Christmas should be a joyful season of the year, right? Homes are decorated, families gather, lots of good food is prepared — all reasons for a cheerful disposition. Why is it, then that so many face the holidays with dread and depression? Maybe they’re looking for joy in all the wrong places. I don’t say … More How great’s your joy?
No Christmas would be complete without hearing children sing Away in a Manger.* Their sweet voices tell the story of the baby Jesus in a stable bed, not making a sound, with the softly lowing animals by his side. It’s a perfect picture…until it’s not. A child stands still, without singing, furious that his parents make … More Bless the children
Growing up in an area that is both the South and heart of the Bible Belt, many of our expressions have biblical foundations. Some of my favorites are “Bless your heart”, “Lord willin’ and the creek don’t rise” (which I taught my ESL class) and “Glory be!” The meaning of these can vary depending on … More Glory!
I was going to sit down and read this afternoon, but the sun was actually shining and the warm weather drew me out into my small back yard. Since the first frost killed my roses budding on the vines, I have been wanting to prune. Today was my chance. I changed into my garden shoes, … More Pruning
I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day* is perhaps one of my favorite carols, as it is a true expression of the hurts and hope of a man who suffered, not only the loss of his dear wife, but then the tragedy of a severely wounded son in the American Civil War. Though this song comes … More When the song is mocked
In a time when good Christian men are hard to find, I found today’s carol very refreshing. Though I know it applies not only to men, I choose to be very literal today with its message. After all, it was written in the 14th century, so it would not be surprising if the author meant … More Christian men — Rejoice!
As a child, I loved the song Go, Tell It on the Mountain*, maybe because it seemed more modern than some of the other carols and had a great, spirited chorus. It made you want to get up and go tell the story of Christ’s birth. Go, tell it on the mountain, over the hills and ev’ry-where; … More Go and tell it
Tonight I listened to an 89-year-old Iraqi woman sing a Christmas hymn in Arabic, as her son played the guitar. He’s one of the many students my husband taught and mentored over the years, and I am grateful when I catch such beautiful glimpses of their lives via Facebook. It made me realize that before … More Hush and Rest!
One of my favorite stories of the impact of Silent Night, Holy Night* is when British and German soldiers stopped their fighting during World War I to sing this song into the night air. It did not stop the war, but it did provide a moment of peace in an otherwise deadly conflict. In churches today, … More A moment of peace
Some Christmas carols are very formal and even hard to sing, and yet we must, because they are part of our heritage and traditions. We also sing them because they are reflections of our love for Jesus and give witness to who he is. O Come, All Ye Faithful* will always be one of my … More Come on, Ya’ll!