"Who would give someone a partridge in a pear tree?", so when my wife voiced her question, "Who wrote the 12 Days of Christmas" I instinctively G__gled my list of possible answers... I like the very first one I opened... with no claims of validity implied, it's an interesting concept:
The Meaning of...
The Twelve Days Of Christmas
By Tim Knappenberger
"Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel without being frightened in any way by those who oppose you. This is a sign to them that they will be destroyed, but that you will be saved--and that by God. For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. "
In the not-so-tolerant past, music and poetry were often used as media of expression for ideas that were not in fashionable with the contemporary powers that be. Mother Goose rhymes were disguised political commentaries of their day. The Twelve Days of Christmas was written along similar lines. While "surfing", I happened on this history of the carol. There was no author cited:
The English began writing carols in the 15th century, but later the Puritans suppressed these religious songs altogether. After Christmas was restored in England, festive songs praising feasting and good will developed. During this time, Catholics in England could not openly practice their faith. So, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" became popular as a Catechism song for young Catholics, according to Ann Ball's book, "A Handbook of Catholic Sacramentals."
* Instead of referring to a suitor, the "true love" mentioned in the song refers to God.
* The "me" receiving the presents is symbolic of every baptized person.
* The partridge in the pear tree is Jesus Christ, and in the song, He is symbolically presented as a mother partridge who feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings.
The other symbols carry their own religious meanings:
* Two turtle doves: The Old and New Testaments
* Three french hens: Faith, hope and charity
* Four calling birds: The four Gospels
* Five gold rings: The first five books of the Old Testament or the Torah
* Six geese a laying: The six days of creation
* Seven swans a-swimming: The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
* Eight maids a-milking: The eight Beatitudes
* Nine ladies dancing: The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
* Ten lords a-leaping: The Ten Commandments
* Eleven pipers piping: The eleven faithful disciples
* Twelve drummers drumming: The twelve points of belief in the Apostles' Creed
How interesting and sad that a song written to secretly remind Christians about the doctrines of their faith was disguised so well that after 400 years, the secular world more identifies with this carol than do Christians who are mostly unaware of its origins and meanings.
The freedom to exercise our faith in this country is still amazing. Cherish it this Christmas!
por: RMaxT at 12/20/2006
Click To Play
Click To Play
Hey you guys... some of you who have known me for a while [like since the "80's"] will remember a common friend who we referred to as 'Snakey'. Good news travels slow, but you know how rumors go... Danny Martinez (aka Snakey) was assumed or presumed dead, however the news of his demise was greatly exagerated. If you need his email address just drop me a line in the comments of this post, or you can leave comments directly to Snakey and he can read them here on the blog. He is living in Flint Michigan and misses some of the the old gang. He needs our prayers and communications. Thanks and God Bless. [info submitted by Ruben DeLeon, San Antonio, TX and edited by RMT]
por: RMaxT at 12/12/2006
Good morning friends!
This morning my sister sent me this and I wanted to share it with each of you...
Blessings on you for your efforts and dedication in reaching out to those least noticed.
I hope you will take a 2 minute pause to slow down and play this when you are at a time when you can appreciate it.
por: RMaxT at 12/05/2006
You have new Picture Mail!
Originally uploaded by rmaxt.
por: RMaxT at 11/24/2006
por: RMaxT at 11/03/2006
If you've ever seen the Diet Coke and Mento's phenom before... this was their newest exploit...
and while you're pondering the validity of spending that much time on brain distractions.. focus on this and predict what should fill in the next 3 blanks:
Z O T T F F S S _ _ _
If that one was too easy, try this one... (I still haven't figured it out, but my peers have the answer). Post your answer in the comments, and I will make a NOTE of the correct answer:
One is Three, Two is Three, Three is Five, Four is Four, Five is what?
por: RMaxT at 11/03/2006
This is an excerpt from Timothy Eldred (www.praywithyouth.com) regarding the development of youth. As you read it I want to encourage you as you are IN the lives of the kids that it WILL cost... but we will either pay now or pay later... rest assured, we will pay.
WASTING TIME WITH KIDS
October 19, 2006
============= excerpted message from Timothy Eldred follows===========
I know how to waste time. I'm sure a lot of people could give me a run for my money, but when it comes to wasting time I can hold my own. As a matter of fact, I might be considered an expert. Believe it or not, I want you to be an expert, too!
In a recent blog post on All for One, Milton McDonald, from Sydney, Australia, hit the nail square on the head with these words to youth leaders, "Develop the habit of wasting time with your youth." That comment is the context for my opening paragraph. In order to effectively impact young lives, we must learn to waste time with teens.
Just think about the amount of time we really do waste (Can we all say television commercials?). Some people loose many days a year watching advertisements on TV. Of course, there are other time-wasters we could name, but it would be a waste of my time to sit here create a list of them for you.
The point is simple: Relationships change lives. How many hours have slipped away from us (this week alone) that could have been wasted (invested) in someone's life? There are things we do for the sake of ministry we think are important that really are an unfortunate waste of time. They just keep us busy instead of actively engaged. Busy typically takes place behind a desk. It includes too much time alone. Often, busy means planning, preparing, and polishing weekly programs. Why? Are they that effective?
The simplicity of the Gospel and the example of Jesus Christ has been all but lost for the sake of productivity and professionalism. I dare you (triple-dog-dare-you) to stop being efficient for once. Instead, take a chance and begin intentionally wasting time with the people God has placed in your path. That's where real life- change occurs.
Enroll your church in Pray with Youth now.
Because of Jesus,
Christian Endeavor International
Doug Stringer, Founder & Director of Somebody Cares International [http://somebodycares.org] cites the passage in Luke 21:13 as he challenges the Church to prepare to let all these things be an occassion for our testimony.
(LtoR) Pastor John Liotti, Pastor Paul Bains, Mayor Ruben Abrica and Father Goode
Originally uploaded by rmaxt.
John Liotti heads up the Northern California Urban Development Corporation which is founding a Credit Union by East Palo Alto, for East Palo Alto, in East Palo Alto; Pastor Paul Bains is Senior Pastor of St. Samuel COGIC and is of the Bains Family which actually co-founded the city of East Palo Alto; Mayor Ruben Abrica is the cities first Latino Mayor and is a Stanford Graduate who is now teaching in DeAnza Community College; and Father Goode is pastoring the St. Francis of Assissi Parish in East Palo Alto & East Menlo Park.
The evening of October 19, 2006 was the date for a community forum on the ballot issue called Measure C as well as the community need for a full service supermarket. Discussion ranged from choosing a name for the SuperMarket which would not culturally alienate either the Latino(60%), African-American(23%) or Pacific Islanders(8% and growing) to declaring their position on a property tax that would provide both additional Police protection and funding for Community Based programs.
por: RMaxT at 10/19/2006
por: RMaxT at 10/14/2006
Hopefully you will soon be able to read Luis' bio on the website. Congratulations Torres family!
por: RMaxT at 10/13/2006
Someone asked a brilliant question...
Why does evil exist?
maybe the first question to pose would be regarding the existence of evil, or not. The absence of God's goodness could be construed as evil, except that God (who is good) is everywhere. Therefore, evil may only exist in the light of an opportunity for God's magnificence to brightly shine in the moment's of our dependence on Him. . . i think?!
. . . what was the question?
why don't you post your response in the section below... and put a link to your blog, or site or whatever so you can post the same question and get responses from those whom you know, and we can examine the variety of responses across this disparate web of question askers!
por: RMaxT at 10/12/2006
por: RMaxT at 10/09/2006
The steamed clams & mussels were delicious, if not a little cold when they were served. But the Italian fare was genuinely presented in the plaster walled, linen tabled atmosphere of a 'reservations only' class restaurant. Although it was obviously small, the attraction in Capitola was for the local residents. I would highly recommend this to anyone traveling to the Santa Cruz or Capitola area.
por: RMaxT at 10/08/2006
por: RMaxT at 10/07/2006
CoverStory: Marcos Gamez Our good friend of UrbNet is front and center on Moody Bible Institute's web-publication! This is a good example of the rewards of hard work! Click on his name in the link above to go to the full story on Moody's site.
por: RMaxT at 10/03/2006
Well, I looked into the stat counter and noticed that i had a few visitors recently that I may recognize...
* For starters, I wanted to greet my brother in Utah! Glad to see you checked in ABT! Hoping to see ya soon with all your tribe.
* Next, DVULI Rocks! Looking for upcoming opps to connect deeper with DVULI oriented groups around the country
* I am also guessing Pastor Curiel is checking in from Colombia, or maybe someone connected to that ministry... Bendiciones Roosevelt! Espero que estas bien.
* I'm not sure that I know anyone from the Netherlands, Morocco, U.K., Zimbabwe, Tasmania or Hawaii. Across the U.S. it's interesting to consider the searches that wind up at http://rmaxtorres.com
Thanks for visiting... It's been a brief respite being out of tech-connect with the loss of my Treo, but it's gonna change soon....
Again, this blog is a random display of photos (mostly of food) and a smattering of thoughts. The suggested links, however, are awesome blogs/sites that will take you to deep thought, not just dreams! Look in particular at UrbanOnramps, ThomistTacos and GenXCel. Have a hot cup of tea or coffee and a few minutes to put your feet up and your thinking cap on.
I hope you are able to make time to respond in comment form on any or all of these blogs. All of these authors are interested in knowing that they are piquing interest or thought processes in the Blogosphere.
Go forth and cogitate!!! -rumt.
por: RMaxT at 10/03/2006
Well, the interview aired (taped) on Sunday Night in Northern California from 4p-5p. Prayerfully, young people and youth leaders will be encouraged to do what God has called you to be! I particularly want to appreciate Alicia Alanis & KSBJ for the opportunity to do what God has gifted them to be in the Body of Christ. I also want to recognize Tony Lara (Director of Youth Ministries at El Tabernaculo, Houston) and Luis Palomo (Campus Director for the Houston Area Outreach Coalition/Be S.M.A.R.T.) program. Your ministries have been a blessing to my family and I pray for you regularly!
Fiestas Patrias? Yes, we celebrate our culture! Celebrate our homeland?... well, if you're talking about Heaven... you betcha! [CLICK TO PLAY]
Well, this day will be an overview of the Personality Types of the BCM team as discovered using the Uniquely You! method which combines the DISC & Spiritual Gifts analysis... judging from the number of 'yaaahhhhhh' and 'nnooooooooo' remarks I heard, this should be an interesting day... suffice it to say it would have been better if I would have had a Kevlar vest on when I read mine! OUCH! Some of this would have served me well over the past year to help me avoid some of the offenses I have made in serving other parts of the body of Christ!
por: RMaxT at 9/14/2006
On September 27, 2006 the 2006 Hispanic Family Conference will be held at the Grand Plaza Hotel in Houston, Texas. The Hispanic Family Conference is designed to motivate, inspire and educate professionals who serve Hispanic families in crisis. Attendees will gain knowledge and insight into the cultural, educational and socio-economic state of Hispanic families who need assistance to overcome family crisis.
Everardo Savala, Executive Director of the Hispanic Family Initiative hosts this 3rd Annual conference featuring Keynote Speakers:
*Dennis Romero - Director, Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP), United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
*Adam Chavarria - Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans
Guest Speakers will include Educational Directors, News Anchors, City Council, Presidents and CEO's of organizations dedicated to helping Latino families.
For registration information please contact Larry Savala at email@example.com or 832-549-1733. The conference fee is $105.00 but the impact is priceless.
The Luncheon Ceremonies will give occasion to present the 1st Annual Hispanic Family Initiative Award to Cynthia Clay Briggs, Executive Director of Communities in Schools Houston.
The award will be given in honor of the Savala's recently deceased son who was recently murdered in an accident.
This conference will be mentioned in an interview that is pre-recorded to play on Sunday Night on KSBJ this Sept. 17, 2006
This Sunday Night (September 17, 2006 6:00pm CST) the Sunday Night on KSBJ program will feature interviews with several Hispanic guests regarding the Fiestas Patrias celebration & the church reaction to some of that type of events.
The last half hour of the interview is with 'yours truly' regarding that issue and other things relating to Youth Ministry out of the box! Several of your dear friends and mine are mentioned lovingly in this interview, and I hope you are able to go online or listen in your car on your way to/from the Sunday Sites (like home, church, work, etc). The show is being hosted by KSBJ's own, Alicia Alanis (a fan & friend of El Tabernaculo Assembly & CrossRoad Youth). Pass the word and give a listen to the ramblings of an old veteran who desires with all his heart to serve God the best way he knows how. [that's me, not Alicia or any of the other guests :) ]
There's always a pessimist around.. so how many affirmation websites are we gonna have to come up to compensate us for this? Click on the following link...
This is Broken!
Here's someone's 'glass is half-full' attempt: click on the highlighted text below...
Things are Good!
Let me hear from you on the comments section below... click on the word comments under this posting and give your feedback on which one is better...
SEPTEMBER 9, 2006
----- OUTREACH ARCHIVE: I've got a page over at the Outreach Magazine web site. It contains the columns I've written for Outreach this year (five so far). My column is called "Community Onramps." The page is here: Outreach Magazine. The archive includes my latest article, "Overlooking Anyone," from the Sept-Oct issue.
----- HISPANIC JOURNALISTS OF FAITH will gather together for the second annual weekend conference for working Hispanic journalists and journalism students. Date: November 3-5. Location: Florida International University, Miami. Details here: UrbanOnramps
Thanks for your attention.
por: RMaxT at 9/09/2006
I got this forward from my uncle Herb, and I haven't verified the truth of it and whether or not thiss statesman of the faith said it, but what a wonderful story... anyway, you decide.
(if anyone knows of permission required to post this story, just let me know. I'd love to give the proper credit.)
Subject: Fw: B____ G_____
Something heartwarming - nice to see this kind of mail -every now and then......
B____ G_____ is now 86 years old with Parkinson's disease.
In January 2000, leaders in Charlotte , North Carolina, invited their favorite son, B_____ G_____, to a luncheon in his honor.
B____ initially hesitated to accept the invitation because he struggles with Parkinson's disease. But the Charlotte leaders said, "We don't expect a major address. Just come and let us honor you." So he agreed.
After wonderful things were said about him, Dr. G_____ stepped to the rostrum, looked at the crowd, and said, "I'm reminded today of Albert Einstein, the great physicist who this month has been honored by Time magazine as the Man of the Century. Einstein was once traveling from Princeton on a train when the conductor came down the aisle, punching the tickets of every passenger. When he came to Einstein, Einstein reached in his ve st pocket. He couldn't find his ticket, so he reached in his trouser pockets. It wasn't there, so he looked in his briefcase but couldn't find it. Then he looked in the seat beside him. He still couldn't find it.
The conductor said, "Dr. Einstein, I know who you are. We all know who you are. I'm sure you bought a ticket. Don't worry about it." Einstein nodded appreciatively. The conductor continued down the aisle punching tickets. As he was ready to
move to the next car, he turned around and saw the great physicist down on his hands and knees looking under his seat for his ticket.
The conductor rushed back and said, "Dr. Einstein, Dr. Einstein, don't worry, I know who you are. No problem. You don't need a ticket. I'm sure you bought one."
Einstein looked at him and said, "Young man, I too, know who I am. What I don't know is where I'm going.'"
Having said that B____ G_____ continued, "See the suit I'm wearing? It's a brand new suit. My wife, my children, and my grandchildren are telling me I've gotten a little slovenly in my old age. I used to be a bit more fastidious. So I went out and bought a new suit for this luncheon and one more occasion.
You know what that occasion is? This is the suit in which I'll be buried. But when you hear I'm dead, I don't want you to immediately remember the suit I'm wearing. I want you to remember this:
I not only know who I am .. I also know where I'm going."
por: RMaxT at 9/07/2006
Well, if it's not a Full Moon tonight, it's pretty close!
The random craziness of the criminal element always gets focused during that time of the lunar cycle. Suffice it to say that the last 3 days have reminded me that crime doesn't rest. I've been witness to several juvenile crime events (one more recently personal) that remind me that this is a Battle for the Spiritual well being of a generation in America that has been distanced from the Righteousness of God. Well, it's not just America, I lament this situation because it seems paradoxically difficult to restore righteousness in a country which claims to be a Nation built on Godly Principles... it seems as if the foundation is being demolished one brick at a time.
When an ancient prophet, Nehemiah, heard news that the land of his fathers had been laid waste, it grieved him. It really bothered him... and he did something about it. I look around, and a common reaction today is to build a personal life raft and set out into the ocean to save 'me and mine.' How wonderful it would be to see an Ark of Deliverance being built [spiritually AND socially] by those who actually are aware that there is a Hope. Good News has yet to be delivered to some parts of the world, and in some parts where those News Stories have become neglected, ancient history, someone has to resurrect the ancient tribal custom of story-telling.
What a wonder to look for the day when as the story is told to children who will embrace the task of coming alongside their parents in rebuilding their homes, communities, cities, nations... you can hear them say, "Hand me another brick." as they work in the light of a silvery moon.
por: RMaxT at 9/07/2006
Labor Day has a very special significance though... on Labor Day in 1969, I kissed a girl for the very first time! We got married 7 years later (i'll tell you that story some other time) and 37 years since that first Labor Day... Hey! This is my dream! Get your own!
por: RMaxT at 9/04/2006
por: RMaxT at 8/30/2006
por: RMaxT at 8/18/2006
If you are in the Houston Area, bring yourself to 10020 Bauman, Houston on August 23-25, 2006 for an opportunity to get your students plugged into a vision to represent the Life and the Reason for Living!
contact info: Tony 832-264-3167 or firstname.lastname@example.org
worship by: http://f2fworship.com
por: RMaxT at 8/16/2006
Early this morning my phone rang and my wife gave me the news. An altercation had escalated to a shooting and an innocent bystander was shot and killed. My best friend's young son is now dead. 'Lalito' and my sons would often dream and plan on how to make their dads proud. We are proud of our boys! Little Larry lived and loved his family, and we are gonna miss him.
God, thank you for being there when we don't know what to say or do... my help comes from you.
por: RMaxT at 8/16/2006
por: RMaxT at 8/14/2006
por: RMaxT at 8/13/2006
por: RMaxT at 8/12/2006
por: RMaxT at 8/11/2006
It's the quaintest little walk out to the tail of the Continental 737 to board for the 4 hour flight back to Houston. I wonder what they do when it's raining? Guess I'll cross that bridge someday, if God says the same.
tarmac (def.) - abbreviation of tarmacadam; runway or area covered by crushed rock & asphalt
por: RMaxT at 8/11/2006