Sunday, December 29, 2013


Today is the feast of The Holy Family.   All families are holy, aren't they?  Holy, however, does not equal perfect.  In all families we have times of brokenness, hurt, anger.  How do you heal this brokenness?  Forgiveness.  Just as Jesus forgives us for our sins, we are called to forgive others as well.  Forgiveness is not easy. It's a decision. It's love. Forgiveness is acceptance of others...of their whole selves, not just the good parts.  Can I forgive myself as well?  Accept me as God accepts me - good, bad, AND the ugly?  

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!

Last year I wrote about this album by Jana, American Indian Christmas.  I wanted to share this again with you, as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior.

This cd features 10 different Christmas songs performed in 10 different Native American languages by one performer. Go to this NPR Interview  to see what she says about what inspired her to craft this album. Here is a sampling of the album - Hark The Herald Angels Sing, in Lakota.  This is beautiful! 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

How Could It Be?

The angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, 

“Joseph, son of David, 
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.

For it is through the Holy Spirit 
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus, 
because he will save his people from their sins.”

It's the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  Christmas is almost upon us!  Today, I am considering Joseph.  He had all kinds of choices before him.  He could have abandoned Mary, sent her away, shamed her.  But, no, he held true to his commitment to her, he stood firm in his love for her, even in circumstances that probably seemed beyond belief to him.  
Joseph had to have great faith and trust in his God  as he ventured into this journey with Mary.  As parents we often feel inadequate to deal with all that life puts in front of us with our children - how much more would these feelings be magnified if we were raising the Son of God!  What an honor!  What a responsibility!  What a gift! 
Perhaps the song below, "Joseph's Song" by Michael Card, expresses some of the emotions that Joseph must have felt.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Silent Night!!

This is a beautiful rendition of Silent Night, sung by Reba McEntire, Kelly Clarkson, and Trisha Yearwood.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas: Did You Know?

Did you know it was once illegal to eat fruitcake?
Where do YOU think the North Pole is?
Where do most Christmas Trees come from?
Do you know how to play Hot Cockles?
Where did the Gingerbread House originate?  What popular story is associated with gingerbread houses?

The History Channel has a collection of videos with some interesting facts about a variety of topics related to Christmas.

Saturday, December 14, 2013


The Third Sunday of Advent is traditionally Rejoice Sunday!  We light the pink candle in the Advent Wreath!  One reading the weekend is from Isaiah 35....

1The wilderness and the parched land will exult;
the Arabah will rejoice and bloom;2Like the crocus it shall bloom abundantly,
and rejoice with joyful song.
The glory of Lebanon will be given to it,
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
They will see the glory of the LORD,
the splendor of our God.3Strengthen hands that are feeble,
make firm knees that are weak,4Say to the fearful of heart:
Be strong, do not fear!
Here is your God,
he comes with vindication;
With divine recompense
he comes to save you.5Then the eyes of the blind shall see,
and the ears of the deaf be opened;6Then the lame shall leap like a stag,
and the mute tongue sing for joy.
For waters will burst forth in the wilderness,
and streams in the Arabah.7The burning sands will become pools,
and the thirsty ground, springs of water;
The abode where jackals crouch
will be a marsh for the reed and papyrus.8A highway will be there,
called the holy way;
No one unclean may pass over it,
but it will be for his people;
no traveler, not even fools, shall go astray on it.9No lion shall be there,
nor any beast of prey approach,
nor be found.
But there the redeemed shall walk,10And the ransomed of the LORD shall return,
and enter Zion singing,
crowned with everlasting joy;
They meet with joy and gladness,
sorrow and mourning flee away.
As I read these words, I'm reminded of the song "Blest Are They" by David Haas.  We have reason to be joyful.  Walking beside us, even sometimes carrying us, is Jesus through our joys and our sorrows.  What I may see as a hindrance or something that holds me back, God sees as a chance for redemption and freedom for my soul!  Life is not going to be entirely good or's a mixture of both.  We are human, we were created as imperfect individuals.  Can we live with the duality of the light and darkness found in our lives?  Do we know that Jesus' forgiveness and redemption can encompass it all?

Sunday, December 1, 2013


We enter into the season of Advent today.  There are so many images, phrases and feelings that come to my mind when I think of Advent.  I made the Wordle above for an artistic rendition.  How do you think the Nativity story would have played out if Mary and Joseph had been on Face Book?  The video below has been around for awhile, but I still enjoy watching it.  I also love the music, O Come Emmanuel, by Folk Angel, Hope you will also!