CAROL OF THE BELLS

tl-12-9-carol-of-the-bells

Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.  – Luke 2:11 

Carol of the Bells is of Ukrainian origin.  Did you know that this was originally a New Year’s Carol?  These lyrics were written in 1936.  Through the years this old tune has been given several different lyrics, but Carol of the Bells has been a Christmas classic since then.

It’s not quite Christmas without bells, is it?  Obviously there are jingle bells, but in church we are more likely to hear a handbell choir.  Some churches have bells that ring on a regular basis – but even so, when it’s Christmas, the ringing of the church bells has a special sort of meaning.  It’s as though the bells are proclaiming, Christ is born!  Come and worship the Lord!  Let’s prepare our hearts, proclaim the good news and announce to everyone that hope was born in Bethlehem!

RING THE BELLS!!!

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When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child,  and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.   – Luke 2:17-18

bell-prayer

Did you know in Victorian times it was fashionable to go caroling with small handbells to play the tune of the carol?  Sometimes they would just play the bells and not sing along.  Each person in a handbell choir is vitally important.  You are only responsible for one or two bells, but knowing when it’s your turn to play either of your bells is crucial.  If you miss it – then…  OOPS!

The bell’s rhythm and pitch indicate joy at Christmas and are symbolic of the harmony existing in the society.  Bells act as a go-between from heaven to earth, between God and man.  Sometimes new church bells get dedicated and even baptized before being used.  I’ve never been to a bell baptism, have you?  It’s quite a visual…  I’m trying to imagine what that would be like.  🙂

 

 

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SIERRA CLUB DAY

TL 5-28 SIERRA CLUB DAY

 

On May 28, 1892 in San Francisco, California, the Sierra Club was founded. Today is SIERRA CLUB DAY!!! This grassroots environmental group has been one of the most influential in the country and is still going strong.

Don’t count the day done until you’ve made the day count.  – Dr. Thom C. Gibson

I like their motto – LEAVE NO TRACE. That of course means that when you go on an outing – you clean up and leave your site just as you found it. If you packed it and used it – pack it back up and take it with you. You don’t have to be a member of the Sierra Club to use that kind of common sense when it comes to taking care of the planet.

Don’t wait until Arbor Day to plant a tree. You can plant a tree now!

This falls under the heading COMMON SENSE – but when you leave a room – flip the light switch off behind you. Why keep a light on – or a TV on if you are leaving the room? Instead of cranking up the heat in the Winter or the AC in the Summer, adjust the amount of clothing you wear to get more comfortable.

Stay informed on the latest eco news. If you hear of a more green way to do things, maybe you should consider making some changes for the sake of the planet.

Ask yourself a question before you mindlessly toss something in the trash: Could this item be re-purposed or re-used for something? You might be surprised what you can do! I recently turned a gallon jug into a handy watering pitcher for my plants.

Do you throw your gum away in a trash can, or do you just spit it out the car window and let it land wherever? Think about how you dispose of your gum next time. Aside from the fact that someone might step in it, a bird would think the gum is a rock and swallow it. The gum then expands, killing the bird.

A few small changes made by all of us can make a huge impact. This is the only Earth we get – no backup Earth – sorry. 😦

WEAR PURPLE FOR PEACE DAY

TL 5-16 WEAR PURPLE FOR PEACE DAY

Wear purple for world peace. This is WEAR PURPLE FOR PEACE DAY!!! Inner Peace brings with it the thought of relaxation. Here are some effective relaxation therapies:

BREATHING.  Well, that is certainly helpful, isn’t it?  Breathing exercises have taught me how to breathe correctly to relieve my stress.  The technique is simple (believe me, if it was complicated, I wouldn’t do it).  You place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen.  Take a slow, deep breath, taking in as much air as possible.  Your abdomen should press against your hand.  Hold that breath in for a few seconds, then slowly exhale.

VISUAL IMAGING. Basically this technique uses body awareness to do relaxation. Imagine being in a peaceful, restful place (your “happy place”). Now focus on different physical sensations, but not necessarily just painful areas. Everyone imagines differently, but I would not recommend an image of a banana split for someone who is trying to lose weight! Don’t sabotage your efforts like that.

PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION. This therapy is one of my favorites. It was just recently developed for people suffering with peripheral diabetic neuropathy. The idea is to flex the painful area then hold it briefly. Relax it, slowly easing the tension. I make this fun by drawing the alphabet with my foot. The movement seems to ease the pain a bit. By the time I get to the letter “Z”, I do usually feel better. I’ve actually been drawing the alphabet with my foot as I write this post. Can I multi-task, or WHAT???

CHRISTIAN POSITIVE AFFIRMATIONS.  There are many CD’s available to listen to on You Tube that provide positive thoughts for Christians.  These are Scripture-based and give us support as it seems the world has gotten more crazy.

Did you catch all of that?  Don’t worry – your subconscious did!

Pray for peace as we approach the last days.  Remember this is all God’s timing and we just need to hang on to Him.  🙂