Category Archives: Holidays
Welcome to my first post of 2013! I actually published this by accident for a few seconds last night because I typed in January 1st, twenty-TWELVE in the calendar slots. Oops.
New Year’s resolutions: Instead of making new ones for this year, I thought perhaps I should see how well I did with last year’s. The answer is… hmmmmmm.
1. Reading the Bible in a year: This was a disaster. Continue reading
Too often it seems that the Advent season gets neglected in the rush towards Christmas. Here are a few of my favorite Advent hymns. Several may be new to you. A couple of them you may recognize as often being lumped together with other Christmas carols, but technically they are considered Advent carols. Could you add to the list?
All hymns performed by a chorale group unless otherwise indicated.
Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus (performed by Twila Paris):
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (performed by Selah)
The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns (performed by a singer/organist named Dawn Slike)
The lyrical purist in me can’t resist pointing out that the original lyrics of the second verse actually say, “Not as of old a little child/To bear and fight and die.” I guess the revisionists didn’t want to leave the word “fight” in there.
Rejoice, Rejoice Believers (sadly, no good version available, lyrics linked)
Go to their website to get it!
On my campus there’s a “public square” type area where people who want to get on a soapbox typically plant themselves and shout things. It’s also the perfect place for a street preacher to make his voice heard.
Yesterday was the second time I’ve seen such a preacher this semester. Continue reading
In memory of our veterans, I’ve compiled a list of appropriate songs from artists like Steven Curtis Chapman, Mark Schultz and Five for Fighting. Some of them are music videos while others are simply photo compilations. For most of these I’ll simply provide a link to a Youtube video, but I picked one video to embed/feature, because the combination of images, footage and music is so fantastic. Someone put this together to Michael W. Smith’s instrumental tribute “Heroes” (I suggest using full-screen):
Yesterday was All Saints’, and I suppose I should have put this up then, but I’ve been busy… Calculus II test prep, don’t you know. Anyway, I wanted to introduce my readers to this classic Anglican hymn about the saints: “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God,” written by children’s hymn-writer Lesbia Scott in 1929. I think it strikes the perfect balance between on the one hand elevating saints to a heretical extent (praying to them) and on the other hand acting like there’s absolutely nothing special about people who really did extraordinary work for God. Also, because it was written and taught specifically to children, it’s very singable. I looked all over the place for a good version that used the original last verse, but the best one I could find uses an updated, “Americanized” version that isn’t as good (in my opinion). But who couldn’t love hearing this sweet little girl sing it? For those who are curious, here’s the proper British version of the verse (which charmingly refers to such distinctly British things as “shops” and “tea”):
They lived not only in ages past; there are hundreds of thousands still.
The world is bright with the joyous saints who love to do Jesus’ will.
You can meet them in school, or in lanes or at sea,
in church, or in trains or in shops or at tea,
for the saints of God are just folk like me,
and I mean to be one too.
Sung by Tony DeRosa, a studio singer, vocal coach, and member of award-winning barbershop quartet MaxQ. This might just be my favorite version of this song. Enjoy. He is risen indeed, Hallelujah!
I don’t usually make New Year’s resolutions, but I thought I’d give it a go this year. So here goes.
I do hereby resolve…
1. To read the entire Bible in a year, per the plan I linked to in Saturday’s post. (Two days in, and I’m already ahead, having read eight chapters of Genesis instead of four on the first day. So far so good. That is, until I skip an entire week, thereby forcing myself to blitz through twenty-eight more chapters on the first day of school, but let’s not borrow trouble just yet.)
2. To take better care of myself physically. Because of my back problem (combined scoliosis and kyphosis), I have to be more religious about things like posture, sleep and exercise than most people. Needless to say, I’m not very religious about these things. I slouch, I go to bed late, and I’m lazy about doing the exercises my therapist gave me. As a result, I’m often more miserable than I need to be. So I resolve to listen to my body when it tells me I need to sit right, go to bed, etc., etc. (The occasional muscle relaxant wouldn’t be a bad idea either.) Like now for example: I’m sitting all curled up as I write this, and it’s uncomfortable. I don’t need that, so I just straightened out, and now I’m sitting properly. And it feels better. Go figure.
3. To waste less time, particularly on the Internet. Notice I did not say “to stop wasting time,” because I’m trying to set goals I actually have a chance of achieving. But I can easily waste less. This means making choices like ignoring trolls, refraining from leaving comments when I know they’ll be unwelcome and hence kicking off a prolonged debate, checking favorite blogs less frequently for updates, and letting websites that aren’t worth my time fall off the radar altogether.
4. To take online connections and relationships a little more lightly. I invested in a lot of those last year. Results were mixed. I’d prefer not to repeat some of those results this year. This could also interlock with the “wasting time” resolution.
5. To become more practical. I was born to be an absent-minded professor. I space out frequently, clean my room rarely, and forget everything. With all my academic skills, somehow putting my buttery knife in the dishwasher slips my mind every morning. And taking the garbage out is a process that can take several hours, as I tell Mom, “Oh, I’ll be sure to do that,” walk away and forget about it, then eventually remember and come back. In this way, I can be frustratingly masculine. For whatever reason, that female practicality is just missing from my brain. This year, I resolve to change that as far as I am able.
6. To become less anxious. It may be hard to believe, but I am a timid person. I’m timid in the sense that I have no spirit of adventure whatsoever, and I’m afraid to learn new things with which I have no experience. I’d use the phrase “comfort zone,” except it represents everything I hate about the cheapening of the English language, so I won’t. But, IF I were talking in the shallow, jargony manner that I hate so much, I would re-phrase this resolution by saying that I’d like to “step out of my comfort zone.”
7. I know I should probably have a nice, round number, but I’m running out of resolutions, and the ones I’ve already listed should keep me busy enough as it is. Six looks good. I’ll leave it at that.
Now it’s your turn. [Insert quietly evil chuckle here.]
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Here’s Jason Crabb and Gordon Mote. These two guys seem to go together like turkey and stuffing:
I’m taking the rest of the week off to enjoy the holiday. Meanwhile, please leave your suggestions for a Thanksgiving mix on my ipod. We have no shortage of songs for Christmas, but let’s see how many thankfulness songs you can come up with. Note: They need not necessarily all be from southern gospel.
And tell us what you’re thankful for today! Here’s my random list:
1. Mom and Dad
2. sisters (yes, really)
3. a receding cold (in time for me to taste my Thanksgiving food)
4. sunny days with no frost on my windshield
5. a two-term presidency limit
6. connecting cables which help you connect things… and stereo splitters
10. and conservative homeschooled friends
11. and Michael Booth
12. and fluffy bunnies