Posts Tagged ‘Christmas

12
Dec
13

All I Want for Christmas is Humility

C_S_-Lewis-Humility-is-not-thinking-less-of-yourself-but-thinking-of-yourself-less_I’ve been a huge advocate of acronyms since my time in the military. I came across one years ago that has been one of my favorites:  SLICC—self-licking ice cream cone; n. a process, department, institution, or other thing that offers few benefits and exists primarily to justify or perpetuate its own existence.

When I refer to someone as SLICC, it’s not a compliment although, true to form, that person or institution probably thinks that it is. SLICCs aren’t just found in the bureaucracy of the military, they exist everywhere! And the more downtrodden our sense of respect for hard work and humility, the more this trait takes root. The amount of self-aggrandizement throughout the media and everyday life is staggering. I feel like Donald Sutherland in Invasion of the Body Snatchers as I seek to find one truly authentic and humble soul.

When I was a little girl my older sister caught me looking at myself in the mirror and called me conceited. I was mortified and vowed to never spend an inordinate amount of time fixated upon myself. And perhaps this remembrance irritates me the most around Christmas time because self-absorption is the antithesis of the Lord’s arrival.

Christ was born in a manger, an actual feeding trough. He was gentle, he was approachable, he was worthy of all the entitlement and adoration in the universe, yet demanded none. Here’s how you can get your “Christ” on this holiday season and stop considering yourself God’s Christmas Gift to the Universe. That blessed event already took place in Bethlehem several millennia ago.

Stop Quoting Yourself: This includes taking pictures of yourself, otherwise known as selfies. These are a definite no-no in professional settings but equally weird in personal settings. If your LinkedIn profile pic is a selfie, take it down now. I find it strange when people put their own quotes on memes and then put their name on them and then put them on their Facebook page. I can understand if a third-party fan page does this, but for someone to do it on their own seems a bit braggadocious to me.

The Narcissus Syndrome: This egocentrism manifests itself in many forms, but beware of giving one of these birds a microphone unless you’ve got a hook handy and are prepared to use it. If it’s all about you, then just start a cult and hang out with your own special weirdos. Please don’t assume I’m one of them.  I was once at an event where someone was asked to give a two-minute presentation. When the time came, he delivered his assigned talk, and at then proceeded to speak for 15 minutes about his pet project—a topic that was not on the agenda. He finished and the meeting got back on track, but everyone in that room will remember his inappropriate display of self-importance.

My father, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones, was a world-renowned author, speaker, and motivator. If anyone had reason to be a little big for their britches it was him. But his humility was a huge part of his attraction. He knew what Christ had done for him and it was woven through every word he spoke. One of my favorite lines of his is about men who would come up to him and proclaim, “I’m a self made man!” To which he’d retort, “Well, good for you! That relieves God of that responsibility!”

But perhaps the best illustration of humility comes in the form of this anecdote from his speech The Price of Leadership:

Remember the young minister writing his first sermon, spending his time in seminary preparing for that great day when he would stand before the congregation and lower the boom, telling them how to start living. He polished the sermon. He refined it. It was really getting better, week after week, month after month, and then the great day came. After two or three minutes, he realized he was in deep trouble. He began to feel around on the podium for a button he could push that would open the trap door and let him slip out of sight. But there wasn’t any push button. Within five minutes he realized he was whipped and that things were different in real life than they were in seminary. He said a hasty benediction and went down off the platform beaten, broken, and dejected. As he departed the podium, one of the old gray-headed warhorses slipped his arm over the young minister’s shoulder and whispered in his ear, “Son, if you’d have gone up like you came down, you could have come down like you went up.”

Here’s wishing everyone a gloriously blessed Christmas this year. May we all find our stockings and hearts so filled with humility that they overflow far into 2014!

24
Dec
12

my most blessed christmas ever by charlie “tremendous” jones

Baby James and Little CharlesI was nine years old and the depression was still in full force. We came from Alabama and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in a little row home, which my father managed to rent. It was getting near Christmas and my dear dad had nothing to spend for Christmas for his five children ages 1 to 9. In desperation, he went to the bank to try to persuade them that he was a safe risk for a small loan. He explained his predicament, no job, no collateral, and 5 small children with Christmas approaching.

As he should have known, the banker would have to decline his request, but he had an alternative offer for my dad to consider. He explained that if dad could postpone celebrating Christmas a day or two, the children wouldn’t know it and everything would be reduced in the stores. Then he would only need half the amount he was requesting. He said if this was agreeable, he would approve the loan for a smaller amount.

Of course my dad gratefully accepted his offer. That Christmas eve, after we were all in bed, the downstairs front door sprung open. There was a lot of noise and my father rushed down the stairs to see what was happening. I followed a few minutes later and saw him sitting on that bottom step with his head in his hands. I couldn’t understand why he was weeping.

When I reached the bottom step, I could see no one in the hallway, but the hall was lined with boxes. There were boxes of food, clothing, and candy. There was a riding fire engine and a four-foot folding white paneled dollhouse. We didn’t belong to a church and the friends we had were as poor as we were. My dad returned to the bank to repay the loan. The banker surprised my dad by telling him that there was no record of this loan.

I only understood that Christmas experience years later when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. How blessed some of us are to see God’s love working in and through His children. John 3:16 is where this love story begins and those unknown servants were practicing I John 3:16. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, how He laid down His life for us: so that we ought to lay down our lives for others.”

20
Dec
11

my most blessed christmas by charlie “tremendous” jones

I was nine years old and the depression was still in full force. We came from Alabama and settled in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania in a little row home, which my father managed to rent. It was getting near Christmas and my dear dad had nothing to spend for Christmas for his five children ages 1 to 9. In desperation, he went to the bank to try to persuade them that he was a safe risk for a small loan. He explained his predicament, no job, no collateral, and 5 small children with Christmas approaching.

As he should have known, the banker would have to decline his request, but he had an alternative offer for my dad to consider. He explained that if dad could postpone celebrating Christmas a day everything would be reduced in the stores. Then he would only need half the amount he was requesting. He said if this was agreeable, he would approve the loan for a smaller amount.

Of course my dad gratefully accepted his offer. That Christmas eve, after we were all in bed, the downstairs front door sprung open. There was a lot of noise and my father rushed down the stairs to see what was happening. I followed a few minutes later and saw him sitting on that bottom step with his head in his hands. I couldn’t understand why he was weeping.

When I reached the bottom step, I saw no one but the hall was lined with boxes. There were boxes of food, clothing, and candy. There was a riding fire engine and a four-foot folding white paneled dollhouse. We didn’t belong to a church and the friends we had were as poor as we were. My dad returned to the bank to repay the loan. The banker surprised my dad by telling him that there was no record of this loan.

I only understood that Christmas experience years later when Jesus became my Lord and Savior. How blessed some of us are to see God’s love working in and through His children. John 3:16 is where this love story begins and those unknown servants were practicing I John 3:16. “Hereby perceive we the love of God, how He laid down His life for us: so that we ought to lay down our lives for others.”




Tremendous Tracey


CEO Tremendous Life Books. Book Evangelist

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