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  • Writer's pictureLouie Monteith


“. . . nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing." (2 Sam 24:24)

Ever heard of Christmas in July? Well, last July God tells me to take my family to Thailand to celebrate Christmas with the missionaries. Did I hear right? So, I pray about it over the summer and the prospect keeps growing in my heart. I tell Cheryl the idea at the end of September and she has an initial peace about it. Two more family members to go. My daughter Lindsay says she’s interested and Kelsey expresses the same desire. Okay. So far, so good. But then there is a . . .

. . . snag! Lindsay is graduating from Cosmetology school in December and then has to pass State Board Exams. It is announced that the exams are usually around Christmas time. If that is true, we wouldn’t be able to go to Thailand. So, we wait for the letter to come in the mail. And wait. And . . . and . . . Then a new dilemma arises. Kelsey has a recital a few days before Christmas. Does she plan on participating or does she tell her teacher she’s going to be gone? Letter please come. Letter please come! Kelsey keeps taking lessons.

Emerging problem for Dad. It’s now late November and do I book airfare for Thailand or not? It’s getting close to Christmas and the cost is skyrocketing. Hmmm! And Cheryl? She’s starting to think about Christmas and shopping and cards and the eternal list. Anyone seen the mailman?

Hello mailman, how do you do! State Boards are in January. We can go to Thailand!! But now it’s time to count the cost. The airfare . . . ouch! Kelsey has to give up her recital . . . ouch! Lindsay has to dye the color out of her hair to be culturally sensitive . . . ouch (not easy for a punker and a cosmetologist!) Cheryl’s mom has typically spent Christmas with us . . . a further ouch!

And . . . what are our friends and the rest of our family going to say? Furthermore, I’m going to miss my church family and the Christmas Eve service. It’s Christmas and it’s a time for home and hearth. It’s the holidays filled with memories and tradition. You know . . . “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” But now I’m on a plane to sunshiny Thailand and what I’m really hearing from the jukebox in my mind is “I’m Dreaming of a Bright Christmas!”

But it’s Christmas with the missionaries. What a joy it’s going to be to celebrate the birth of our Lord with them. No, it’s not convenient. What a roller coaster it has been. But then I think of our Lord who left His glory to bring the story of the Father’s love for mankind. The Babe born in the barn. The gift. The presence. And . . . the sacrifice. Sweet. Now I think I get it.

Merry Christmas from Thailand!

Louie and fam


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