Sunday, December 20, 2009

Bribing someone to watch Lord of the Rings?!
How pathetic is that?
Oh well, it's for their benefit! So off I go...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ross Harrison Robert Baker - you have my heart already!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

I raise my hands once again as the song soars... The keyboard, electric cello, and electric guitar has the crowd swaying when the guitarist pulls out a violin bow and begins to gently slide it across his guitar strings. "Led Zeppelin style," my brother whispers. All I know is it sounds like ecstasy...
Strains of "O holy night" strike my ears and I melt again! Then they start into another song--only this time with xylophones, tambourines, drums, cymbals, ukuleles, and a myriad of other instruments I could not even name. This time it's "Joy to the world." And this time I'm giddy while trying to decide if I want to enjoy the moment or capture it as a video on my phone.
Splicing Christmas Carols, adding hymns, recreating arrangements--the music is simply overpowering. Then one of the artists brings it down. He's on his acoustic now and the music is much simpler once again. "We are still in need of a Savior. America is oppressed--if it is in small ways like our economic crises, or in the injustice of human slavery. We need hope just like the Israelites. And these are our songs of hope..."
"Silent Night" has everyone singing along. peaceful yet profound :)
And I have to sit down at this point--to take it in, and to rest in the peace of the moment...
How do I describe the way the music moves me? These aren't just songs--they are Christmas songs! And not performed any old way... it's worship, pure worship! Music raptures me to somewhere simply indescribable.
This Future of Forestry Christmas Concert reminds of that. Their incredibly-gifted, opening act, Josiah James, reminds me of that. The Sacred Sounds of Christmas Concert I was at just a few weeks ago reminds me of that. Breathtaking! There comes a point as the music crescendos and I just don't want to ever leave... And it makes me so grateful! I'm so grateful that God created a world with music and flavor and color and aromas and sensations--we could have survived without all those things, but He gave them to us anyway! And I'm so happy for that!
And I really do think about all these things as Future of Forestry wraps up another Christmas Carol... :)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


"Tell them to look up. Tell them to remember the stars..."

* * * * * * *

"Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!"

* * * * * * *

you should see the stars tonight
how they shimmer shine so bright
against the black they look so white
comin down from such a height
to reach me now, reach me now

you should see the moon in the flight
cuttin cross the misty night
softly dancin in sunshine
reflections of this light
reach me now, you reach me now

and how could such a thing
shine its light on me
and make everything beautiful again

and you should feel the sun in the spring
comin out after a rain
suddenly all is green
sunshine on everything
i can feel it now, i feel you now

and how could such a thing
shine its light on me
and make everything beautiful

and you should hear the angels sing
all gathered round their king
more beautiful than you could dream
i've been quietly listening
you can hear 'em now, i hear em now

and how could such a king
shine His light on me
and make everything beautiful
and i wanna shine
i wanna be light
i wanna tell you it'll be alright
and i wanna shine and i wanna fly
just to tell you now
it'll be alright, it'll be alright
it'll be alright.

cus i got nothing of my own to give to you
but this light that shines on me shines on you
and makes everything beautiful, again.
it'll be alright, it'll be alright.

* * * * * * *

* * * * * * *

"Do we gaze at the stars because we are human? Or, are we human because gaze at the stars?"

* * * * * * *

Hope is written in the stars.

The stars have hung in the sky longer than any of us and will be there long after us. During war, famine, depression, sickness, pain, or heartache--every night the stars have come out. Though clouds may shroud them-we may stand confident they are still there. Though we may not have time to look up, they remain. Stars remind us that beauty can be found even on the darkest night!

Remember the stars...

Sunday, December 6, 2009


so....... i'm becoming more and more aware that one of the most beautiful things in the world is adoption! Two people taking a little person who belongs to no one and creating a place for them to belong. It such a close reflection of the Father's love! When I see little boys and girls who've been adopted, I usually want to cry... it's just so beautiful.

and this weekend I watched a movie called Bella and adoption is a key part of the story. Such a beautiful movie. And here is a link to this great song that went with it, by Joey Ryan. listen and enjoy

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Christmas - me and Washington Irving

I was forced to read this in high school and hated it. But for school, I was assigned this passage again and absolutely fell in love with it! Warm feelings of nostalgia and the beauty of all that is Christmas is so perfectly described in his little narrative. This is only a portion, but please enjoy:

There is nothing in England that exercises a more delightful spell over my imagination than the lingerings of the holiday customs and rural games of former times. They recall the pictures my fancy used to draw in the May morning of life, when as yet I only knew the world through books, and believed it to be all that poets had painted it; and they bring with them the flavour of those honest days of yore, in which, perhaps with equal fallacy, I am apt to think the world was more home-bred, social, and joyous than at present. I regret to say that they are daily growing more and more faint, being gradually worn away by time, but still more obliterated by modern fashion. They resemble those picturesque morsels of Gothic architecture which we see crumbling in various parts of the country, partly dilapidated by the waste of ages, and partly lost in the additions and alterations of latter days. Poetry, however, clings with cherishing fondness about the rural game and holiday revel, from which it has derived so many of its themes,--as the ivy winds its rich foliage about the Gothic arch and mouldering tower, gratefully repaying their support by clasping together their tottering remains, and, as it were, embalming them in verdure.
Of all the old festivals, however, that of Christmas awakens the strongest and most heartfelt associations. There is a tone of solemn and sacred feeling that blends with our conviviality, and lifts the spirit to a state of hallowed and elevated enjoyment. The services of the church about this season are extremely tender and inspiring. They dwell on the beautiful story of the origin of our faith, and the pastoral scenes that accompanied its announcement. They gradually increase in fervour and pathos during the season of Advent, until they break forth in full jubilee on the morning that brought peace and good-will to men. I do not know a grander effect of music on the moral feelings than to hear the full choir and the pealing organ performing a Christmas anthem in a cathedral, and filling every part of the vast pile with triumphant harmony.

It is a beautiful arrangement, also derived from days of yore, that this festival, which commemorates the announcement of the religion of peace and love, has been made the season for gathering together of family connections, and drawing closer again those bands of kindred hearts which the cares and pleasures and sorrows of the world are continually operating to cast loose; of calling back the children of a family who have launched forth in life, and wandered widely asunder, once more to assemble about the paternal hearth, that rallying-place of the affections, there to grow young and loving again among the endearing mementoes of childhood.

There is something in the very season of the year that gives a charm to the festivity of Christmas. At other times we derive a great portion of our pleasures from the mere beauties of nature. Our feelings sally forth and dissipate themselves over the sunny landscape, and we "live abroad and everywhere." The song of the bird, the murmur of the stream, the breathing fragrance of spring, the soft voluptuousness of summer, the golden pomp of autumn; earth with its mantle of refreshing green, and heaven with its deep delicious blue and its cloudy magnificence, all fill us with mute but exquisite delight, and we revel in the luxury of mere sensation. But in the depth of winter, when nature lies despoiled of every charm, and wrapped in her shroud of sheeted snow, we turn for our gratifications to moral sources. The dreariness and desolation of the landscape, the short gloomy days and darksome nights, while they circumscribe our wanderings, shut in our feelings also from rambling abroad, and make us more keenly disposed for the pleasures of the social circle. Our thoughts are more concentrated; our friendly sympathies more aroused. we feel more sensibly the charm of each other's society, and are brought more closely together by dependence on each other for enjoyment. Heart calleth unto heart; and we draw our pleasures from the deep wells of living kindness, which lie in the quiet recesses of our bosoms: and which when resorted to, furnish forth the pure element of domestic felicity.

The pitchy gloom without makes the heart dilate on entering the room filled with the glow and warmth of the evening fire. The ruddy blaze diffuses an artificial summer and sunshine through the room, and lights up each countenance into a kindlier welcome. Where does the honest face of hospitality expand into a broader and more cordial smile--where is the shy glance of love more sweetly eloquent--than by the winter fireside?
Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Repentance is a gift!

This is possibly the best revelation ever! Lately the Lord has been showing me the value of repentance. It is astonishing.
I realized that repentance demonstrates 2 key things--we are not perfect and we cannot make ourselves perfect. So repentance becomes the appropriation of the power of Christ's blood! It's an invitation for the transforming power of God to invade our existence. It helps us to realize that we are utterly dependent on Christ for His Forgiveness, His Mercy, and His abundant Grace to change! We cannot save ourselves. We cannot fix ourselves. Most of the time we cannot even make the right decision. But there is power in the Blood. And that power is able to transform our bad habits, our evil motivations, our self-centered thinking. He changes us--we cannot change ourselves! His forgiveness and His blood are the hope for a brighter future! Repentance is such a gift. This is our hope to change!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Once more the darkness is dispersed; once more the light is created. Let the people that sat in the darkness of ignorance now look upon the light of knowledge. The things of old have passed away; behold, all things are made new. He who has no mother in heaven is now born without father on earth. The laws of nature are overthrown, for the upper world must be filled with citizens. He who is without flesh becomes incarnate; the Word puts on a body; the Invisible is seen; He whom no hand can touch is handled; the Timeless has a beginning; the Son of God becomes Son of Man -- Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever." - Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople

ahhh! Merry Christmas everyone!!!
The Lord said to Abram, "Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever. I will make your offspring like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone could count the dust, then your offspring could be counted..."

The Lord took Abram outside and said, "Look up at the heavens and count the stars--if indeed you can count them." Then he said to him, "So shall your offspring be."

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

I wonder how many trips to the beach or walks under the stars it took... probably fewer than the reminders God gives me. Jehovah entrusted his dream to a man! He cultivated and cared for that dream in the heart of His son. How could the Creator of all reduce Himself to that degree? It blows my mind! He is faithful where we are faithless. He carries our dream when all we are are broken pieces. He sheds the light of His face into the darkness of our heart. He shares Himself with us!