· Moostletoe Blurb
Fresh out of divinity school, Rev. Samantha Evans is ready to conquer the world for Christ. She lands in Moose Creek, Maine, a tiny backwater town with more moose per square mile than men. Even worse, one of her new parishioners chews up new ministers for breakfast, and he’s hell-bent on sending her packing.
Forest ranger Eric Palmer is done with women. Determined to live simply with no encumbrances, he’s moved to Northern Maine to study the moose population. With Christmas right around the corner, he runs into his buddy, Sammie, the girl who’d been his best friend when they were teenagers. Unlike most of the women in his life, he trusts her implicitly. But could she ever be more than a friend?
When Samantha’s career is on the line, Eric must save her job and rescue his own shattered heart in the process. But how does Matilda the town moose factor in?
· Excerpt from Moostletoe
As they headed toward the fence at the back of the large yard, the trapped moose turned her head and fastened Samantha with the longest, most distressed face she’d ever seen. Somehow, the words “there’s a moose stuck in the fence” had not prepared her for the sight of two hooves sticking to the top of tall pickets.
Poor moosie indeed!
The TV news reporter strode toward Eric and Travis, a determined set to his jaw.
Eric took charge. “Dale, you can film, but be quiet about it and keep well back. I know everybody loves Matilda, but she’s a wild animal and she’s scared. You too, Mr. Tremblay.”
“We’ll do our best to behave.” Dale smirked. “But the TV audience is going to eat this up and we’re here to serve.”
Eric grimaced. “She’s just a moose for crying out loud. People in Aroostook County see them every day.”
The TV crew moved into position. Eric glanced at Samantha. “Sammie you asked what you can do. Your job is to pray we can get this moose out of trouble, fast.”
“Will do.” Samantha nodded and clung to the fence line several yards away. Matilda puffed, her breath sending up a cloud of steam. Samantha’s heart went out to the creature, and she unleashed a silent prayer. If God cared for the lowly sparrow, He surely loved the magnificent moose.
Eric’s eyes zeroed in on the television camera as two men continued to edge closer. “Confound it, Dale, stay back. Don’t you have a zoom on that contraption?”
The cheeky, young reporter lifted his chin. “We’ll stay back as long as you give us an exclusive after the rescue.”
Eric planted his hands on his hips and huffed. “Exclusive? Dale, what do you think this is? Portland? You’re the only TV station there is in these parts. Just keep your distance. Hey, Tremblay? You have a small hatchet?”
A protest erupted from the cameraman. “Surely, you’re not going to hurt that wild animal.”
Eric shook his head. “No, of course we’re not going to hurt her. We have to break up the fence.”
Dale cocked his head. “Why can’t you just yard on it until her feet come out?”
Huh? Samantha searched her memory banks. Yard on it. Ah, yes. Pull hard.
“Do I look suicidal? I’m not getting anywhere near those back hooves. We have a crazed five-hundred-pound moose who’s not thinking straight, here.”
The cameraman grumbled and when Eric turned his back, the cameraman made a hand gesture that meant … Samantha wasn’t sure what it meant, but it couldn’t have been nice.
Matilda shifted her back feet, tried to maneuver backward and pitched a bit to the side. The wooden fence scraped against her front fetlocks and she bellowed, a terrible noise that rang hollow in the damp, night air. Terrified, her eyes flicked back and forth, the whites showing. Helpless, Samantha prayed harder and shuffled her feet to keep the circulation moving, her chest squeezing.
The cameraman hefted his camera and aimed it at the reporter. The show was about to begin.
· What I’m thankful for this Christmas
This Christmas, I am especially thankful for Charles Shultz. The Peanuts cartoon guy? Yes, really, and I’ll tell you why. My mother is a nonagenarian and last year, when she was 92, she was asked to give a short devotional at her retirement center’s Christmas party. This was quite a big deal because there are hundreds of active retirees who are, no doubt, not long for this world. Mom wanted something different to say, something interesting and not too preachy. I suggested that she re-inact the part of Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas where he gives a speech about the true meaning of Christmas. Linus gives us a recitation of the true meaning of Christmas by quoting a scripture passage:
Luke 2:8-14 (KJV)
8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
The story is so simple…and yet so life-changingly profound. Can’t you just imagine my little ‘ole mother standing up in front of hundreds of people pretending to be Linus? She even had a blanket as a prop. Maybe that performance made a difference in someone’s life, or at least served as a reminder of what Christmas is all about.
So this Christmas, I’m not just praising God for a courageous Charles Schultz who had the audacity to oppose the network and air this show the way he wrote it. I am also praising God for a mother who continues to spread the message of hope and love in her own little corner of the world. It is my mom’s life purpose, even at age 93 now, to tell other’s that they are beloved children of God. How wonderful is that?
Below is the link to Linus’ speech if you’d care to share a little bit of Christmas with me.