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!!!

ring-the-bells

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.  🙂

 

 

Advertisements

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (23)

CONVERSATION AND CONFRONTATION
Today was my mom’s birthday.   One of her favorite people was Ruth Bell Graham.  Her favorite quote was one she ran across in a Christian publication once.  Apparently someone asked Mrs. Graham if she had considered divorce.  This was her response:

No, I’ve never thought of divorce…but I did think of murder a few times.  – Ruth Bell Graham

For my married friends…  how was Valentine’s Day???  Was it all you hoped it would be, or was there something lacking?  Was it new and different or business as usual?  If it was less than you thought it would be, will you say something, or just let it go?  I’m definitely a letitgo girl.  I choose my battles very carefully and try not to sweat the small stuff.  That’s okay unless there is too much small stuff – it tends to pile up after a while, ya know?  Eventually something has to be said.  It’s not wrong to mention things, but it’s how you do it that can cause problems.

There is a certain amount of work that goes into making a go of marriage. You don’t just get married and sit back waiting for the bliss fairy to sprinkle bliss dust all over the place! It may seem that way at first, because at the beginning of marriage, your spouse can do no wrong! He’s your knight in shining armor who has whisked you off your feet and is carrying you into some new adventure that you will plan as you go. It’s new and different; exciting and enthralling!

A few years pass and exciting becomes a little more routine and dare I say… boring. For some of you, children are added to your family. I would hazard a guess that this would be a definite “UP” moment in a marriage that is already good and strong. But after a few more years, life becomes a bit like one of my poems. Predictable. Quite.  Rhythm and rhyme.  But is that a bad thing?

The effort has to be made by both parties. A one-sided effort will just bring about such frustration and that can lead to a sort of buyer’s remorse at the very least. Resentment comes about when you do not see any effort being made by the one you married. The one who vowed to love, honor, cherish – no matter what.

When I was maybe six, I saw a photograph in a magazine of a young woman holding a bouquet of flowers up to a police officer who was pointing a gun at her – it was a 1970’s image from an anti-war protest.  Terribly intrigued by the contradiction depicted in that photo, I asked my mother about it.  She explained that the woman was trying to win over the officer with kindness.  Her exact words:  “Zap them back with super love.”  I’ve thought of that phrase many times over the years in trying moments.  I’ve never regretted zapping anyone back with super love.  – Cheryl Strayed

Today I challenge you. Make the effort to communicate. Say what you want to say without fear of rejection or a lengthy lecture. Remind your mate that you are a full partner in this thing and your feelings matter. I know confrontation can be uncomfortable, but it sure beats spending the next 50 years of your life walking on proverbial eggshells.

Keep God in the middle. It will be OK. 🙂

GREAT POETRY READING DAY

TL 4-28 POETRY READING DAY

A POEM FROM THE PRAIRIE LADY

WHAT IS POETRY?????

Poetry is the rhythmical creation of beauty in words. – Edgar Allan Poe

I suppose that is why poetry and romance are often so closely linked. There is a rhythm to poetry as to love and life itself. We take the good with the bad – yin/yang – ebb and flow. Poetry has a way of touching us from deep inside as no other style of writing does. Great prose is worth its weight in gold. There is great value in poetry, just as there is immeasurable value in a well-crafted piece of sculpture.

My life has been the poem I would have writ / But I could not both live and utter it. – Henry David Thoreau

The best poetry has no hidden agenda, but takes on a life of its own. I enjoy poetry that makes me imagine something I had never thought of before, and gently persuades me to explore new possibilities. Poetry should not simply mimic the events of the day, but it should transform your mind into a new realm and make you feel like you have somehow escaped the harsh realities of your everyday life. Poetry should easily take me to my “happy place”.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Coffee-with-Jesus/355060321207311

My favorite poet is Lucinda Berry Hill, author of “Coffee with Jesus”, a book of 52 poems designed to be used along with a daily devotional book. I’m a bit of a groupie, I suppose (shh… don’t tell her). I became friends with Lucinda on facebook. She’s such a lovely person and we have hit it off so well. We’ve become very good friends and do a lot of “iron sharpening” and “brain storming” now, which is so neat! It’s great how God can do His work through us! We have so much fun and some days I walk away with a big smile on my face and tears running down my face because I have laughed so hard! What a blessing she is in my life! God knows who to set in my path and He knows when I need them.

Today is GREAT POETRY READING DAY!!! Put the kettle on and enjoy some inspirational poetry! ❤

INTERNATIONAL JUGGLER’S DAY

TL 4-18 INTERNATIONAL JUGGLERS DAY

https://youtu.be/5S5iyX5t0XM
I’m so excited because today is INTERNATIONAL JUGGLER’S DAY!!!

This is so beautiful – you would really have to trust your partner not to drop you!

When I was a little girl, my parents took me to the circus every year.  I remember the overwhelming scent of  popcorn and hay.  There were three rings with non-stop action!  I remember trying to keep up with the activity in all three rings at once.  The jugglers got my full attention.  I’ve always been fascinated with jugglers because it takes so much coördination to keep objects moving like that.  They devote so much time to honing their craft.  Like anything in life a person wants, it takes patience to juggle and a great deal of practice.

They can juggle literally anything – five, six or even seven of almost anything and they have them moving in no time. They make it seem so easy and effortless. 

Sometimes everyday life can seem like a juggling act, can’t it?  Things seem to be going along fine when one day – you drop one of the balls and it messes up the rhythm that you worked hard to get established.  You have to stop, pick them up, and start all over again.

When it seems like I’ve got my routine down and it works, life goes more smoothly than when I find out that something is a bit “off”.  Change is inevitable and a part of life but there are some changes that come along and completely knock you off your game.  Those are the changes that can rock your world – not necessarily in a good way. 

I’m thankful for the joy that comes with juggling everything in my life.  Things can be a little hectic and chaotic but you still feel a sense of purpose in it and experience real joy.  I’m okay when I’m juggling stuff because I know God has me in His strong Hands and won’t give me anything that He won’t help me handle.  

This is not a journey that will ever be smooth as silk – and I know that.  But it’s one that I would not trade for anything in the world.  I’m not a great juggler – once in a while I drop everything, have to go pick it up and begin again.

I try to remember that perfection is unattainable and flawless living is futile.  God is there helping me and forgives the wrong I do when I ask.  I have to pick the balls up and juggle again.  To leave them on the floor motionless is the real sin.  

Keep juggling – joyfully juggling.  Find humor where you can and laugh when you get an opportunity.  Be happy and find joy as you juggle along in life.

When life hands you lemons, juggle them!

Can you juggle with your mouth closed? 
betcha can’t!!! 😉