Sunday, November 27, 2005

Songs of the Season

I consider myself a bit of a Christmas Music connisseuer. Each year we wait anxiously for my dearly wedded Grinch to pronounce his blessing for Bing, Nat and Perry's crooning to fill the airwaves in and around our home with their holiday wishes of snow, roasted chesnuts, and good cheer. Until the benediction is said we are a covert, subversive faction. As soon as Ebeneezer is encased in his Acura, all the shackles are loosed and we can openly acknowledge our inner sugarplum. Here is a list of some of the tunes that dance in our hearts when the air gets to chillin'!
Harry Connick, Jr.'s

I Pray on Christmas
It Must Have Been Ole Santa
Let it Snow
Amy Grant's
Rocking Around the Christmas Tree
I'll Be Home For Christmas
Andrews Sisters & Danny Kaye's

All I Want For Christmas
A Merry Christmas at Grandmother's
Jackson 5's
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Santa Claus is Comin' t' Town
Give Love at Christmas Time

Burl Ives
Holly Jolly Christmas
Bing Crosby & Diana Krall
White Christmas
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep
Nat King Cole
The Christmas Song
Bebe & Cece Winans
Silver Bells
Barbra Striesand
Jingle Bells
Chris Rice
Welcome to Our World
4 Him
In Your Care
Strange Way to Save the World
Michael Card
Joseph's Song
David Meece
One Small Child
Peabo Bryson
Born On Christmas Day
Philip Bailey
Who Would Imagine a King
Reliant K
I Celebrate the Day
Toby Mac
Oh Come All Ye Faithful
Nicole C Mullin
Gifts from You
KT & Andy Williams
Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Crystal Lewis

Go Tell it on the Mountain
James Taylor ~ A Christmas Album
for you and that honey of a husband to groove to!
Bruce Greer ~ Celtic Carols Album
play it low and reminisce about The One
Vince Guaraldi ~ A Charlie Brown Christmas
Christmas IS for children!
Tchaikovsky ~ The Nutcracker
get jiggy in the kitch with gingerbread men
Jim Brickman ~ The Gift Album
winter nights by the cracklin fire - mmmm
Georgy Moravsky ~ Accoustic Christmas Reflections Album
deck them halls with your crew
Anyone for a sleigh ride and wassail?

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Kimchi is Our New Best Friend!

This past August I was privileged to accompany 6 teens (including my oldest daughter and our pastor's two oldest children) from our county to Gunpo, South Korea for a Cultural/Economic Student Ambassador exchange. We had an amazing time. The title above is an inside joke ...
It's time for the 2006 group to be selected and in order to get the kids excited about the possibilities we put together a promotional video from everyone's photos. I had to shorten it in order to post it on the net, but here is a peek at what the kids will see, and what our trip was like!
Hope you enjoy it!

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Sacrament of Living

I had a yucky day yesterday. Not outwardly, but on the inside. As I wept over the state of my spirit, some words I have read many times came tumbling into my thoughts. I often find myself returning to certain books that seem to act as a plumbline for my heart's journey through this Christian life. I have read the books of Job, Gal.-Eph.-Phil., I &II Timothy, Esther and Song of Solomon a hundred times more than the rest of the 66. Then there is AW Tozer's "The Pursuit of God". This book breaks my heart in all the right places and ways. The abasedness/ depravity of being human presses in on me and I end up on my knees crying for Holy Spirit to take me to the altar again.
Here are the words that came this morning... (esp. the bolded ones)
In the world of men we find nothing approaching the virtues of which Jesus spoke in the opening words of the famous Sermon on the Mount. Instead of poverty of spirit we find the rankest kind of pride; instead of mourners we find pleasure seekers; instead of meekness, arrogance; Into a world like this the sound of Jesus' words come wonderful and strange. The heart's fierce effort to protect itself from every slight, to shield its touchy honor from the bad opinion of friend and enemy, will never let the mind have rest. Only yesterday you were telling God that you were nothing, a mere worm of the dust. Where is your consistency? Come on, humble yourself, and cease to care what men think. He is willing to wait for that day. As long as you set yourself up as a little god to which you must be loyal there will be those who will delight to offer affront to your idol.
I am very aware of how much of a screw up I am, and often ashamed that my representation of Him is so sorry. I'm so overwhelmed with Jesus faithfulness to draw me back into His heart and His embrace. In another book, Ragamuffin Gospel by Brennan Manning, he related a story. A priest came and bowed low before the throne of God. God asked what it was he desired. The priest replied that he wanted to be granted the grace to never hurt the heart of God again. God lifted him up and holding him close said, "Why would I rob myself of the joy of forgiveness?" ~ Wow! Am I ever blessed.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

"Et tu, Brute?"

Evolution in the Bible, says Vatican
By Martin Penner November 07, 2005

THE Vatican has issued a stout defence of Charles Darwin, voicing strong criticism of Christian fundamentalists who reject his theory of evolution and interpret the biblical account of creation literally.
Cardinal Paul Poupard, head of the Pontifical Council for Culture, said the Genesis description of how God created the universe and Darwin's theory of evolution were "perfectly compatible" if the Bible were read correctly
(does this mean we can all interpret it differently?)
His statement was a clear attack on creationist campaigners in the US, who see evolution and the Genesis account as mutually exclusive.
"The fundamentalists want to give a scientific meaning to words that had no scientific aim," he said at a Vatican press conference. He said the real message in Genesis was that "the universe didn't make itself and had a creator".
This idea was part of theology, Cardinal Poupard emphasised, while the precise details of how creation and the development of the species came about belonged to a different realm - science. Cardinal Poupard said that it was important for Catholic believers to know how science saw things so as to "understand things better". His statements were interpreted in Italy as a rejection of the "intelligent design" view, which says the universe is so complex that some higher being must have designed every detail.

Although I don’t know this debate in science inside and out, I am not keen to being called small-minded because I believe God created the world. As far as I know, it is still called the theory of evolution, and theories require faith. Is it just me, or does it come across that intelligent people believe evolution is the objective, factual view of things, while ignorant fundamentalists believe in creation without knowing or caring about any other evidence. One blog I read on this stated "just more evidence that the Bible is a farce and that it must've been their God that seriously *** up." This is the saddest thing, to me, about the Vatican's statement is that in their attempt to make the Bible relevant to modern belief systems they make it into just another book that can be edited, & not the inerrant Word of God. Another note is that most of the world relates what the Vatican says to be what all Christians believe. I.D. is an American scientific explaination, so is it America they are wanting to quash? Are they trying to distance themselves from our (America's) culture war until the instatement of Judge Alito is final, and then tuck their tails and come back whimpering that they were wrong? Do they not see what they are doing with their incessant tampering with God's Word? A statement that Itelligent Design and evolution are bedfellows (which is just as stupid)I might have stomached, but to say that evolution is in the Bible and that it is all in how you interpret it, makes me sick.

CBS News poll in October 2005 found that 51% of Americans polled do not accept Darwin’s theory of evolution and 38% said that creationism instead of evolution should be taught in schools. Another 30% believe that humans evolved but that God “guided the process”. Only 15% believe that humans evolved without the hand of God.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Very Interesting W/ Upadate

UPDATE ~ You can now watch the broadcast online, read an incredible interview with college age ladies about their views of abortion, and an interactive map that allows you to see the state laws in bite size pieces... Just follow the link below.
This forthcoming PBS broadcast looks interesting:

THE LAST ABORTION CLINIC Airs Tuesday, November 8 at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)

Today, the headlines are filled with speculation about changes in the U.S. Supreme Court and what those changes might mean for abortion -- an issue that has divided the country for over 30 years. Heated rhetoric from both sides continues to be heard in courtrooms and on the campaign trail. But while attention is often focused on the arguments, there is another story playing out in local communities.Pro-life advocates have waged a successful campaign to reduce abortions in many places throughout the country. By using state laws to regulate and limit abortion and by creating their own clinics to offer alternatives to women, they have changed the facts on the ground. On Nov. 8, FRONTLINE investigates the steady decline in the number of physicians and clinics performing abortions and focuses on local political battles in states like Mississippi, where only a single clinic performs the controversial procedure.

At this time I would just like to state how hopeful, blessed and excited I am at the nomination of Judge Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Yesterday - Beetles vs. Foreigner

In case you haven't noticed a trend in my blogs (for those of you who even read them) they seem to tend toward dreams, goals, desires, ambitions...
So, in the true spirit of monotony, here I go again!

"Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday.
Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be,
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, how I long for yesterday." (Sir Paul McCartney)

Open almost any highschool yearbook and read the "What I want to do" sentence beneath the photos. With the world beneath their feet, and what appears to be immortality ahead of them, they soar into the lofty heights of vision:
"Write best sellers & travel the world!"
"Find a cure for Cancer"
"Live in Costa Rica and backpack barefooted to Venezula"
"Supreme Court Justice"
A 20 year reunion book would read slightly differently in the "What I want to do" section,however, while the "Did you accomplish your dream?" section would feel like walking through a morgue:
"Pay my bills and get the creditors off my back" "Dreams melt when they get too close to the sun you know... they can't take the heat."

"Repair my house before it falls down around my ears." "Making a difference in the meatloaf and finding a cure for finicky eaters is as far as this dreamer got."

Something happens along the way. Instead of looking outward, we look inward. Rather than looking forward, we look back. We downgrade from "conquer the world", to "hang on for dear life" or "show me the $$$" . How do we change direction without losing passion and vision and hope? God has been whispering through the rubble of the hopes I'm burried beneath that there is more to my story than I have ever dreamed. Funny how hearing a whisper seems to stir more delight and desire than a shout.
Nahum 1:7 ..."the Lord knows who trusts in Him."

"But that was yesterday
I had the world in my hands
But it’s not the end of the world
Just a slight change of my plans
That was yesterday
But today life goes on
No more hiding in yesterday’ cause yesterday’s gone
It’s not the end of the world
Just a little hard to understand
You won’t find me in yesterday’s world
Now yesterday’s gone
Goodbye yesterday
Now it’s over and done
Still I hope somewhere deep in my heart
Yesterday will live on" Foreigner c. 1984

Keep whispering, Father, I'm listening...