Notes from Jan


December 23, 2017

A bee buzzes nearby reminding me it probably wasn’t a good idea to spritz orange blossom perfume on my neck this morning. Maybe I should move inside, be safe.

Not this beautiful morning.

Not on the Big Island of Hawaii where I write this twenty-second day of December, so close to Christmas, yet so far away.

The rest of the clan’s gone off to explore one of the five volcanoes on the island. For some reason, I preferred the coziness (Hygge in Danish) of our lanai more than cycling over  lava beds.  My idea of an adventure is looking at pictures of what we used to do and being astonished, or listening to the children and Grands tell tales of their latest treks.  Better to remember and imagine.

Which is something I do a lot of at Christmas, remembering and imagining.

This morning, the lyrics from a hymn nudged me from my slumber, “More Love, O Christ to Thee.” I took it as a God nudge of what I need to be about.

In memory, I hear Basil’s, “Silent Night, Holy Daytime.” In our world, where more than “Shepherds quake,” it’s good to remember why they trembled, “Suddenly God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them.” (Luke 2 in The Message).

That’d do it.

Soon came words, gift wrapped, as only God could, “Don’t be afraid.  You’ve got a Savior.”(Luke 2). Hope from the heavens to those who tremble all over this world: in prisons, beside or in hospital beds, behind rich mahogany desks, along halls of Congress, lined up for clean water or just water, among throngs jostling for meager food rations,  ragmen, women and children, sleeping under bridges, in cardboard boxes,  secluded in penthouses or hidden behind walls on vast estates, wondering when their secrets will escape.

How could God, knowing all this and more, say, “Fear not” to  all us tremblers?

Could it be God’s Good News outweighs the bad? Perhaps God trembled knowing the conditions into which His Son would be born and live. Still God risked and Love acts.

The shepherds, desperate for a Savior, took off running, to see if the possible’d entered their impossible world. And it was  as they’d hoped and heard.

Even in this beautiful setting, I  crave Christ, long for Bethlehem moments, for “more love, O Christ, to thee” less love for stuff and such, for self and all that converges to suck the Life out of life, to blast away the silence of our nights and the holiness of our days.

As I write, birds walkabout the lanai, fearless as I sit mere inches away, feathered reminders to “consider the birds, careless in the care of God”(Mathew 6 The Message)   They remind me of God’s loving care for us tremblers. leaving me  remembering and imagining.

Come with me, all your sheepherders, even if we can’t run, lets inch on to Bethlehem to see with our faith eyes, to believe the unbelievable, once again.

We have a Savior.


Love and peace to you and great gratitude for you.













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  • Reply Wanda Madden December 23, 2017 at 12:11 am

    Jan, I can hardly believe you are on the Big Island! Tim and I live here in Kona just above the YWAM Base. This is the Base we serve on…leading a school that starts Jan 5th. The weather just now is amazing…and we are almost cold….which is a funny thing for someone from upstate New York to say! Please enjoy the time here with your family! Sending you Christmas blessings 🙂

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 3:30 am

      What a surprise! Loving this island and time with the family in such a beautiful setting. Christmas blessings, to you, as well.

  • Reply Dan December 23, 2017 at 1:10 am

    Dear Jan,
    Aloha, shalom, and Maranatha! I praise God for you. Joy and grace in this holy season and in the new year.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 3:34 am

      And to you, Dan, and Kathy. We’ll be in California for Christmas but time here has been good for body and soul.

  • Reply wendy lane December 23, 2017 at 2:12 am

    Merry Christmas dear Jan! So fun you’re in Hawaii! On the top of my bucket list. Have a wonderful time! Much love!

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 3:35 am

      Keep it on your list. It’s worth the wait. Christmas joy to you, Steve and family.

  • Reply Sharon Cushing December 23, 2017 at 2:47 am

    Merry Christmas to you Jan! Have a wonderful time.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 3:37 am

      Thanks, Sharon. So proud of you and Steve…”my Gordon kids.” God’s blessing on the important work you do, helping many find their way to Bethlehem.

  • Reply Bill Thomas December 23, 2017 at 3:07 am

    Jan, you might be right around the corner from my place over there! I’ll be there in January. Blessings on you this Christmas season. Bill T

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 3:40 am

      What a Christmas gift to hear from you Bill! So sorry we’ll miss you. Met folks here from Saskatchewan, Portland, Seattle and Scotland, to name a few. please resend your name email address to me or cell #to: Love to you and your family.

  • Reply Radina Welton December 23, 2017 at 2:20 pm

    Thank you for this! My husband and I shall read it before we feast alone on Christmas Day in snowy Vermont. May you continue to carry your blessed messages to this very needy world throughout 2018. Our prayers are with you and for you. Happy NewYear!

  • Reply Madeline December 23, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Blessed Christmas to and your family Ann Menzie

  • Reply Liz Willis Freemantle December 23, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Jan! I really enjoyed this posting. I am having knee problems and it is giving me the gift of quiet time and introspection as well (but I have more of a Willis attitude about it, i.e., it chafes!!!!). We are in a beautiful sunny clime too and saw a hummingbird just sitting on a branch — not sure I’ve seen any hummingbird this still for so long. For something so tiny, it (he/she) sure exuded a lot of charisma and personality hahaha. Anyway I am aware that I can just be and exude charisma and personality, as can you. Hahaha I am cracking myself up. I love you and am thinking of you! Merry Christmas. — Liz and Ted

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 10:13 pm

      Thanks Liz, for connecting. Heard via Matt that you were heading to a warmer place. Wishing you and Ted and family a holy and wholly wonderful Christmas. Bethlehem’s within reach. Love, Jan

  • Reply Dale Lefever December 23, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Hi Jan,

    You are very pensive. I think the warm islands are a good setting for you and promoting your words of encouragement. Let me know if you have any long-term plans there as I can connect you with a good orthopedic surgeon – think of how this setting would support your rehab. and writing!

    Merry Christmas dear friend, Dale

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      That’s a healing thought. My time share points run out tomorrow…so we’ll all be flying to California to spend Christmas at Heather’s. It’s been good for body and soul to be here. As much as I love this warmth and beauty, I still prefer seasons, with occasional forays into tropical places. Which brings up the gift of our long friendship, a friendship for all seasons. Christmas love to you, Marty and family.

  • Reply Carol Lane December 23, 2017 at 7:38 pm

    You really have a gift with words! Thank you for this beautiful message and I am so happy to picture you in beautiful Hawaii…on the bucket list.

    • Reply Jan Carlberg December 23, 2017 at 10:24 pm

      What a nice surprise to hear from you, Carol. Christmas joy to you and your family. Keep it on your bucket list…it’s worth the long flight…though, we broke it up with an overnite at the airport in California before flying the next day to Hawaii.

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