Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 31

Merry Christmas
 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth." (Matt. 28:18) What began in a stable in Bethlehem was completed on a mountain top. The mission of Christ was to become the appropriate sacrifice for the sins of the world and to provide a pathway to eternal life for His people. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 30

Christmas is indeed a time to spend with family. It is indeed a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. It is a time when the attention of the world can be focused on the single most important event in human history. Christmas is that time of year when the followers of Christ can say to one another and invite the world to "Come Let Us Adore Him."

Friday, December 23, 2016

2016 Chriatmas Music Marathon - Day 29

We celebrate several holidays in this country and there are some locations are special places to celebrate. On Memorial Day many Americans bring their boat out for the first time and head to the lake. Independence Day finds us gathered around the BBQ and going to a local fireworks display. Many people are traveling during Christmas, but for most the destination is the same...HOME! There is no place more comfortable and special in our hearts than to gather with our family in that place that we consider home and celebrate the birth of our Savior. It is said that home is where the heart is and there is much truth to that phrase. The Bible tells us, "For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation." (Romans 10:10) Christ tells us, "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door. I will come in to him and dine with him and he with Me." God desires to make His home in the hearts of men and a truly happy heart is one in which the Savior lives. Have a blessed Christmas.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 28

Christmas 2003 

Christmas 2012
One of the Christmas traditions around our house was baking Christmas goodies. The girls would pick a Saturday and gather at our house to bake all sorts of treats. This year schedules finally got in the way and a day in the kitchen was not possible. It was a little sad, but our waistlines are probably the better for it. The top photo was taken in a duplex apartment that we rented while the house in photo two was being built. We downsized and moved again in 2015 and I'm pretty sure the remainder of our Christmas celebrations will take place at this location.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 27

Nothing changes the dynamics of a family quite like a newborn. The family anxiously waits the birth then the discussion begins regarding who the child most resembles. There are tears of joy from the parents and grand parents. Everyone is looking forward to holding the baby and wondering what life's journey holds for this new arrival. The world had been waiting for centuries for the arrival of the promised Messiah. God chose to enter this world as a baby. A baby who was created in the image of His Father. A baby whose journey would end at the cross and complete the sacrifice for the sin of this world.
When we acknowledge our sinful state, admit that we are in need of a Savior, call upon the name of Christ to save us, and invite Him to live in us, we experience the new birth. Indeed, on a cold night, in a manger in the city of David, "A Baby Changes Everything." Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 26

"And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child." (Luke 2:16-17)
For most of us it is nearly impossible to keep good news to ourselves. When we get a job promotion, we let it be known. When we purchase a new car or a new house, we want to show everyone we know. The shepherds were among the first humans to be told of the Good News that a Savior had been born and they were the first visitors that Mary and Joseph received. Upon viewing Jesus, there was no doubt in the minds of these men that Christ was indeed the promised Messiah and they could not wait to tell the world about their experience. Let His light shine in your heart this Christmas season. Have a blessed day.


Monday, December 19, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 25

It's hard to believe, but we are entering the last week before Christmas and the home stretch of the 2016 Christmas Music Marathon. There has been a lot of music posted that is new to you and me, but there are always a couple of favorite videos that make their way into the mix. Today I am posting my two all-time favorites. The first video is not only my favorite Christmas song, but my favorite video. I would love to be in a public setting when a flash mob breaks into the Hallelujah Chorus.

If your favorite recording artist has ever released a Christmas album, there is good chance that "O Holy Night" is one of the tracks on the album. In my humble opinion, no one has ever done it better than David Phelps of the Gaither Vocal Band. I apologize for the ads. As of right now I don't have a way to remove them, but I am working on it. Enjoy and have a blessed day.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 23

On Christmas morning children race into the room where the Christmas tree stands guard over the presents. They have been wondering what was in those brightly colored packages for what seems like an eternity. They rip and tear and squeal with joy at the gifts that are now in their possession. However, the following week, they have to go back to school and resume a normal life as they know it. However, because of the gift that God laid in a manger in Bethlehem we can experience a new life and joy from an eternal source. We can walk away from what ever our old life looked like and walk into a life framed in God's mercy and grace. Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 16, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 22

"The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him. The Spirit of wisdom and understanding. The Spirit of counsel and might. The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord." (Isaiah 11:2)
Isaiah gave us a clear vision of Christ centuries before His birth. Mark confirms Isaiah's prophecy with his account of the baptism of Christ, "And immediately, coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove. The a voice came from heaven, You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (Mark 1:10-11) Have a blessed day.


Thursday, December 15, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 21

"Then the angel said to them, Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord." (Luke 2:10-11)
In the heart of the believer there is no greater source of joy than knowing Christ. He is the fulfillment of God's promise. He is our Redeemer and the Savior of our souls. In His own words, "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved." (John 3:17) Have a blessed day.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

2016 Christmast Music Marathon - Day 20

"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign. Behold, the vigin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:17) 
Even in the days of His birth, those looking for proof of who Christ was, could find it. But like today, many reject the truth that lies in a cradle in Bethlehem, dies on a cross for us, and rises from the dead to give us access to God and eternal life. Through the prophet Isaiah, God told His people exactly how their savior would enter this world and what he was to be called, Immanuel..."God with us". God still inhabits the hearts of His children. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 19

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1) Man has always had a way to communicate with his creator. Adam and Eve walked daily with God until temptation severed the relationship. Moses spoke to God often, yet was not allowed to enter the promised land because of his disobedience. Paul encountered God on a dusty road and later wrote nearly half of the New Testament. Today, followers of Christ communicate with their Creator through reading His Word and prayer. God always has been, and always will be. Christmas is the celebration of that time in which the God of all creation put on the face of man and walked among His creation. Have a blessed day.

Monday, December 12, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 18

Christ was born to save us from our sin. He wants to have a personal relationship with us and I think this is kind of what that relationship is supposed to look like. Have a blessed Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 16

"Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the Easst came to Jerusalem saying, Where is He who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him....And when they had come to the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasure, the presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense and myrrh." (Luke 2:1-2, 11)
Wise men still seek Him. God asks only that we bring ourselves to Him and He will cleanse us, re-shape us and make us a light that shines on the most important gift of all, the gift of eternal life through salvation that is available only through Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 9, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 15

As Christmas Day draws near, gifts are placed under the tree and the excitement builds. Children wonder what could be in those brightly decorated packages and what joy will the gift bring to their day. Someone has rightly said the God always wraps His gifts in a person. The most precious gift ever given was the gift of salvation and eternal life, and that gift was delivered by God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Whenever God meets a need in your life it is delivered through another person. God allows us and expects us to be a blessing to others. He wants to use us to show the world what true love looks like. He expects us to share the joy of His presence in our lives with those around us. On a night in Bethlehem, "Joy Has Come", and shepherds declared, "Angels We Have Heard on High". Have a blessed day.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 14

"And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of heavenly host praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace goodwill toward men."
"So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, Let us now go to Bethlehem to see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us." (Luke 2:14-15)
One can only imagine the shock and awe experienced by the shepherds on the night of Christ's birth. Out of nowhere an angel appears and delivers the birth announcement. Then the first angel is joined by a multitude, perhaps too many to number, singing praises to God. Two thousand years later we still have the opportunity to come to the cross and see what God has made known to us. Sing Noel and have a blessed day.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathong - Day 13

Ornaments reflect the lights from the tree and give a glow to the surrounding room. There is no other time during the year that our homes are more warmly decorated and welcoming to all who enter. Christ was the Light of the Stable where He was born and now He lights the hearts of those who invite Him into their lives. He brought with Him the gift of salvation and is willing to give it to all who enter into His presence. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 12

As I grow older, my Christmas lights get closer to the ground. Getting up on a steep roof is just not a good idea anymore. We love Christmas lights and driving around the neighborhood to see what other displays look like. There is a festive atmosphere and feeling of joy that only colored lights can bring to the heart and mind. But there is only one thing that can bring joy and peace to the soul and that is the Savior whose birth  we celebrate this season. May the blessing that is Christmas be in your home and your heart this year. Have a blessed day.

Monday, December 5, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 11

Regardless of what may be going on in our lives or what storm we may be in our midst, because of a Savior born in Bethlehem, the child of God and follower of Christ can say, "All is Well". Have a blessed day.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 10

The Christmas season brings a celebration of light. Many cities decorate their buildings and public spaces with lights. Many individuals, including myself, spend several hours or days hanging colored lights on our homes. These lights shine in the night and are meant bring to bring a little joy into the hearts of those who see see them. The confirmation comes when families spend an evening driving by the lighted displays and smiles adorn each face. On a cold winters night, in the city of David, God gave us His Son. By His grace, through our faith, Christ has said of His followers, "You are the light of the world." (Matt. 5:14) The Light that shines in us is Jesus because, "...there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved." Have a blessed day.


Saturday, December 3, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 9

When our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving and Christmas, we immediately think of spending time with friends and family. We put aside the stress of everyday life and dwell on those things that are truly important. We need to do that more often. We need to count our blessings, and for some of us the greatest blessing of all, is the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. Have a blessed day.

Friday, December 2, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 8

Angels have always played an important role in the relationship between God and mankind. God has used them to deliver important messages throughout history. Upon the birth of Christ God announced the promised Messiah to shepherds in nearby hills. At the first appearance of angels and light, the shepherds were terrified but the Creator, by way of angels, told them, "Do not be afraid, I bring you good tidings of great joy; for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord."

Thursday, December 1, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 7

There have been a lot of events that have changed this world that we live in. The Revolutionary War established the United States as an independent, self governing country. World War II called upon those who would become known as "The Greatest Generation" to save the world from the tyranny of Nazi Germany. Setting foot on the moon seemed to make the world smaller, and the internet revolutionized the way that we communicate. But no event in human history has had as profound an impact on the life of mankind as the birth of a Savior in a cradle in Bethlehem. Have a blessed day.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 6

In the fields outside of Bethlehem shepherds were working. The job of a shepherd was a thankless task. They were expected to protect the flock at all costs, regardless of the circumstances. It is little wonder that the news of the Good Shepherd was first shared with these men. Bethlehem and the world were not prepared when the angels announced that a King was coming to Town. Have a blessed day.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 5

I just wanted to be among the first to officially wish everyone a Merry Christmas. Life can be difficult. Life can be disappointing and move much faster than we are able to adapt. It is easy to get overwhelmed and stressed, but remember one thing. A Savior was born and with the birth of Christ, "Joy Has Come to This World". Have a blessed day.

Monday, November 28, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 4

"And she brought forth her first-born Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn."
For centuries the prophets of God had been telling the faithful that one day God would send a Savior to dwell among them. On the the night that Christ was born, Grace Has a Face. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 3

When Joseph discovered that Mary was expecting a child prior to their formalizing their marriage, he was advised by some to put her away. However God sent him a messenger saying. "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." Joseph listened to the angel, obeyed the will of God and a Savior was born. It wasn't his child, it was the Son of God.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 2

"Then the angel said to her, Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And you will conceive in our womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end." (Luke 1:30-33)
Mary was just a teenager engaged to Joseph when the angel of the Lord appeared to her. He told her what was going to take place very soon and that her life would be changed forever. That is a lot of information for a young woman to absorb. Still, her answer to the angel was, "Behold the maidservant of the lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38) Mary simply made herself available to God and a Savior was born.

Friday, November 25, 2016

2016 Christmas Music Marathon - Day 1

Welcome to season seven of my annual Christmas Music Marathon. The purpose of this event is to temporarily take your mind off of the commercial madness that typically surrounds this season and focus on the true reason that we celebrate Christmas. The birth of Christ is the single greatest event in human history and when coupled with the events of Easter we have a complete picture of God's plan for the redemption of the human race.
Each day, between now and Christmas, you can come to this blog and find a music video that celebrates the birth of our Savior and the joy that His birth brings to the heart. There will be new songs, old songs, hymns, along with praise and worship music. So take a break from your Christmas shopping, football watching holiday season and stop by here to enjoy a little music to uplift the soul and focus on the Savior.
I traditionally begin with a video that reminds us of the first Christmas and invites us to Take a Walk Through Bethlehem. Let the marathon begin!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Wordless Wednesday

 Fall colors can still be found here in NW Arkansas. You just have to look and shoot a little closer to the subject in order to weed out all of the clutter.

Ruby Tuesday

 We have a couple of flower pots on our front porch that we displayed in May, thinking that by August everything would be dead. Well, we had a wet spring, a semi-mild summer and Autumn temperatures have been well above normal. So-o-o-o geraniums are now a part of our Fall landscape. Who knew?

2016 Christmas Music Marathon Begins Friday!
My seventh annual Christmas Music Marathon starts this Friday. On Black Friday of each year I start posting at least one video each day that celebrates the true meaning of Christmas. Take a break from shopping, football watching and other distractions to spend a few moments with some of your favorite musicians to celebrate the "Reason for the Season". See you on Friday.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Awe...some Monday - Seven Decades

Sunday I began my seventh decade on this planet.

There was cake in the shape of a digital camera and Oreo cookies! I love Oreo cookies. There were friends and family that stopped by to join the celebration.

Our daughter and I are being photobombed by the youngest granddaughter.

Later I got a Happy Birthday kiss from the newest member of the ladies high school soccer team. Try-outs for the team have been conducted over the past two weeks with 50-60 girls competing for about 30 roster spots. It is something special to make the roster as a freshman. Best birthday present of the night.

Of course there is the one who has made everyday of my life special for the past forty-two years. Best gift ever. Thank you Lord for giving this lady to be my wife and best friend. Have a blessed week.

2016 Christmas Music Marathon Begins Friday!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Skywatch Friday - Moon Shot

This week the Super Moon has been the topic of conversation for a lot of people. I decided to grab the camera, go outside and see if I could capture a few interesting images. Here are the results.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Inspiration Thursday

All of us spend most of our lives working to earn a living. We want to provide for our family and purchase nice things for ourselves. We desire to live in a nice home, and drive a nice car. We want our children to have a good education so we have a college fund. We want to live comfortably in retirement so we have a retirement plan, such as a 401K. We often make these things the highest priorities in our lives and neglect what is truly important, our relationship with our Creator.
God reminds us just how precious we are to Him in Matthew and again in Luke.
Christ reminds us that the lillies of the field do nothing to be beautiful. God created them and gave them their beautiful color and shape. We are infinitely more important to God than a flower, so He will provide for our needs, if we make our relationship with our Creator the most important relationship in our lives. If we want to live our lives on our own terms and take whatever life throws at us, God will allow that to happen. However, if we place our lives in His hands, and seek His guidance everyday, a life that is marked by service, contentment, and joy can be ours. Have a blessed day.