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THE LAST CHRISTMAS?       1982!       DFO 1634
--Excerpts from Our Dinner Talk at Our First Christmas in the Tropix

       "Happy Birthday to You,
       Happy Birthday to You,
       Happy Birthday Dear Jesus,
       Happy Birthday to You!"

PTL! Well, the next verse wouldn't fit the Lord 'cause He's been around a long time & going to be around a long time yet. But I guess we could say,
       "Many happy returns of the day of Thy birth,
       Let sunshine & gladness be given,
       And may the Father prepare us all on Earth
       For a happy birthday in Heaven."

Amen? (Fam: Amen!) PTL! Hallelujah! TYJ!

       2. AS WE PRAISE THE LORD & THANK HIM TOGETHER! (Thanks & Singing for food) Well, we ha' meat & we can eat, huh? As Bobbie Burns' poem goes:
       "Some ha' meat & cannot eat & some can eat that lack it.
       But we ha' meat & we can eat & so the Lord be thankit!"

Amen? Well it's here so I guess we better eat it, huh? PTL! Whom do we have to give credit for the dinner tonight? (Fam: Gem!) Ah, GBH! TYJ! PTL! God bless you Gem! TYJ! We've got to think of a song for the cooks. Maybe we could sing, "We thank thee, O Gem, for this table that's spread." Oh my goodness!

       3. (SINGS:)
       I wish you a merry Christmas,
       I wish you merry Christmas
       And a Happy New Year!"

PTL! Hallelujah! TYL! Amen, amen! (Maria: Oh Gem, this is delicious! Hm! I feel like eating tonight!) Well don't eat tonight, we've got a programme coming! She said she felt like eating tonight! We don't want to eat tonight because we've got a programme coming. I didn't want Mama to eat up tonight. If she eats tonight there wouldn't be any more tonight left! Oh, that's good dressing! If I'd only known that dressing was here I wouldn't have taken so many potatoes!

       4. (FAM: WHY IS IT THAT SOME PEOPLE KNOW THE NAMES OF THE 3 WISE MEN? IS IT IN THE CATHOLIC BIBLE?) Yes, I think it is in the Apocrypha. The Protestants really went to the opposite extreme. Instead of taking what was good & leaving the rest behind, they threw the baby out with the bath water! (To the children) Wouldn't that be crazy to throw the baby out with the bath water? You don't want to throw the baby out, you just throw out the dirty bath water, right? But some people are so crazy they might even throw the baby out with the bath water! (Techi: Does he drown?) Well no, I'm sure he won't ... maybe they'll notice that he accidentally got thrown out & they pick him up. Oh my! I wish I'd never said that. (Techi: Maybe some other Mommy comes along. ...) Yes, who will appreciate him, that's right. (Techi: And takes him home.)

       5. (FAM: IN EUROPE THERE IS A CUSTOM THAT A PRIEST COMES & BLESSES A NEW HOUSE OR APARTMENT, & above the door he writes the names of the three wise men.) I think that's a good idea. I wonder where they get the connection?--Probably because they came when Jesus lived in a house to bless his house. Did they do that in North America at all? Or did you hear the names of the kings at all in North America? (Peter: I did. I heard the names of the kings, I knew that they blessed houses.)

       6. (FAM: THERE'S NO OTHER BOOKS IN THE CATHOLIC NEW TESTAMENT, ARE THERE?) Yes Honey, there are. There are some Apocryphal books which the Catholic Bible itself says are not necessarily inspired but that they are of interest & historical value.--The story of Suzanna & the elders & other interesting things.

       7. COULD YOU TURN THE MUSIC UP? I'd like to hear it, I like music. That's one of my favourites, "Ave Maria," I used to know that whole thing in Latin. Did you ever sing it in Latin? (Fam: No.) Well, I know you didn't, Sara, they didn't sing Ave Maria in the Baptist church!

       8. I THINK THE MOST BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS SERVICE I EVER ATTENDED was at that midnight mass in the Arab Catholic church in Haifa. They're the sweetest Christians over there because they suffered so much persecution. That's one thing that the Jews seldom ever tell you over there. They always play up the fact that Lebanese Christians are fighting wars & killing & murdering & massacring, but they never say a word about all those Christians that live right in Israel, & that most of those Arabs living in Israel are Christians. They don't tell you that. They don't want the Christians of the world to know & sympathise with'm!

       9. ISN'T "AVE MARIA" BEAUTIFUL? THAT'S A HYMN TO MARY, THE MOTHER OF JESUS. That's another thing the Protestants missed, they're so afraid of Mary that they virtually ignore her, except at Christmas. I was beginning to worry that maybe you were trying to teach the children to sing that in Latin. I was fussing at Maria, "Now that's just too much! Some of these songs are tough enough as it is, but that's putting the doorknob too high when you start teaching those poor little kids "Ave Maria" in Latin!"--Ha!

       10. THE MAGNIFICAT IS ANOTHER HYMN THE CATHOLICS SING, BUT THAT THE PROTESTANTS VIRTUALLY IGNORE. They shy away so much from anything that glorifies Mary! Isn't that terrible? The Lord Himself glorified Mary. He's the one that magnified her, the maiden of low degree & all the rest. The Protestants go to the opposite extreme where they don't even honour her at all! (Techi: They say only the Holy Spirit.) Yes! They should honour Mary too because she's the mother of Jesus. I like it. The Lord honoured her, He said some wonderful things about her. He sent Gabriel the angel to talk to her & He gave her Jesus, so she was a pretty important little 16-year-old girl!

       11. (MARIA: THAT WAS A BEAUTIFUL VIDEO ABOUT HER THAT WE SAW RECENTLY.) That was one of the best I've seen. "The Nativity." (Maria: They had an angel appear to both Mary & Joseph just like a light & you didn't even hear him speak, you just heard Mary's responses, "Be it done unto me according to Thy Word," & when the angel appeared to Joseph, he didn't respond audibly. Later he told about this experience.) I thought that was sort of nice in a way that they didn't have the actual appearance of the angel. I think that way of showing the angel was nice, however I think they should've had him speak. (Maria: They should've had the voice.) Yes, I was disappointed about that. But it was very realistic, it was really beautiful!

       12. I'VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A GOOD PORTRAYAL OF JOSEPH'S STRUGGLE THROUGH THAT STEP. It showed the real struggle & the real agony he went through & the talk Mary's father gave to him saying, "Well you'll just have to find room in your heart to trust, if you really love her you'll trust her." It was really good, beautiful!

       13. (COMMENTS ON ALF'S PRETTY CHRISTMAS TREE--taking pix of kids in front of tree:) Now Alf, I hope you get some good videos & photos of the children & the manger scene. Oh that's a pretty shot! Oh I'm so glad you got that, it was just right! You've just got to catch children at just the right moment. The expert professional child photographers use these self-winding motor drives & they just take hundreds of pictures one after another. They just keep taking them because children are very difficult to pose & you never know when they're going to be in a good position!

       14. DO YOU KNOW WHAT SONG WE HEARD ON A TAPE OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC THE OTHER NIGHT? They sang that song "A Child Is Born." It's not about Jesus at all! I think it's about the Antichrist! Most people are so dumb they don't seem to get the point & they sing it for Christmas! It says we don't know whether he's going to be white or black or brown, but someday he's going to bring peace to the Earth, he's somewhere being born & all that kind of stuff. It absolutely could be sung of the Antichrist. It couldn't possibly be about Jesus & yet they sing it for Christmas! It's on one of these Christmas tapes and it has an entirely different spirit to it too. It's pretty but it's really weird. [DELETED]

       15. (DAD & THE CHILDREN SING ALONG WITH THE CHRISTMAS CAROLS ON {\ul \i MOFS}--"We Three Kings of Orient") That used to be my favourite Christmas carol, I really loved to sing it! I love those big deep voices! These children are a real live show! We have our own live Christmas show!

       16. ({\ul \i MOF }PLAYS "ANGELS 'ROUND MY BED.") PTL! HAL! TYJ! (Dad weeps:) Hallelujah! TYJ! PYL! I think I want you to play that at my funeral!

       17. (THE CHILDREN DANCE & PUT ON AN UNREHEARSED CHRISTMAS SHOW.) I like this impromptu show they're giving. Little children just naturally want to dance! It's terrible to be raised in churches that don't approve of dancing! Look what we missed! Why, you were even frowned on if you just danced around the living room floor! It's beautiful, just spontaneous! They just automatically quit when the music stops. All that improvisation it's just amazing! Beautiful performance! (Everyone claps!)

       18. (THE CHILDREN SPONTANEOUSLY START SINGING FOR DAD.) Let's see what they're going to have on their programme, huh? It looks like I can see who is directing the programme! (Techi!) You don't have to hardly give her a second shot, this is her own show tonight. Who taught her to be so dramatic? Did you tell her to be like that? (Sara: I think it's the inspiration!) Just terrific! Come kiss me! This is a command performance for the king! (Techi: Can I have a little tea?) Of course! I'll give you a sip of mine. My oh my, muzzle not the little girl that treadeth out the songs! ILY! You deserve your tea! That was a great show! How many liked the show? (Everyone claps!)

       19. AN IMPROMPTU SHOW!--Just sort of cut her loose & away she goes! She just goes right on, no matter what's happening, the show must go on! You children deserve a refreshment for that, that's for sure! Did you all enjoy the show? (Fam: Amen!) That was really fun, we saw the real live performance! This is the preview, sort of a command performance, a personal appearance of the stars of the (video) show! Lots of times they have the personal appearance of the stars first to promote the show to make you want to see it. Now that's supposed to make you want to see the video show for sure!

       20. THAT WAS A BEAUTIFUL SIGHT!--And as I was watching the children play at the base of the tree with the manger scene, the words suddenly came to me, "The last Christmas." Now that could have a lot of meanings, it's rather ambiguous, "The last Christmas." When you talk about "last Christmas" that was usually a year ago.

       21. CAN YOU REMEMBER WHERE WE WERE LAST CHRISTMAS? (Davida: In Portugal.) We had a pretty tree in Portugal, didn't we? David, can you remember? What was it like there? Did we have a tree? (David: Yes.) I think it was even bigger than this one, wasn't it? And the old gardener brought you children some gifts as I recall, fruit or something. And what was the noise that you heard half the night, the whole valley just came alive with it, besides motor scooters? Every house had what?--A dog!

       22. EVERYBODY HAD A DOG & they would all get to barking at once sometimes. It was something, really!--Especially if it happened about 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning. One dog would start barking & then they'd all start. But you were sound asleep then, so you don't remember that, but Grandpa remembers 'cause I sleep lightly sometimes & I know what's going on in the night. I think that's why I appreciate that song about the angels 'round the bed, because I spend a lot of time alone with the angels while Maria's sleepin'. But she wakes up if I need it. I don't dare get out of the bed or she wakes up. If I even turn over she wakes up! Poor Maria, no wonder she's tired all the time!

       23. DID WE HAVE ANY PRESENTS LAST CHRISTMAS? (Techi: Yes!) What did you get for Christmas? (Techi: We're giving you a present.) Yes, you're going to give me a present. She feels like that's a part of hers: "We're going to give you a present." I think she figures that's as much hers as yours. (David: I got my red car.) You got a red car & the girls had some dollies & you got a little something I got for you there. (Techi: A ducky, ducky, ducky!)

       24. A DUCKY! THAT'S REALLY A LONG TIME AGO! You remembered that from France!--Three years ago, four years ago, think of that! She's going to have a memory like mine, she's going to remember everything that happened. That was the Christmas before last Christmas! (Techi: It's in a little story.) (Dora: It's in a TK.) Ah! That was it, huh? I bet you can even remember back to Christmas at the farm, huh? (David: That was when I got my red car.) Anybody else remember anything special about last Christmas? (Fam: Jewel was there. You were in the middle of making the World Series. We videoed that morning. It was rainy the whole week before, but Christmas day was beautiful sunshine & we videoed outside.) That was a beautiful place, a beautiful memory!

       25. THERE'S ONE THING ABOUT CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS, YOU ALMOST ALWAYS REMEMBER WHERE YOU WERE. That used to be very important to me because we were almost always in a different place each year, & when we try to keep track of where I was I say, "Where was I for Christmas?"--Or it used to be my birthday sometimes. That's one reason I can remember where I was on those early birthdays. Later on we didn't move around so much, we were in Miami & I didn't remember birthdays any more. But I remember Christmas & my birthday near Washington, D.C., when I was five years old!

       26. WELL, WE'VE TRACED IT BACK PAST LAST CHRISTMAS at the Farm. Where were we the Christmas before that?--Nice! We were at the Farm Christmas of '80, we left there in the spring of '81 for South Africa, but Christmas of 1980 we were at the Farm, most of us were. '79 was Nice, right?

       27. CHRISTMAS '78 I'LL NEVER FORGET BECAUSE WE CROSSED THE BORDER FROM SWITZERLAND INTO FRANCE ON CHRISTMAS EVE! The guards wouldn't even hardly look at us! They were standing there having a big conference. It was cold & the two border guards were inside yackety-yacketing to each other. I guess they figured, "Well, why get out in the cold?" Of course we had prayed like everything that they wouldn't come out & inspect passports or anything because I didn't want anybody to know that I was crossing the border. And then one guy finally looked over & just waved his hand for us to drive on.--Never even came out & looked at our passports, never even opened the door!

       28. REMEMBER '78 CHRISTMAS THEN AT VILLE FRANCHE? That was a beautiful house, beautiful place! I think sometimes if I ever get homesick for anywhere, I almost get homesick for France because we stayed there longer than anyplace we've been, & it's such a beautiful place! We really learned to love it there. Techi was born there & we have many happy memories even of Tim there, some sad memories, but beautiful memories of that Christmas! That was our first Christmas in France.

       29. NOW WE'RE GETTING SO FAR BACK THAT DAVID COULDN'T POSSIBLY REMEMBER, although I remember some of those things when I was little. Where were we the Christmas before?--1977. (Fam: Madrid!) Right! Madrid, in Rachel's huge mansion there. Ugh! The most rent we ever paid, a house Rachel picked out, GBH! Well anyhow, we enjoyed it in spite of the rent.--Although really I couldn't enjoy it enough as long as I knew we were paying that kind of rent. But at least dear Rachel did do her little bit of FFing & finally got the rent cut in half & then got that half cut in half. So when we finally left there, why we were doing pretty good, had it down to about where it belonged! That was in Madrid. That's where Maria put the notice on the bulletin board. (ML #1239:31-33) That was '77.

       30. NOW '76! TENERIFE! Can you remember exactly where we were? What house? (Alf: At the Puerto de la Cruz apartment.) Yes, Son, good for you! How did you remember that?

       31. (SARA: HOW CAN ALF FORGET CHRISTMAS!) Ha! Oh me! He's our Christmasy boy! He's as Christmasy as my mother was! Oh my! She just went into ecstasies over Christmas! She was like a little kid & she just had to have Christmas! My sister took after her & then Deborah was just as bad. Yes, we were in Tenerife at the Puerto apartment. (Sara: We went FFing that night!)

       32. AND ON NEW YEAR'S EVE WE GOT FREE TICKETS TO THE NEW YEAR'S EVE BALL WITH ALL THE TOP BRASS & smart wealthy couples, etc. It was expensive, $25 a ticket for dinner & the celebration & the prizes. They gave Maria & I tickets, & only people who had tickets could come. I don't think we saw a soul there we knew, 'cause all our fish & people were not there, couldn't afford the tickets or just didn't come. Maybe they knew what kind of people came on New Year's Eve!

       33. THEY WERE ALL YOUNG SOCIETY COUPLES IN THEIR 30s & 40s, the very kind that stuck up their nose at us & deplored us! We were like a couple of square pegs in a round hole! So we really didn't enjoy it too much! But at least we got up & danced & everybody sort of steered clear of us. We were sort of lepers! They all knew who we were, but they just looked right through us like they didn't even see us, like we weren't even there! The only one who paid any attention to us was the one who gave us the tickets, & that was our dear fish Enrique, the manager of the hotel. And he was very kind to us & tried to introduce us to one or two people! But he soon saw that the people didn't want to meet us! Ha! So he quit! GBH! Anyhow, that was in '76.

       34. CAN WE GO BACK TO '75? THAT WAS DAVID'S FIRST CHRISTMAS! (Sara: Art & Beck & Rachel were there, at Casa Trebol.) How about '74?--Anybody here remember '74? We're really trimming it down! Ha! Well, you've been here, some of you almost ten years! But '74, that's got you all beat 'cause that was our first year in Tenerife & I bet Maria can remember where we had Christmas! We'll never forget that tree! Elaine [EDITED: "an English live-in, non-member, housekeeper"] & Miguel ran out & stole it off the mountain!--Cut it down themselves!

       35. MIGUEL WAS A RICH BOY THAT WORKED FOR THE MAFIA. He was supposed to be a secret policeman, & at the same time he was a double agent with the Mafia! It was absolutely against the law to cut down trees without permission. But he went out one day & came back with a tree in the trunk of his car! I said, "My God, you're going to get us arrested!" Ha! But he pulled it out & brought it to our little apartment, the Cliff House, where Maria & I & Elaine lived, just a month before dear David was born.

       36. ELAINE & HE INSISTED ON DECORATING IT, PREFERRING TO SPEND THEIR CHRISTMAS WITH US! When he was from one of the wealthiest most prominent families of Orotava & knew practically everybody in the valley, & Elaine was well known too, they preferred to spend Christmas with us, of all things, & they insisted on bringing presents & everything! It was really sweet! We were really touched by their love. ...

       37. CHRISTMAS BEFORE THAT, MARIA? IT WAS CHRISTMAS IN LONDON IN '73! We were living alone except for Becky in the little house in Downham. We had no tree that I remember. But do you remember where we spent Christmas?--At the Christmas Eve party!--Dancing at the Regal Ballroom where we met Arthur for the first time! They had a real good Christmas party, & the director & his wife gave exhibition dances, it was a dancing school! They were terrific!

       38. WE REALLY ENJOYED THAT CHRISTMAS EVE PARTY AT THE REGAL BALLROOM! Arthur was immediately taken with Maria, & that was it! From then on he wanted to see her & he came out night after night! (Maria: He was more interested in you!) We sat & talked on the sidelines during the party, & just as a result of that first meeting at the Christmas party he went home & wrote that beautiful poem "The Odd Couple"! As I recall, he was very careful right then, & Maria was sitting on my left as she usually does & he sat on my right. He said he was some kind of extrusion plastics engineer or something & I didn't know what he was talking about. But anyway, that was the night! So that was quite a famous Christmas!

       39. IN '72, JETH, DEB & THE WHOLE SO-CALLED ROYAL FAMILY WERE WITH US FOR CHRISTMAS, & that's the night that Deborah decorated the tree, over-decorated it & made herself sick! I got so fed-up with it I wrote that poem about the only Gift, Jesus, in "Spirit Tree"!

       40. GO BACK ONE MORE, OK?--'71! AND WHERE WERE WE CHRISTMAS OF '71, HONEY? Texoma Park, Oklahoma in deep snow, cold, icicles, camped out alone Christmas day, no tree, no nothing, no kids, no presents, just us! We were Christmas as far as that was concerned! I was Santa Claus & you my present! We were all alone on Christmas Day in Texoma Park, right? (Maria: I didn't mind a bit!) And we did have a white Christmas though, beautiful snow! You saw the pictures of the faucet all covered with ice from drippings & of us out in the snow. ("Book of Remembrance," See pic in No.812:22.)

       41. NOW ONE MORE, '70. THAT WAS A MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS, IN HAIFA, ISRAEL! I'll always remember two things about Christmas there!: The amazing way that, in spite of the fact it is not a Jewish holiday, the Jews have cooked up one called Hanukkah! They even have candles & sometimes a tree, but of course it's not celebrating Christmas, it's celebrating some Jewish feast called Hanukkah! (Fam: Festival of Lights.) Where do they get it out of the Bible? I don't recall any precedent for it in the Bible.

       42. BUT YOU REMEMBER WHAT THAT DEAR OLD FELLOW SAID in that little restaurant on Mt. Carmel? We often went up there & ate dinner, & that dear old fella that spoke English & owned the restaurant leaned over & whispered to us, (Dad whispers) "Merry Christmas!" He said, "It doesn't matter where you are in the World, they all have to celebrate it!" [DELETED] Ha!

       43. (MARIA: DIDN'T WE GO TO A CHRISTMAS PARTY AT THE CONVENT?) Oh yes! The Christian Arabs celebrate Christmas for a whole two weeks like Spain, they have kings & all that sort of thing! At Christmas Eve they had us over to the German Catholic Convent. It was run by some dear old German Sisters who had gotten to know us & were very kind to us. They invited us over for Christmas Eve dinner.

       44. THEY RAN A KIND OF HOSTEL THERE & had a few guests, including this funny ol' American-Jewish woman that was so fed up with Israel. She was tryin' to get out & they wouldn't let her go. She finally raised hell with the Minister of the Interior & threatened to call in the U.S. Government as she was still a U.S. citizen, had a U.S. passport. Ha! She told them, "I'm going to tell'm you're holding me prisoner here in Israel & I'm an American citizen & you won't let me go!"--Because she'd applied for citizenship.

       45. SHE WAS ONE OF THOSE TYPICAL AMERICAN CHRISTIANS WHO THINK, "Ah! The Holy Land! The Promised Land!" And she'd gone there & found out what I did & was sick & fed up with the whole thing! She finally got out, & we helped her a little bit. She left on a boat to go to Australia or somewhere.

       46. ANYWAY, THOSE DEAR SISTERS COOKED US A GOOD DINNER & then we went to that service, Catholic Arab Christian mass. I think that was one of the most beautiful services I ever attended, although we couldn't understand a single word! They had the most gorgeous music though, just beautiful music! So those were our past last Christmases!

       47. SO WHY THOSE WORDS CAME TO ME, I DON'T KNOW. The first thing that came to me was a matter of interpretation. I hope the War's not going to come that soon, that there'll never be another Christmas quite like this, that this would be our last Christmas being able to celebrate like this. I don't know.

       48. SOMETIMES THE LORD LIKES PUZZLES, HE LIKES CONUNDRUMS. He likes mysteries & He can tell you something that you don't even understand. Just like He did a lot of the prophets, He told them great mysteries & gave'm visions & dreams & stories & whatnot, prophecies that they didn't even know what He was talking about! In fact, Daniel didn't know hardly anything about what he was talking about! Some of those later prophecies which he got are only now being revealed to us today!

       49. BUT THE POINT IS, GOD TELLS YOU SOME THINGS IN ADVANCE SO THAT YOU WILL REMEMBER & RECOGNIZE, "Aha! This is what I told you!" when it happens. You'll remember that that is what the Lord told us & warned us of. What if this were our last Christmas? What last Christmas? How? Where? Is it the last Christmas the way we're celebrating it? Is it the last Christmas where we're celebrating? Is it the last Christmas we will be able to celebrate freely & openly?

       50. (TECHI: GRANDPA?) HM? (TECHI: CAN YOU WATCH OUR VIDEO SHOW?) Yes, Honey. Just a minute, OK? I'm just finishing what I'm trying to say. I'm sorry I didn't get it finished quite soon enough. Just a minute, OK? XX! A second minute? OK?

       51. WELL, ANYHOW, THAT'S WHAT I GOT. What does it mean? Well that's up to interpretation, maybe your interpretation. Could it be our last Christmas here? Could it be our last Christmas like this? Could it be our last Christmas before the War? We were praying, Maria & I & some of you I'm sure, that the Lord will give us at least one more year to finish how many major projects?

       52. (PETER: 26 I THINK.)--ABOUT 26 PROJECTS BESIDES THE GNS & FNS. (Peter: The GNs count as one, all the GNs are one out of the 26.) GNs are one project & FNs are another project out of the 26! Besides the regular monthly FNs & GNs, we've got 24 other major projects that Maria has got to finish before the War! So we're praying the Lord will give us a full year.

       53. FROM WHAT I HEAR, THE U.S. IS NOT PLANNING TO INSTALL THOSE MISSILES IN WESTERN EUROPE UNTIL THE END OF 1983. I think the Russians would be fools, they'd be dumber than I thought they were, if they ever allow one of those missiles to arrive, unless they just want to see for sure that they're actually coming! So I don't believe they're ever going to allow those things to be put in place in Western Europe. Do you? I don't see how they could. Why should they?

       54. --NO MORE THAN THE U.S. WOULD ALLOW MISSILES TO BE PLACED IN CUBA! Kennedy threatened a war if the Russians didn't take'm out of Cuba--they already had'm there! A boy we knew in Cuba had written us from Cuba & told us that the missiles were there, that they were building launch pads for them.--That's the wonderful thing about the post, thank God, some letters can get out. Others wrote & told us that they didn't take all the missiles out, but hid some in some huge caves that they have in central Cuba, so they can't be seen!

       55. I'LL BE SURPRISED IF THE RUSSIANS EVER ALLOW ONE OF THOSE MISSILES TO EVER GET THERE TO EUROPE! I believe that would almost be the signal for them to push the button & to figure, "Well, that's it! They won't listen, they insist on getting more missiles here to do more damage & kill more people! We might as well hit the button now when there'll be less damage than there would be if we let them install those!"

       56. SO THIS MAY BE OUR LAST CHRISTMAS BEFORE THE WAR, because if it's towards the end of the year they're going to put those missiles in place, Christmas is the end of the year! Knowing Americans as I do, they'll want to be putting them up during the Christmas holidays like Christmas trees!--Their gift to humanity!--They'll probably like to have the job done & all in place by Christmas, & I doubt if the Russians are going to let'm.

       57. SO WHAT DOES THE LORD MEAN, "THE LAST CHRISTMAS"? Maybe it's our last Christmas like this or here or before the War? I surely hope it's not going to be our very last Christmas on this Earth! I don't expect it to be, because I believe we have a few more years of service, thank the Lord!--But maybe not just like this or not the way we're doing it now or where we're doing it now.

       58. TO ME, THAT'S JUST ONE MORE WARNING THAT WE HAVEN'T GOT MUCH TIME LEFT!--Whether it's our last Christmas here or this way, we need to keep busy, amen? PTL? I would love to look forward to another Christmas just like tonight with all these beautiful songs the children have sung, beautiful! They put on their own little show for us tonight, impromptu, inspired! I really enjoyed it!

       59. THANK YOU SARA & ALL YOU TEACHERS FOR ALL THE GOOD WORK YOU HAVE DONE, teaching them all these songs. I can't help but hear you practising. I told you not to be worried about singing Christmas songs out loud, because the neighbours would expect it.

       60. SO ANYHOW, I'LL JUST GIVE YOU THAT FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH. I was just looking down at the children playing there & looking at the tree & those words came to me: "The Last Christmas." Maybe it's my last Christmas, I don't know. Maybe it's your last Christmas. I don't know whose last Christmas it's going to be! That's the mystery, "The Last Christmas"!

       61. BUT IN ANY EVENT, IT SHOULD MAKE US APPRECIATE THIS CHRISTMAS, AMEN? (Fam: Amen!) And thank the Lord for the comfort & convenience & luxury we have & the freedom & the pleasure & enjoyment of being able to celebrate one more Christmas for Jesus! TTL! OK, shall we pray, & then we'll go upstairs & have our entertainment. We've already had quite an entertainment but we can go upstairs now & see our video! It's a surprise video! (Techi whispers) Excuse me, what Honey? (Techi: Can I lead everybody?) You want to lead everybody upstairs? OK. You & Grandpa will lead everybody upstairs. We'll be the first to leave tonight instead of the last as usual. PTL! Well, in what way this is our last Christmas, I don't know.

       62. SHALL WE PRAY TOGETHER THE PRAYER THE LORD TAUGHT US TO PRAY? (Prays the Lord's Prayer, Ps.19:14, "Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.") In Jesus' name bless & keep us & help us now to enjoy the video that the folks worked on so hard & make it a blessing, Lord. Give us a good night tonight, Jesus. Keep us safely, Lord, until next Christmas, whatever it may bring, in Jesus' name, amen. The last Christmas! TYJ! (Everyone moves upstairs to watch the Christmas video show the children made.)

       63. (AFTER WATCHING THE VIDEO OF THE CHILDREN'S CHRISTMAS SHOW:) Well, this may be our last Christmas in some way, but it's certainly going to be a Christmas we'll never forget! Let me kiss the stars! (Hugs the children.)

       64. (MARIA CLOSES WITH PRAYER:) Thank You Lord for such a beautiful birthday celebrating Thy birth. It seems like it's one of the best ones we've ever had! Every year gets better, & this year, as we've worked so long & hard on gifts (pubs) for You, Lord, we thank You for what a blessing You've made it, & how wonderful an opportunity it is to be able to do something in a small way to show our love for You, Lord.

       65. (WE THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE FOR US, that You sent Your Son down to Earth for us! We thank You for His birthday & His life & His death & all that went into giving us salvation, Lord, eternal life! Help us Lord, to help others to be able to know the freedom & the joy that we have through knowing You. Help us Lord, as we start this next year, to work ever harder & more & sacrifice more & do more for You. Give us the strength to do what You want, lead & guide us & keep us in Thy will, Lord. Give us a good year, whatever comes, that it'll be one that we've lived to the fullest for You.

       66. (AND BLESS THE CHILDREN, LORD. Thank You for this beautiful programme & beautiful show that they did. As they love You & they love us, they were expressing their love for You in doing this beautiful show for Christmas. Thank You for how hard they worked & all those who helped.

       67. (BLESS & KEEP US TONIGHT, & GIVE US A GOOD NIGHT as we go to sleep. We thank You for how You have blessed & protected us, how You always do Lord, & You continue to do it. TYL! In Jesus' name, amen.)

       68. AMEN! THANK YOU LORD, FOR ALL THESE BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS PRESENTS THESE HAVE GIVEN YOU TODAY, this beautiful little Christmas programme that the children & their helpers gave, & the beautiful Letters that the office worked on, & the beautiful meals & beautiful help in every way that everybody here has been to Thee & Thy work, Lord!--All of their Christmas presents here on Christmas Day, Christmas presents for You Jesus! TYL!

       69. WE DON'T HAVE TO HAVE CHRISTMAS PRESENTS OURSELVES BECAUSE WE LIKE TO GIVE OUR CHRISTMAS PRESENTS TO YOU! In Jesus' name, amen! PTL! (Sings: "Christmas Time, Christmas Time," "Happy Birthday to You!") We can even say for Jesus: "Many happy returns of the day of Thy birth, for the sunshine & gladness You've given, & we know the dear Father will prepare us on Earth for a Happy Birthday in Heaven!"

       70. WE'RE GOING TO HAVE CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN ONE OF THESE DAYS! (Techi: We're going to have a big party in Heaven!) That's right! That's a fact! A really big party! The biggest party the World has ever known, Only the World won't even know it because they won't be there, just us! (Techi: And Jesus & all the saints!) And all the saints, all of His children & all of His people that love Jesus! PTL! (Techi: Us & Jesus & the Holy Spirit & the saints & us!) Amen! Amen!

       71. WELL, THIS IS A CHRISTMAS TO REMEMBER, HUH? PTL! We had our own little Christmas in our own little church with our own little Christmas play! PTL! That was beautiful, Sara & all you that worked hard on it! GBY! Amen! Well, we've had prayer. What more can we do? Everyday has to come to an end sometime. All good things must come to an end, except salvation & eternity! ILY! GBYA! And Merry Christmas!

       72. WE CERTAINLY DID HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS! The office & I got a lot of work done today. That was the best Christmas present they could possibly have given me. I gave my Christmas present to the Lord, several Letters today! And you've all given your Christmas presents somehow. GBYA! It may be our last Christmas HERE or this WAY or whatever, but we'll certainly have a beautiful Christmas to remember, amen? God bless you all for making it a beautiful Christmas! (Fam: Oh thank you!) Thank the Lord for everything! PTL! I feel like a king for sure when you all stand around waiting for me to make my exit! Ha! ILY! Maria's a queen for sure! (Fam: Amen!) And Techi's a little princess fit for a king too! GBY all!--Thank God for a very Merry Christmas!--Our "Last Christmas"?

Copyright (c) 1997 by The Family