Home for Christmas

Home for Christmas

"What is it on this day that so drives us to be among loved ones?" -Jamie Buckingham

Stephen Strang wishes you a Merry Christmas and shares stories from his favorite memories of Christmas at the family farm in Michigan to being alone on Christmas at college making him sensitive to the ones who are alone at this time of year.

To honor the memory of author, writer and journalist Jamie Buckingham, Steve reads what Jamie taught him about treasuring family, friends, and the Christmas season. Listen and reflect.

8 Minutes • 5 months ago

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

Stephen Strang

Home for Christmas

In the December issue of Charisma, I shared some of my Christmas memories and also those of my mentor, the late Jamie Buckingham. You know, some of my most memorable Christmases when I was growing up is when we would drive up to the farm in Michigan where my grandparents lived. We lived down in Florida and of course Florida doesn't have white Christmases. My grandparents were getting up in years. They lived on the farm forever. Of course, I had going up there since I was a child. A lot of great memories.

·         Stephen Strang: Being Home for Christmas

Strang Christmas Memories

They were not wealthy people at all. But, it was interesting to go there and see the animals and in the summer ride on the tractor with my dad. At Christmas, of course, it was entirely different. There was almost always snow on the ground. My cousins would come up from Grand Rapids and my other cousins from Chicago. The house would be full of relatives. It'd be full of the smell of food. My grandmother was a great cook. I especially remember her molasses cookies and all the pies that she would make. And while we were up there, we would do a lot of fun things. We would pull each other on a sled or we would sled down a hill. We would also go out, at least we did one year, and find a Christmas tree and chop it down. We brought it in and we decorated the best we could. The ornaments were probably not very fancy, but we would string popcorn on a string and add that to the Christmas tree and sometimes make things out of crepe paper. For us, it was beautiful. But mainly we were together, and we loved each other. My brother and sister, Karen and Paul, they have good memories too. In fact, when it came time for me to write my column, I contacted them and ask them for some of their memories. I never thought that years later I would be writing about it. My grandparents were good people. They weren't particularly warm and fuzzy as I remember, but we knew that they loved us. And my grandmother would pull us close and whisper in our ears that I love you. My grandpa would clown around with us kids and we had a great time. It is great Christmas memories.

Now at Christmas time, my family gathers at our house in Orlando. My mother now is 90. My dad has gone to heaven. My son, Cameron, and his son, Cohen, come over. Chandler comes over. This year my sister-in-law, Rosella, is going to be there with my wife, Joy. We will all get together we'll have great meal will sit around and watch TV and play games. Usually we get a puzzle out and put it together. Always at Christmas before we open the presents and there's always lots of presence, we always stop and read the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2. And I encourage you especially if you have children, to keep Christ in Christmas by doing something like that because it makes a huge impression and it helps us to remember what Christmas is all about.

 

Luke 2: "And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said to them, “Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was with the angel a company of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men” (MEV).

Jamie Buckingham

Note: Jamie Buckingham’s work impacted numerous lives and influenced Christians all over the world. He wrote over 45 books and was an internationally known apostolic and prophetic voice for the Charismatic movement from the early 1970s to the time he died in Feb. 1992. While his books may be what he is most remembered for by the Christians who read them and remember him, his ministry to the local church in Melbourne, Florida, and his love for Israel is where his heart was.

Stephen Strang: Early in my career, I was mentored by the late great writer Jamie Buckingham, who treasured both family and Christmas and I pulled out one of his Christmas columns that he wrote in December of 1982. And he wrote this:

Jamie Buckingham: “What is the day that so drives us to be among loved ones, home for Christmas? Busy businessmen forget about buying and selling, creating and convincing, to lounge around the house with family, things like trade agreements in real estate deals, marketing and sales. They all take a backseat to important things like carving the turkey and opening inane, but precious gifts under a tree.”

Remembering Jamie

Jamie was such a genius with words that I actually quoted part of that Christmas column. And I didn't have room to run the whole thing. And if you are interested in it, you can go to Charismamag. com and read the whole thing. Here's some more of the beauty of his prose. Let me read it for you: 

“Home for Christmas. For many, it is an impossible yearning. In hospitals, while suction cups were and monitors bleep, some fight for their lives. In jails and prisons, men and women lie on rusting steel cots facing concrete walls or stare upward at gray ceilings. All strong and weak alike, finally bury their faces in the mildewed lumpy pillow and cry away today. Home for Christma. In nursing homes, the grand old people of this world reach out for a small group of strangers, with cookies and carols vainly looking for comfort from an indifferent attendant, anyone who might bring a message of comfort and cheer. The words echo through the centuries. God rest ye merry gentlemen. God rest ye, merry?. How can there be any merriment if we're not home for Christmas? Why all this homesickness? Why do the Salvation Army lassies take on an almost saintly hue is they ring their little bells? They, if you do not, will try to provide a home for those not home for Christmas. Could this homesickness be from God himself? Is it possible that Jesus lying on a bed of straw on Christmas Day was homesick? Could it be the memory of heaven still lingered where some of those infant tears, the same tears lonely men and women shed today, tears in memory of home.”

Stephen Strang is the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. He is the author of the best-selling book God and Donald Trump and Trump Aftershock (Front Line Charisma House). Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook at stephenestrang.

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

Stephen Strang

Home for Christmas

In the December issue of Charisma, I shared some of my Christmas memories and also those of my mentor, the late Jamie Buckingham. You know, some of my most memorable Christmases when I was growing up is when we would drive up to the farm in Michigan where my grandparents lived. We lived down in Florida and of course Florida doesn't have white Christmases. My grandparents were getting up in years. They lived on the farm forever. Of course, I had going up there since I was a child. A lot of great memories.

·         Stephen Strang: Being Home for Christmas

Strang Christmas Memories

They were not wealthy people at all. But, it was interesting to go there and see the animals and in the summer ride on the tractor with my dad. At Christmas, of course, it was entirely different. There was almost always snow on the ground. My cousins would come up from Grand Rapids and my other cousins from Chicago. The house would be full of relatives. It'd be full of the smell of food. My grandmother was a great cook. I especially remember her molasses cookies and all the pies that she would make. And while we were up there, we would do a lot of fun things. We would pull each other on a sled or we would sled down a hill. We would also go out, at least we did one year, and find a Christmas tree and chop it down. We brought it in and we decorated the best we could. The ornaments were probably not very fancy, but we would string popcorn on a string and add that to the Christmas tree and sometimes make things out of crepe paper. For us, it was beautiful. But mainly we were together, and we loved each other. My brother and sister, Karen and Paul, they have good memories too. In fact, when it came time for me to write my column, I contacted them and ask them for some of their memories. I never thought that years later I would be writing about it. My grandparents were good people. They weren't particularly warm and fuzzy as I remember, but we knew that they loved us. And my grandmother would pull us close and whisper in our ears that I love you. My grandpa would clown around with us kids and we had a great time. It is great Christmas memories.

Now at Christmas time, my family gathers at our house in Orlando. My mother now is 90. My dad has gone to heaven. My son, Cameron, and his son, Cohen, come over. Chandler comes over. This year my sister-in-law, Rosella, is going to be there with my wife, Joy. We will all get together we'll have great meal will sit around and watch TV and play games. Usually we get a puzzle out and put it together. Always at Christmas before we open the presents and there's always lots of presence, we always stop and read the Christmas story in Luke chapter 2. And I encourage you especially if you have children, to keep Christ in Christmas by doing something like that because it makes a huge impression and it helps us to remember what Christmas is all about.

 

Luke 2: "And in the same area there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And then an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were very afraid. But the angel said to them, “Listen! Do not fear. For I bring you good news of great joy, which will be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign to you: You will find the Baby wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly there was with the angel a company of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men” (MEV).

Jamie Buckingham

Note: Jamie Buckingham’s work impacted numerous lives and influenced Christians all over the world. He wrote over 45 books and was an internationally known apostolic and prophetic voice for the Charismatic movement from the early 1970s to the time he died in Feb. 1992. While his books may be what he is most remembered for by the Christians who read them and remember him, his ministry to the local church in Melbourne, Florida, and his love for Israel is where his heart was.

Stephen Strang: Early in my career, I was mentored by the late great writer Jamie Buckingham, who treasured both family and Christmas and I pulled out one of his Christmas columns that he wrote in December of 1982. And he wrote this:

Jamie Buckingham: “What is the day that so drives us to be among loved ones, home for Christmas? Busy businessmen forget about buying and selling, creating and convincing, to lounge around the house with family, things like trade agreements in real estate deals, marketing and sales. They all take a backseat to important things like carving the turkey and opening inane, but precious gifts under a tree.”

Remembering Jamie

Jamie was such a genius with words that I actually quoted part of that Christmas column. And I didn't have room to run the whole thing. And if you are interested in it, you can go to Charismamag. com and read the whole thing. Here's some more of the beauty of his prose. Let me read it for you: 

“Home for Christmas. For many, it is an impossible yearning. In hospitals, while suction cups were and monitors bleep, some fight for their lives. In jails and prisons, men and women lie on rusting steel cots facing concrete walls or stare upward at gray ceilings. All strong and weak alike, finally bury their faces in the mildewed lumpy pillow and cry away today. Home for Christma. In nursing homes, the grand old people of this world reach out for a small group of strangers, with cookies and carols vainly looking for comfort from an indifferent attendant, anyone who might bring a message of comfort and cheer. The words echo through the centuries. God rest ye merry gentlemen. God rest ye, merry?. How can there be any merriment if we're not home for Christmas? Why all this homesickness? Why do the Salvation Army lassies take on an almost saintly hue is they ring their little bells? They, if you do not, will try to provide a home for those not home for Christmas. Could this homesickness be from God himself? Is it possible that Jesus lying on a bed of straw on Christmas Day was homesick? Could it be the memory of heaven still lingered where some of those infant tears, the same tears lonely men and women shed today, tears in memory of home.”

Stephen Strang is the founder of Charisma and CEO of Charisma Media. He is the author of the best-selling book God and Donald Trump and Trump Aftershock (Front Line Charisma House). Follow him on Twitter at @sstrang or Facebook at stephenestrang.

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Home for Christmas