slept in his makeshift crib. His mother rested close by. The tabby longed to get a closer look at the scene. But the man stood watch over the little family, making sure that both mother and child were comfortable and protected. Growing tired, the tabby folded her legs beneath her and slowly closed her eyes.

A few hours later, a scratching noise from the floor below awakened the sleeping cat. Looking around she noted that the man who had kept watch now slept upon a heap of straw, close to the mother and newborn.

Hearing the scratching again, the tabby became instantly alert. She recognized the sound of a rat. . .

Stop back soon for Part 2 of "The Legend of the Tabby"!
Merry Christmas!

©2011 Pamela D. Williams