Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor



December 2011



Every New Christmas

Written by , Posted in faith, life

TOL’s 12 Gifts of Christmas!

Gifts 9 and 10 are up for grabs today! Because my actual story is posted in full at A Deeper Story, things will go a little differently than they have with the previous gifts:

To throw your name in the hat, leave a comment on this post right here. To leave a comment without playing, please visit A Deeper Story and join the discussion there.

I’ll announce the recipients tomorrow evening.

Regular Gift: You interview me for your blog.

White Elephant Gift: I send you the infamous Hot Stuff sign, personalized as I see fit.

(What’s this all about?      Gifts 1 & 2      Gifts 3 & 4      Gifts 5 & 6     Gifts 7 & 8)


'DSC_0650' photo (c) 2011, Ciara McDonnell - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/My dear friend R and I, we have good talks. We each seek the heart of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob– she, through beautiful Jewish sacraments; I, through a renegade Jewish rabbi. And as we seek His heart, we share our own, and it is a joyous, delicate beauty.

In one of our talks, one I will never forget, she confessed:

Sometimes I’m afraid we blew it– that Jesus really was the Messiah, and we missed it.

And I– I who dare speak to her of Jesus-in-the-head versus Jesus-in-the-heart when I am sorely lacking in the latter– I am knocked humble by her humility. And I think of Christmas.


Please continue reading today’s post at A Deeper Story!

  • http://scream911.wordpress.com youhavemyword

    “Sometimes I’m afraid we blew it– that Jesus really was the Messiah, and we missed it.”

    I think we miss it a lot of the time, even though we know He is the Messiah. I think we miss it most times. The beauty of Christ’s love for us, is that it doesn’t matter if we miss it. Well, it matters, but it doesn’t change how much He loves us.

    (A “hot stuff” joke would probably be inappropriate now… I’ll restrain myself)

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Grateful that He is still ready to receive us, no matter what, no matter when.

  • http://susanwritesprecise.com SusanWritesPrecise

    No matter who the Messiah is, was, or will be, I am looking forward to his (or her) appearance (or return) before we make an even bigger mess of the world.

    All the best!


    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I fear the return, in that old, awe-filled sense of the word. (And also, a little, in the current sense.)

  • http://ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman(The Barba)

    ” I, through a renegade Jewish rabbi.” This is a brilliant description. It may not embody the totality of Jesus but it speaks to some parts of Him that we tend to leave out.

    Great post. Thanks.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks, Ken. That aspect of his character is one that I find so fascinating and attractive.

  • http://larryhehn.com Larry Hehn

    Is it wrong that I would be equally giddy about receiving either the regular gift or the white elephant gift?

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Not at all. I’d be equally happy about giving them to you!

  • http://happyhippierose.wordpress.com happyhippierose

    Oh Tamara,

    I live in Hawaii, and it’s 4:25am here. My hubs and I are in the giggly stage of a glitter-filled, gift wrapped, curling-ribbons-is-giving-me-blisters Christmas package prep all-nighter. (was that even a real sentence?). We made the silly mistake of grossly under-estimating just how long it takes to put this all together; I have this hobby of hand decorating the entire inside of packages, and we’ve been doing that times five.

    Okay. So my situation has ZERO relevance to your posting here, or at least none that I’ve intentionally honed in upon and mentioned for the purpose of productive discussion.

    I just want a prize so bad. I really do. So I’m entering here. And I am sure I’ll come back and honestly read later. But right now my hubs is assuming I’m looking up addresses for the dozen or so cards we have left to do (yeah, we’re really that far behind)… so I’m off for now.

    But thanks for doing this super fun game, it’s been exciting and cool and yeah… I just so want to win!!

  • jonstolpe

    Heading over now….

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks for reading!

  • http://theisleofman.blogspot.com Kevin Haggerty

    First off, I can’t tell you how much I’d love to interview for my blog. Whether I win or not, we should work that out. 🙂

    Second, this post makes me sad. Not because of the quality, but the nature and message.

    The world really seems to view the whole “Messiah/Salvation” situation as a best guess scenario. Just pick what feels right. Maybe you’ll nail it. Maybe you’ll miss. We’ll find out and have a good laugh about it in eternity.

    Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. I know it’s trite, but the cheesy Christian bumper sticker, “Eternity’s long, don’t be wrong,” is so true.

    I will be separated from far too many of my friends and acquaintances in eternity because they missed the Messiah.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Hey, Kevin. I’m not sure what of the nature and message of my post makes you sad. It’s about hope. It’s saying that I believe Jesus is the Messiah, the one who rescues me from the grave, from “the shadows of the things that would have been.” And it’s saying that that Messiah is still available to be believed and trusted in.

      • http://theisleofman.blogspot.com Kevin Haggerty

        No, no! You missed me. I got all that and that is absolutely NOT sad. That is the OPPOSITE of sad! ha. I more meant it is sad about your jewish friend who seems to be almost “chancing it.” Maybe I misunderstood. I just know there are a lot of Jewish people and just people, in general, who are more-or-less hoping that Jesus isn’t the Messiah, because it’d mean they were wrong. It made me think of all my unsaved friends and family. Make sense?

        • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

          Ok, good. I was thinking that if that’s not the message I conveyed, then *I* really blew it today!

          What I think is remarkable about R is that she is not hoping against Him; she allows that she could be wrong. And I have deep admiration for her not “chancing it,” but being willing to ask questions and really listen to answers. If I were that humble, I’d likely have a lot more of Jesus-in-the-heart, and my friends would have fewer struggles with who He is because they’d see Him from looking at me.

          • R

            See Tamara? These are the people who make ME sad. So if we don’t all believe the same thing, really, there can be no discourse? I can’t get behind that. I respect you. And you know I respect your ideas about Jesus. Why can’t Kevin play “What if?” Why do people with different belief systems have to go to Hell? This is the only piece I cannot reconcile. What if we are all ashes to ashes? What if there is no Paradise? Would it change how you live?

          • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

            R, you know I appreciate the discourse. Those are good, deep questions. I can’t speak for Kevin, of course, but you know you and I can continue talking privately.

            I continue to be grateful to you for allowing your name and that poignant piece of our conversation to be out in public. You risked much in giving me those permissions. I hope you have not felt attacked or put down in any way; if you have, know that I am here to stand with you. xo

          • http://theisleofman.blogspot.com Kevin Haggerty

            R: I apologize if my comment offended you. Certainly wasn’t my intent. Like Tamara, I also hope you did not feel attacked.

            Regarding your question about playing “What if?” all I can say is that I have played that game. If I hadn’t, my faith wouldn’t mean much. Does that mean I’m done wrestling? No. I probably never will be. But if I can’t get to the point (and I have) where I believe that my faith is not perfect, but what I believe is true, then I have to truly question what I’m doing and why I say it’s what I believe.

            Some would say it’s arrogant to say Christianity is right and all other beliefs are wrong. I don’t look at it that way. I do believe it is the only way, because the Bible states this is the case. I can’t pick and choose. The Bible is true or it isn’t.

            Again, I meant no disrespect. I believe Jesus was sent for both the Jews and the Gentiles.

            Blessings to you. Merry Christmas and Happy Hannukah.

  • http://laurenjeanstm.blogspot.com Lauren Jean

    We had a good discussion about this in my small group the other day, and I found myself amazed all over again at the incredible gift we were given. I mean, not only was it salvation, it was life, love, freedom, and God’s own being. And that is something incredible.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Incredible indeed.

  • http://www.seeprestonblog.com Preston

    Hat throw! Now off to read your inked-out beauty …

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Woohoo! Thanks, friend.

  • http://asoulswalk.wordpress.com asoulwalker

    The thought of Jesus returning often terrifies me. I used to say, “I just hope I’m not doing blow off a hooker’s belly when He comes down in the clouds.” Thing is– everyone always thought it was just a joke. Now, there may not be much of a chance of that happening… but that was never the point of the expression.

    At the same time, I wish it was in five minutes (or less). Maybe it’s because I can’t imagine the world fixing itself… maybe it’s something else. Either way I long for His return in a way that I cannot express in words.

    God made flesh… craziest thing I’ve ever considered.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      It really is incredible– the great I AM in a human body. I cannot wait to see Him with my own eyes.

  • http://amuseorbemused.com JTAdamson

    When I pause to actually consider what happens at Christmas, what the Father gave up, what the Son gave up, what it meant for everyone at that moment when God’s Son identified with us, it is overwhelming.

    Poignant doesn’t even begin to cover it. Amazing.

    Your humility, and your friend R’s humility, are a wonderful testament too.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I’m with you there. And not only what He gave up, but for whom– people like *me.* Not good people. *Me.*

  • http://www.gatebeautiful.ca Bekka

    I always find it interesting to talk with some friends of mine who are Messianic Jews – and they have also spent almost two decades in Israel preaching Jesus. There is definitely some beautiful and fantastic insight from the Jewish community – even if we don’t always agree about the Messiah.

    I loved your post today, Tamara 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I have always been fascinated with the idea of Messianic Judaism. I would love to visit a congregation some day. How cool that you have friends in that community you can listen to and learn from.

  • http:/sarahaskins.com sarahaskins

    Absolutely lovely, Tamara.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks, friend.

  • http://fatherhoodetc.wordpress.com David Ozab

    A beautiful post—glad to be following both you and R on Twitter.

    And though I believe that Jesus is the Messiah I know that I’ve missed him more times than I can count. Walking down the street right past him. Hungry and cold and I never noticed him. I’m trying my best to notice him now.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Yes, my own missing of Him breaks my heart, too. I long for the day I can miss Him no more because I bask in His presence without escape.

  • http://stayoutofmyhead.wordpress.com vixytwix

    A beautiful post Tamara. I liked your reply David. I’m working on my awareness. I have nominated you, Tamara, for the Versatile Blogger Award. Please see my blog for details. Have a wonderful Christmas.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Aw, thank you. Merry Christmas to you!

  • http://reconcilingviewpoints.wordpress.com reconciling viewpoints

    I’d definitely love to have an interview with you for my blog, though the hot stuff tag would be pretty cool too.

    Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating Hannukah with family (sis-in-law married into a Jewish family), which is always a blast – my youngest especially looks forward to playing the dreidle game. I like the parallels between Christmas and Hannukah — the Jews celebrating the festival of lights while the Christians celebrate the light coming into the world. I also just read a commentary that noted the importance of Hannukah to Christians: if the Maccabean revolt hadn’t succeeded, the temple/religious culture that Jesus was born into wouldn’t have existed.

    Gotta go read your full post…. I’d sure love to win one of these gifts….

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Those are cool connections. Have a wonderful time with your family! And good luck on the gifts!

  • Anonymous

    “Sometimes I’m afraid we blew it– that Jesus really was the Messiah, and we missed it.”
    I often get that feeling in my heart such is the weight of faith – never seem up to it. Especially with people who been bereaved – the emptiness in their eyes – how can you touch that void.
    I’m taking a Quiet Heart Carol Service tomorrow for people who’ve lost a loved one – can I read your poem Running at it? Would you mind?
    Great stuff.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      That sounds like a lovely, peaceful service. I’d be honored to have my words read there.

      • Anonymous

        Hi Tamara,
        Thanks for that. Service went really well, and a number of people connected with your words.

        • http://aweirdthing.wordpress.com Neil Chappell

          I couldn’t log in for some reason!

          • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

            Oh, good– you have a name again! I thought that was very mysterious business for a while there. 😉

  • http://www.alise-write.com Alise

    Dear friend. I wish I could say something profound, but I don’t have those words today. Know that you touched my heart yet again.

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      I’m grateful. And know that I am holding you up to the Light.

  • http://www.lookthrough.net Sonny Lemmons

    It’s not the missing His return or worrying about His return that gets me.

    It’s missing Him on the street, in the eyes of the people I pass by, and in missing an opportunity to BE Him (in action) that gets me.

    This was beautiful. Can you write ANYTHING bad? (Please don’t say “Yes: checks.”) 🙂

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Yes, I also worry about missing Him in the everyday. But isn’t part of his magnificent grace that even when we miss Him, He continues to offer Himself to us anew?

      Thank you for your kind words. I do sometimes write bad stuff. But then my friend Carter calls me on it and I delete it. 😀

  • Pingback: TOL’s 12 Gifts of Christmas: Gifts 9 & 10! | Tamara Out Loud()

  • http://happyhippierose.wordpress.com happyhippierose

    Tamara, I finally had time to go and read this post: it’s lovely. Delineating between heart knowledge and head knowledge is hard, and something I assume we all try to filter through and feel out, regularly.

    My father is Jewish. My mother is Catholic. At the ripe age of 27, I finally found my way into a Bible-based non-denom church, that I’ve joyously called my home for the past year. Getting there was quite the story.

    I have this deep, intrinsic connection to Judaism. One, my mother often told me, all Christians should have: “We all come from the same beginnings, you know.”

    My childhood was full of beautiful Passover Seders, and an Easter spent knowing that I understood the Last Supper better than my Catechism classmates who only knew the A.D. side of the story.

    I love my roots. I love Jewish people. The struggle of the Jews is something that hits me deep in the gut, it’s always pained me. I grew up in an Anti-Semetic part of the country, and I was mocked for my obviously-Jewish last name (maiden name) and a nose that some consider less than small. I was always told I had a “Jew nose.” It hurt my feelings. Some kids scared me. Some still do. I felt shame for being Jewish. Thinking about being Jewish pained me, so much suffering – so much hardship and sadness.

    After years of muddling and confusion, time spent acting out, and even giving up faith altogether – lest the two I raised within – I am now more content and settled than ever. I have no idea why people harm each other, or are mean to one another. But as a gregarious and proud Christian, I feel more peace than ever before. And while the walk of the Christ-follower is by no means easy, I feel the Holy Spirit helping me every step of the way.

    Please, don’t anyone confuse what I’ve said as excusing any crimes or hardships against Jewish people as okay – it’s so by far not. I believe in loving one another, always.

    I’m just trying to say that trying to be Jewish hurt my heart, and all I could focus on was the sad times.

    Now, my heart feels freer than ever, and I’m able to understand the Jewish side of my roots through a lens of peace, seeing beauty, tradition, and happiness instead of hurt.

    Happy Hannukah to all who celebrate

    • http://tamaraoutloud.com/ Tamara

      Thanks so much for sharing your story. How wonderful that you see your heritage as something that enriches your faith.

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