A Favorite Christmas Story

I love the stories of Christmas! Especially the ones that make me think about the ways it (Christmas) applies to my life. I heard this story many years ago and immediately decided to buy the book. (The copyright on the inside cover dates its release as 1968.)

It’s so important to remember that the gifts we give should have meaning to the people we are giving them to. It’s important to remember how unique and special we are and use those characters and qualities to make life better for others. It’s really important to remember that our God is watching us constantly, caring for us constantly, and loves us… constantly!

Barrington Bunny: A Christmas Story

by MartinBell

ONCE upon a time in a large forest there lived a very furry bunny. He had one lop ear, a tiny black nose, and unusually shiny eyes. His name was Barrington.Barrington was not really a very handsome bunny. He was brown and speckled and his ears didn’t stand up right. But he could hop, and he was, as I have said, very furry.In a way, winter is fun for bunnies. After all, it gives them an opportunity to hop in the snow and then turn around to see where they have hoped. So, in a way, winter was fun for Barrington.But in another way winter made Barrington sad. For, you see, winter marked the time when all of the animal families got together in their cozy homes to celebrate Christmas. He could hop, and he was very furry. But as far as Barrington knew, he was the only bunny in the forest.When Christmas Eve finally came, Barrington did not feel like going home all by himself. So he decided that he would hop for a while in the clearing in the center of the forest. Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. Then he cocked his head and looked back at the wonderful designs he had made.“Bunnies,” he thought to himself, “can hop.” And they are very warm, too, because of how furry they are.” (But Barrington didn’t really know whether or not this was true of all bunnies, since he had never met another bunny.) When it got too dark to see the tracks he was making, Barrington made up his mind to go home. On his way, however, he passed a large oak tree. High in the branches, there was a great deal of excited chattering going on. Barrington looked up. It was a squirrel family! What a marvelous time they seemed to be having.“Hello, up there,” called Barrington.“Hello, down there,” came the reply.“Having a Christmas party?” asked Barrington.“Oh, yes!” answered the squirrels. “It is Christmas Eve. Everybody is having a Christmas party!”“May I come to your party?” said Barrington softly.“Are you a squirrel?”“No.”“What are you, then?”“A bunny.”“A bunny?”“Yes.”“Well, how can you come to the party if you’re a bunny? Bunnies can’t climb trees.”“That’s true,” said Barrington thoughtfully. “But I can hop and I’m very furry and warm.” “We’re sorry,” called the squirrels. “We don’t know anything about hopping and being furry, but we do know that in order to come to our house you have to be able to climb trees.” “Oh, well,” said Barrington. “Merry Christmas.” “Merry Christmas,” chattered the squirrels. And the unfortunate bunny hopped off toward his tiny house.It was beginning to snow when Barrington reached the river. Near the river bank was a wonderfully constructed house of sticks and mud. Inside there was singing.“It’s the beavers,” thought Barrington. “Maybe they will let me come to their Party.” And so he knocked on the door.“Who’s out there?” called a voice.“Barrington Bunny,” he replied.There was a long pause and then a shiny beaver head broke the water.“Hello, Barrington,” said the beaver.“May I come to your Christmas party?” asked Barrington.The beaver thought for a while and then he said, “I suppose so. Do you know how to swim?”“No,” said Barrington, “but I can hop and I am very furry and warm.”“Sorry,” said the beaver. “I don’t know anything about hopping and being furry, but I do know that in order to come to our house you have to be able to swim.”“Oh, well,” Barrington muttered, his eyes filling with tears. “I suppose that’s true–Merry Christmas.”“Merry Christmas,” called the beaver. And he disappeared beneath the surface of the water. Even being as furry as he was, Barrington was beginning to get cold. And the snow was falling so hard that his tiny, bunny eyes could scarcely see what was ahead of him.He was almost home, however, when he heard the excited squeaking of field mice beneath the ground.“It’s a party,” thought Barrington. And suddenly he blurted out through his tears, “Hello, field mice. This is Barrington Bunny. May I come to your party?” But the wind was howling so loudly and Barrington was sobbing so much that no one heard him.And when there was no response at all, Barrington just sat down in the snow and began to cry with all his might.“Bunnies,” he thought, “aren’t any good to anyone. What good is it to be furry and to be able to hop if you don’t have any family on Christmas Eve?”Barrington cried and cried. When he stopped crying he began to bite on his bunny’s foot, but he did not move from where he was sitting in the snow.Suddenly, Barrington was aware that he was not alone. He looked up and strained his shiny eyes to see who was there.To his surprise, he saw a great silver wolf. The wolf was large and strong and his eyes flashed fire. He was the most beautiful animal Barrington had ever seen. For a long time the silver wolf didn’t say anything at all. He just stood there and looked at Barrington with those terrible eyes.
Then slowly and deliberately the wolf spoke. “Barrington,” he asked in a gentle voice, “Why are you sitting in the snow?”Barrington replied, “Because it is Christmas Eve and I don’t have any family and bunnies aren’t any good.”“Bunnies are good,” said the wolf. “Bunnies can hop and they are very warm.”“What good is that ?” Barrington sniffed.“It is very good indeed,” the wolf went on, “because it is a gift that bunnies are given, a free gift with no strings attached. And every gift that is given to anyone is given for a reason. Someday you will see why it is good to hop and to be warm and furry.”“But it’s Christmas,” moaned Barrington, “and I’m all alone. I don’t have any family at all.”“Of course, you do,” replied the great silver wolf. “All of the animals in the forest are your family.” And then the wolf disappeared. He simply wasn’t there. Barrington had only blinked his eyes, and when he looked– the wolf was gone.“All of the animals in the forest are my family,” thought Barrington. “It’s good to be a bunny. Bunnies can hop. That’s a gift. A free gift.”On into the night Barrington worked. First, he found the best sticks that he could. (and that was difficult because of the snow.) Then hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. To beaver’s house. He left the sticks just outside the door. With a note on them that read: A free gift. No strings attached. Signed, a member of your family.”“It is a good thing that I can hop,” he thought, “because the snow is very deep.”Then Barrington dug and dug. Soon he had gathered together enough dead leaves and grass to make the squirrel’s nest warmer. Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. He laid the grass and the leaves just under the large oak tree and attached this message: “A gift. A free gift. From a member of your family.”It was late when Barrington finally started home. And what made things worse was that he knew a blizzard was beginning. Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop. Soon poor Barrington was lost. The wind howled furiously, and it was very, very cold. “It certainly is cold,” he said out loud. “It’s a good thing I’m so furry. But if I don’t find my way home pretty soon even I might freeze!”And then he saw it– a baby field mouse lost in the snow. and the little mouse was crying.“Hello, little mouse,” Barrington called.“Don’t cry. I’ll be right there.” Hop. Hop. Hippity-hop and Barrington was beside the tiny mouse.“I’m lost,: sobbed the little fellow. “I’ll never find my way home, and I know I’m going to freeze.”“You won’t freeze,” said Barrington. “I’m a bunny and bunnies are very furry and warm. You stay right where you are and I’ll cover you up.”Barrington had only two thoughts that long, cold night. First, he thought, “It’s good to be a bunny. Bunnies are very furry and warm.” And then, when he felt the heart of the tiny mouse beneath him beating regularly, he thought, “All of the animals in the forest are my family.” The next morning, the field mice found their little baby, asleep in the snow, warm and snug beneath the furry carcass of a dead bunny. Their relief and excitement was so great that they didn’t even think to question where the bunny had come from. And as for the beavers and the squirrels, they still wonder which member of their family left the little gifts for them that Christmas Eve. After the field mice had left, Barrington’s frozen body simply lay in the snow. There was no sound except that of the howling wind. and no one anywhere in the forest noticed the great silver wolf who came to stand beside that brown, lop-eared carcass. But the wolf did come.
And he stood there.
Without moving or saying a word.
All Christmas Day.
Until it was night. And then he disappeared into the forest.

Blessings to you and yours! Merry Christmas!

Marie

Martin Bell died in 2009 but The Way of the Wolf is still available for purchase and is full of great stories based on the characters of the Bible.

Sackcloth and Ashes of the Heart – Book Review

sackcloth

I was recently blessed with the opportunity to review Sackcloth and Ashes of the Heart. This book is a somewhat new way to do a Bible study. Sheri Caruso opens each week of the 8-week study with an insightful look at one of the churches of Revelation. This is followed by 7 days of verses to contemplate and pray. The unexpected format was a gift because I decided that I would totally immerse myself in the process. I’m so glad I did. 

I chose the book because of its title and expected a great story of someone who had greatly sinned and through a season of repentance and prayer (Sackcloth and Ashes…) was totally forgiven. By the end of the book I discovered that person was me. Praying through the verses each day in my own words helped me understand that not only are the Revelation Churches about individual groups but they have issues that directly apply to me. Wow!

I highly recommend this book to groups and individuals. It is definitely worth the time.

It’s free on Kindle right now! Right here – Sackcloth and Ashes of the Heart

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Capture Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Psalm 19:1

12.5

God loved on me with this beautiful sunrise today! What an artist!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Prayers for Anxiety

Have there been times when you want, really want, to pray the right words but something is blocking it. Of course, you have, we all have. I came across this article by Laura Fleetwood in the Joyful Life Magazine that was tremendously helpful. Check out Prayers for Anxiety.

Prayers for Anxiety

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

A Satisfied Spirit/Marie Bungard is a participant in the Joyful Life Affiliate Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Joyful Life. A small commission is given on products sold through this affiliate link. Every purchase you make through a Joyful Life affiliate link supports this ministry at no additional cost to you.

RE-FORMATION

Which did you choose to celebrate on October 31st? Reformation or Halloween?

I choose to remember the day as the re-formation of the church. On this day in 1517, Martin Luther is said to have nailed the 95 Thesis, which were a list of his grievances against the established church and its practices at that time, to the door of All Saints Church in Wittenburg, Germany. Many new denominations (all worshipping the same Jesus) were part of the result of his action. Most importantly, for me, is the move toward worshipping as the Spirit guides us and not as a governing body says it must be.

Martin Luther had five basic teachings, called sola (solus, soli) that summed up his thoughts. They are still applicable to all Christians today. Sola is a Latin word (the language of the Church at that time) that means alone, only, single, unique. i.e., God’s word, and His Word alone, is the only Word that matters!

SOLA SCRIPTURA – As followers of Christ, we live by the Word (Scripture) and acknowledge that every Word is the breath of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

SOLUS CHRISTUSChrist alone is the Perfector of our faith. Hebrews 12:1-2

SOLA GRATIA – We, in Christ, by His grace alone, are loved, forgiven, and chosen. Romans 3:24

SOLA FIDE – We are justified by faith alone. Faith is God’s work in us, drawing us closer to Him. Because God is working in us, through our faith in Him, we can’t help but work for others. (See Martin Luther’s explanation of faith here.)

SOLI DEO GLORIA – All glory is to God alone! Psalm 115

These are simple truths and we are called to share them as His Disciples.

Make it happen!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

All scriptural links are from Bible Gateway. Check it out!