Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Everywhere, Everywhere, Christmas Tonight!

It is 2:29 AM Mountain Standard Time, and I am just home from Midnight Mass with my dear friend Anoinette Belvedere, one of the most Christ-like people that I am privileged to call "friend." I guess I should go to sleep...but I don't' want to...I don't want to sleep, I want to stay awake and think about Christmas. Christmas teaches us something different every year, every time it comes...it teaches us. This has been a Christmas unlike any other to me. I have learned about God, about the real nature of God. He has been on my mind every moment of every day. I have a quote on my nightstand, I have had it there for many months.
It says
"If men do not comprehend the nature of God, they do not comprehend themselves."
This quote is actually by Joseph Smith, and it has been on my mind every morning and every night for months and months. Years even. And because of the events of this year, I am finally coming to begin, in a very small way, to understand the true character of God.
He is kinder and more willing to grant miracles than we could ever imagine, and grant them more specifically than we could ever dare to hope.
And, even though I knew this very well before, God is no respecter of persons. Not at all. And blessings are not just for the ones who pray. Thank God. They are for us all; for the Catholics and the Jews and the Buddhists and Animists and Islams and Sikhs and the Taoists and Confucianists and Zoroastratists and Calvinists and the Baptists and the Mormons and the Lutherans and Methodists and Jainists and Hindus and Agnostics and Atheists...all of us. God is in all of us. I have felt it, in every part of myself I have felt it, His love, for us all...even...if we do not believe in Him, He still believes in us.

The dawn is rising Christmas in England, and the light will be coming up over Whitehall Street and Big Ben will ring in Christmas Day in that part of the world.
And, as we are being BOMBED with snow outside in Utah , in Cuba, the palm trees bow, in honor of the birth of the Son of God.
And the people there will dance.
Good Night, Christmas Eve.

I leave you with my favorite Christmas Poem, "Christmas Everywhere" by Phillips Brooks

Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
Christmas in lands of the fir-tree and pine,
Christmas in lands of the palm-tree and vine,
Christmas where snow peaks stand solemn and white,
Christmas where cornfields stand sunny and bright.
Christmas where children are hopeful and gay,
Christmas where old men are patient and gray,
Christmas where peace, like a dove in his flight,
Broods o're brave men in the thick of the fight;
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!
For the Christ-child who comes is the Master of all;
No palace too great, no cottage too small.

Good Night, everyone.
Merry Christmas, to us all.
Love, Jeanne Elizabeth Madsen

Friday, December 14, 2007

I passed my Math class

There is a God.

Thou Shalt Not Steal

It has come to my attention that someone has run off with the baby Jesus from our nativity scene.
That's nice.

About 12

About 12 this afternoon, I was speaking with a woman named Carol Brooks. I was actually holding her in my arms and she was sobbing. I had just finished singing with Jennie Larsen for a christmas party at the Senior Center in Payson, Utah. And this dear woman tearfully told me of her story; that she had been an Opera singer 'til she was 19 and then she underwent a surgery that severed her right vocal chord and has not sung a note since. She is now in her 70s. I could not help but cry with her...there are some things in this life that I just do not understand.
"I cannot share it with anyone anymore" she said in her raspy voice...(much crying)..."but I will sing again."
"I will sing with you." I said. She relaxed and after a moment
replied, "I will wait for you."
I marvel at her strength. Thank you, Carol Brooks.
Please do wait for me.