Rudolph, Charlie Brown, and The Grinch

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    Growing up, my brothers and I knew for sure that Christmas was near when we got to watch our three special Christmas shows, Rudolph, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and A Charlie Brown Christmas.  There were no DVDs or even VCRs so we made plans to be in front of the television for those three half-hour shows once a year.  As we all prepare to celebrate Christmas, I believe the messages of these Christmas classics also tell the story of Central.
    As we all know, Rudolph, Hermey the Elf, and The Abominable Snow Monster “Don’t Fit In” until everyone sees that their differences make them a valuable part of the community.  Central is made up of some 40 different churches, eight different schools, and hundreds of formal and informal community groups, all with differing theologies, educational philosophies and social preferences.  When it matters, I have always seen Central pull together, set aside differences, and work together.  I look forward to 2014 being a year remembered for Central setting aside all differences and working together to preserve and improve an already great city.
    The Grinch thought he stole Christmas from Whoville, later learning that he only stole the possessions and trappings of the season, not the core values of the Whos.  Central has survived adversity and fought for education and self-determination.  Through each of these circumstances the core conservative values of this community have remained undamaged.  We are a community that values our integrity, sticks to our principles, and takes care of family, friends and neighbors.  I’m proud to explain to my friends across the country that I live in a city where “Conservative” is not just a political label, it is an actual way of life.
    And no Christmas is complete for me without hearing Linus say “…and that’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown.”  Central is, above all else, a community guided by its Christian values.  As a father I am encouraged and thankful that the guidance of generations of committed Christians in our church and this community have helped to set the example that our daughters have chosen to follow.  In an age when the society is encouraging people to put themselves first, I am grateful to live in a community that puts God before self.
    Consider taking a few moments with the kids this week and enjoying the great life lessons taught in Charlie Brown and Rudolph Thursday evening and The Grinch Saturday or Tuesday.  More importantly, take a moment to remember how blessed we are to live and raise families in a great conservative Christian community like Central, and how greatly we have been blessed by our God and His gift to us of His Son.   Merry Christmas.