Wednesday, December 31, 2008 1 comments

Ode to Joy

Ok, I admit it, I'm still a big kid at heart. I tend to be a workaholic and dealing with some big decisions, character growth, relationships, purpose, etc. - adulthood stuff, but I really enjoy the escape being a kid again affords. And I admit it - I'm a Muppet fan. Beaker is one of those characters that need no introduction...

Wednesday, December 24, 2008 0 comments

The real reason...

And here's the best...and the reason we should be celebrating this season. REmember to worship Jesus this Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008 1 comments

Rudolf - Raisin Style

For those of you who remember the 80's...

Monday, December 22, 2008 0 comments

The Original Grinch

Saturday, December 20, 2008 0 comments

Some for the weekend...

Just cause I KNOW I'm going to be too busy to post on Sunday, I wanted to put two on for today! This first one is crazy! Ray Stevens classic!

And who has NOT seen "A Christmas Story"...

A commercial for another favorite...

And I don't care which movie or how many times I hear it - Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" is still one of my top favorites.
Friday, December 19, 2008 2 comments


Thursday, December 18, 2008 0 comments

It's Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas

After being in New York and seeing Rockefeller Center, White Christmas on Broadway, all the dazzling lights, Christmas Program at church, and Holiday music galore - I think I'm ready. In fact, I've decided to find some of my favorite Christmas movie scenes/songs and post one each day! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008 0 comments

Another good email devotional...

Are You Ready for the Holidays?
By Van Walton

"What matters is not your outer appearance... but your inner disposition."
1 Peter 3:1 (MSG)

This year I am tempted to keep a close count of the number of times I hear the question, "Are you ready for the holidays?"

What does that mean exactly? If I were to guess what people mean when they ask one another if they are "ready for the holidays," I would say most are not talking about spiritual readiness. I bet what they typically mean is, "Have you made a list of all the stuff you need to do before the 25th and have you checked it off?"

Usually the answer that follows is a long list of to-do's before Christmas day. Baking, sending Christmas cards, buying and wrapping gifts, hiding presents from the children, or delivering them to neighbors, choir or play practice, preparing for guests, or preparing to travel. My list also often includes planning and attending parties, house cleaning, and finally -- my favorite -- decorating.

I wonder, if Jesus were making a holiday preparations list, what would He include? What if those who were there on Christ's birth day could advise us on getting ready for Christmas? What would be on their list?

Joseph might recommend we listen closely to the voice of God to prepare.
Mary may suggest we ponder the miracles of heaven.
Perhaps the angels would propose we sing about the King.
The shepherds may gently guide us to follow their act of worship.
Possibly the wise men would teach us to give Jesus our most valuable gifts.
The innkeeper may suggest "Hospitality: open your heart and home."
And Jesus' list would likely encourage us to be a light on the hill pointing the way for others to know Him.

Comparing my to-do list to the ones above, I wonder if I lived at that time, would I have missed Christ's birth? Would my busyness have kept me from slowing down to take time to worship in the stable? Unfortunately I have "missed" many Christmases in the here and now because I've not slowed down long enough to bow my knees and experience the miracle.

I want Christmas for my family to be more about an act of worship and awe than a frenzy to decorate, shop, and jump through the world's hoops. I don't want to miss the true reason we celebrate.

A few years ago I set out to purposefully plan the way I celebrate. As a result, my Christmases have become increasingly simpler and at the same time my heart has become increasingly more satisfied.

Are you ready for the holidays?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008 0 comments

God and the Spider

I'm sure some of you have seen this in your emails - but it was too good not to post.

God and the Spider

During World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on a Pacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke and the crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades.

Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed.

As he waited, he prayed, "Lord, if it be your will, please protect me. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen."

After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to draw close. He thought, "Well, I guess the Lord isn't going to help me out of this one." Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over the front of his cave.

As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.

"Hah, he thought. "What I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor."

As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while.

"Lord, forgive me," prayed the young man. "I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger than a brick wall."

We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget what God can work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways. And remember with God, a mere spider's web becomes a brick wall of protection.
Monday, December 8, 2008 0 comments

The Messiah

I am involved in a choir in Louisville along with a couple people from my church. Every year we perform Handel's Messiah. I'm sure everyone has heard the Hallelujah Chorus - but the the whole thing is simply magnificent! So I thought I would post a little history behind the Messiah work by George F. Handel along with a couple of music pieces.

Handel's Messiah: A brief history

The story goes that after the first performance of Messiah, an enthusiastic member of the audience congratulated composer and director George Frideric Handel for producing such a wonderful piece of "entertainment."
"Entertainment!" Handel replied, "My purpose was not to entertain, but to teach them something."

That was April 13, 1742, in Dublin, Ireland. The previous year, Handel had been approached by the librettist Charles Jennens about a musical oratorio on the life of the Messiah. Jennens' concept was to tell the entire story of the Christ through passages of Scripture put to music. He would begin with the Old Testament prophecies foretelling the ministry of Christ, move to the New Testament's accounts of the birth of Jesus, then forward through his death and resurrection, all seen through the eyes of the writers of Scripture.

In an age when illiteracy was widespread and written copies of the Bible were expensive and rare, Handel became excited about Jennens' idea. Handel pioneered the "oratorio," a musical composition designed to teach the Scriptures by setting them to music. He seems to have immediately understood how important such a composition about the life of Jesus might be, and he set to work on it right away.

George Frideric Handel was born in Germany in 1685, the same year as Johann Sebastian Bach. His father wanted him to study law, but when it became apparent that the young Handel was musically gifted, his father reluctantly agreed to let the boy study music.

Handel became an accomplished harpsichordist and studied in Naples, where he became an acclaimed writer of Italian operas. He later moved to England, where he continued to have success writing opera, as well as compositions for the royal court. Handel's Water Music was composed for King George I.
But nothing Handel ever wrote became as popular as Messiah. Using Jennens' libretto, Handel completed the entire musical score in only 24 days. My dog-eared copy of Messiah contains only the piano and vocal parts and runs 250 pages, including 20 choral numbers and more than 30 solos and instrumentals. It is an astounding accomplishment.

That first performance of Messiah in Dublin (a charity event to raise money for a hospital) was a huge success. The piece was not as well received when it debuted in London, but Handel made it a recurring part of his schedule of performances — it became his tradition to perform Messiah annually as a benefit to raise money for London orphanages.

George Frideric Handel died in 1759 and is buried in Westminster Abbey. Messiah is one of his greatest musical creations, and is arguably the greatest piece of Christian music ever written. The Hallelujah Chorus is instantly recognizable, even by those who do not consider themselves members of the Christian faith. It has become a part of our Christian cultural heritage.

In almost every community during this Christmas season, there will be performances of Messiah. It is available in a number of recorded versions. Set aside some time this Christmas to listen to Handel's masterpiece. Learn the melodies. Hum along and let the words sink into your heart.

Handel didn't write Messiah for music historians or classical music geeks. He wrote it to tell the story of Jesus to ordinary people, through music, the language of the heart.

And He Shall Purify

Hallelujah Chorus
Wednesday, December 3, 2008 1 comments

Sad News, Crazy People, and White Christmas

For those of you who were affected by the overturned semi on Hwy 150 yesterday, it turns out it was my ex-step-uncle that was driving the semi. He didn't make it. Please keep his family in your prayers as well as my mom, she's been the one that more a part of that family than I was.


Crazy people run the world, I tell ya. At these meetings I make sure the room's all ready, food is available, temperature is comfortable, copies and printouts taken care of, and any other requests that come up. Makes for a busy day when you have 17 board members, 4 staff, multiple corporate people, ad agency people, vendors and extra franchisees.

Well, yesterday was a full room day. More local people showed up than anticipated. No big deal - I can get more chairs, the issue? I shouldn't have had to. There were a few selfish people who decided that not only did their butt need a chair, but so did their coat, and so did their laptop, etc. So instead of being willing to put their coat on the back of their own chair, or put their laptop on their LAP...they made other people stand around until I could get chairs hauled in. It was one of those "I can't believe we're still in Junior High moments." A lot of these people certainly do not have servants' hearts.

And they've just been goofy acting - like the world is coming to an end if their need is not met within 1 minute. And I've also decided that just because the 5-carat ring on someone's hand is REAL - does not a gracious person it make. Whew...that dinner was an experience. I got an education in what a "serious social faux pas" is. Turns out to be a hilarious story.


And White Christmas! I got treated last night to the broadway version of White Christmas! It was more amazing then technicolor. It was very strange to have just gotten the news about the death in the family - then the show started....literally. I even got yelled at by the usher to turn off my phone a minute before the show started. But I have to tell you - this was an absolute blessing for me!

I love the movie - and they certainly do it justice. Although, no one can REALLY replace Bing Crosby, he still did a nice job. They had to adjust the story in a couple of places, but for the most part - it remains true.

It was FULL of music and dancing of course - and the costumes! So colorful! Check out the final wardrobe below.

Then we walked back to the hotel - seeing all the lights and store windows. Having just seen White Christmas live. The tree gets lit tonight at Rockefeller Center - it's big and beautiful! I'm finally getting in the Christmas mood.
Monday, December 1, 2008 1 comments

More from the Palace...

Well - here's the view of the "concrete jungle" from my room. Not too bad. Below is St. Patrick's Cathedral. Weather is beautiful so far today, but unfortunately, I'm stuck inside all day into evening.

Now - I've shared bathroom pictures before from the Bellagio in Vegas - the all-marble one. This one is nice and cozy, very sophisticated. You enter with a vanity area and two cozy sitting chairs in the "lobby" area - then go into the hall of "closets." I really like when a public bathroom seems private. Call me crazy.