SILENT NIGHT

tl-11-29-silent-night

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David.  He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child.  While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born,  and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.  – Luke 2:4-7

Most of us grew up singing this Christmas carol.  It’s like saying the pledge of allegiance or reciting Scripture we’ve learned by heart.  The lyrics just roll off the tongue with little or no thought.  Today I want to make you think about the words of this old carol.  Why was “Silent Night” written?  Why not “Bright Night” – although early in the song it’s mentioned that all is calm and all is…  bright.

On Christmas Eve, 1818, “Stille Nacht!  Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria.  The voices of the assistant pastor, Father Joseph Mohr, and the choir director Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church accompanied by Father Mohr’s guitar.  All the congregation at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church listened intently.

On all six verses, the choir repeated the last two lines in four-part harmony.  A carol was launched that would soar into the hearts of folks throughout the world.  It’s been translated into hundreds of languages and is sung by untold millions every Christmas from small chapels to great cathedrals around the world.

Keep in mind that this simple tune was written to be played on a guitar.  The effect is so profound because of its simplicity.  It’s as though as lullaby is being sung – and what better accompaniment than a guitar?quiet-time-prayer

Often our Lord speaks to the human heart in a whisper.  Why are we so surprised when it is the soft and simple song that penetrates a hard heart?  Christmas softens most hearts by its very nature because what’s more precious than a baby?  Of course, Christ was not just any child, but He did enter into our world in the same way we as humans do.  It’s the first small bit of common ground He established in order to become a part of humanity.

When I think of what He left behind to begin His mission, I’m so very thankful He decided to follow through…  from cradle to glorious resurrection – for even me.

Take a look at Lucinda’s cute poem about that silent night.

my-christmas-storyIsn’t that cute???  🙂

 

 

 

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HERMIT DAY

TL 10-29 HERMIT DAY

10-29 YOU MAY THINK

 The Lord will make war for you, you have only to keep quiet.  – Exodus 14:14

I am so tempted to argue about political things because I care about the direction the country is headed.  I’ve had to read Scriptures that remind me that God is God and this is all part of His plan.  I need to trust Him more and be still.

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. – Psalm 46:10

Today we celebrate HERMIT DAY!  It’s a day to be in quiet seclusion.  For me it will be a day to ponder and wonder about the future.  A day to re-examine my own beliefs and a day to pray to my Maker.  I just want peace in the world, in my country and in my house.  I will pray to that end.  I’m fortunate enough to have the opportunity to spend much of my time alone, so I do a lot of praying.  I prefer to live away from the crowds and the sea of humanity.  Maybe it’s because I grew up an only child, but I know how to be alone.  I do it quite well and find all sorts of projects to keep myself occupied.

Today I will celebrate my lifestyle.  If you would like to be a hermit today, just run off by yourself to a secluded area where no one can find you.  It’s not difficult to leave – just leave.  Take a day to recharge your batteries.

Take a book.  Take a Bible and a devotional book or prayer-book.  Find a peaceful lake or a place you’ve always wanted to go.  Let the ones you love know you are leaving but don’t tell them where you’re going.  If you take your phone – turn it off.  When you are finished with the hermitization process – turn your phone on and let them know you’re ok and on your way home.

I think it’d be fun to bake some HERMIT COOKIES on hermit day.  But then, I’m weird.

It’s amazing how much good it will do (especially mentally) to be a hermit for one day.

My house is so quiet when the TV is turned off and there’s no one here but me.  I enjoy the quiet, especially when I’m trying to write.   Some folks just can’t let go of their hectic lifestyle – not even for a day.  They think they’ll get too bored or miss out on something.  Take a chance, go away, talk to God, just pray.  Or, bake some hermit cookies and pray while they’re baking.  You will be so glad you did – trust me!  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY

TL 10-25 INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY

Today is INTERNATIONAL ARTIST DAY.  Art impacts all of us every day in one form or another.  It encompasses painting, sculpture, writing and music.  We draw beauty, grace and humanity from the timeless gifts that artists give us.

Use this day as the opportunity to take an artist to lunch, buy that painting that’s been haunting you for months, visit a gallery,  go to the symphony or take part in something creative that is “outside the box” of your day-to-day life.

Lucinda Berry Hill wrote a poem about THE Masterpiece:

A MASTERPIECE

Artist & Founder

Chris, a Canadian Romantic Realist Artist in White Rock, BC, is always looking for that authentic gesture or moment in everything. His paintings express his “Romantic Realist” view of life, not crafty nor painterly.  Chris started I.A.D. to have a special day for the world to recognize and celebrate all the contributions artists have given to society.

The International Artist Day Festival in White Rock, B.C. will take place on October 24-26.  For more information, visit their website at www.IADFestival.com 

Enjoy live performances and so much more. This is a chance to meet and get to know the creative talent in your own backyard!

Some scenes from last year’s festival.  Looks like fun, doesn’t it?

I enjoy the arts because it is not set in stone.  There is no right or wrong when it comes to creating.   God will draw others to our art that need to be encouraged and uplifted.  We don’t know the far-reaching effect of the art God calls us to create.

If you’re like me, you won’t be celebrating the day in Canada (although it sounds lovely).  We have a fantastic art museum.  I might persuade my husband to take me to the Wichita Art Museum for lunch.  Then we can take a look around the art gallery.  We can spend the day just appreciating art!  😉