For God So Loved . . .

“Holy Family” – The Valencia Collection

One of the first Scriptures my mother taught me as a child was John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (KJV)

For our family, Christmas day will involve fun and laughter, delicious food, and the giving and receiving of gifts, but best of all it will be a celebration of God’s precious gift to the world, Jesus Christ, God's only begotten son.

Merry Christmas - Joyeux Noël - Buon Natale - С Рождеством - 聖誕快樂 - feliz navidad


Christmas Carol Rap?

Steven Wilburn of Suite 101 Media writes, “Christmas can be a tough time for modern churches with a contemporary worship style.” These apparently are “tough times” because what worshipers really want is to sing traditional Christmas carols as written. However, that’s not what modern worship leaders want to provide for their congregations. So despite the scarcity of these modern offerings, he found a few to recommend.

Wilburn evaluated an arrangement of  “Joy to the World.” In his review he commended a band that has “…taken their signature edgy style and used it to revamp the classic carol, …” He notes that, “The band gives the verses a U2 feel with delayed electrics and long pedal tones.” In addition, the band has added a simple refrain, “ ‘all of heaven and all of creation sing the wonders of his love,’ putting it over a heavy drum(-)driven syncopated rhythm.”

Just when I thought an arrangement could not be more appalling, Wilburn introduces another Christian band arranged carol, “What Child is This?”  He writes that “… a pair of picking acoustics and violin, . . .” gives a folk feel to this traditional English carol. Then, “Slowly, the song add(s) instruments and builds energy until the whole band enters on the final refrain for a hard rock ending.”

Having been a participant in services where new arrangements of Christmas carols inspired movement and encouraged clapping, I started to wonder if by next year our church might include a Christmas carol rap.

Long ago I decided that if people who come up with rap songs are composers, then anyone can be a composer. So here is my Christmas rap contribution:

He came here on a night so clear/A child that brought us all good cheer/Now angels played on harps of gold/When they arrived and their story told/Yeah/Oh yeah

The song they’re singin’ right here, right now/It’s about that child over by that cow/That song floatin’ out for all to hear/Is bringin’ you courage and much good cheer. Yeah/Oh yeah

So listen right now you weary and sad/Sit and let the angel song make you glad/They’re wantin’ you to know that the baby in the trough/Is the Christ Child King so don’t nod off/Yeah/Oh yeah ©

Okay, I’m whining. And, yes, I would like a little cheese with my whine.

It came upon the midnight clear,
That glorious song of old,
From angels bending near the earth,
To touch their harps of gold:

"Peace on the earth, goodwill to men

From heavens all gracious King!"

The world in solemn stillness lay
To hear the angels sing. 
                                                                        ~Edmund Hamilton Sears

Celtic Woman is a popular contemporary group that sings Christmas songs and carols beautifully. Many of their selections are on their CD/DVD “Home for Christmas.”



Every day I am thankful for the family God has given to me: loving, caring Hubby, four wonderful, thoughtful children, two delightful daughters-in-law, two model sons-in-law, thirteen incredible grandchildren (and their sweeties), and five beautiful great-grands. I am extremely blessed!

Great-grands: Emma Powers reading a story, Sophia Fuller with her new puppy, Mackenzie Donovan and her doggie dressed up for Halloween, and Olivia and Sawyer Walker at the park. 


Why So Mean?

Social media fosters negativity, or so it seems. However, I think it’s more likely that social media is just a convenient way for people who were already negative to share their frustrations and anger with the world.
A TV channel in our area has an interactive screen for viewer comments during the evening news. The unkind judgments of many who post during the newscasts can only serve to cause hurt for those who are unintentionally thrown into the spotlight. Unfortunately, pessimism and hate can be shared publicly while critics remain anonymous.

My mama always told me, “If you can’t say something kind, don’t say anything at all.” Great advice!

With the release of my novel, I allowed my identity to become public and I did this with the full understanding that there are “not very nice” people out there who can decide to share unkind things about my writing. So, of course, my dream for social networking is to have a prohibition against posting under pseudonyms or anonymously. This would call for accountability and maybe foster more respectful discussions.

Literary agent, Rachelle Gardner, provides a lot of helpful guidance for writers. In a recent blog post, “When a Writer Becomes a Target,” she gave advice concerning how writers should handle negative comments. She also reminds writers to be careful with their own words out there in cyber-space and to “treat others as you’d like to be treated.” Not a novel idea! There is something about that in the teachings of Jesus.

Are you ever tempted to respond to an on-line post, especially to defend when a critical comment is posted on your blog? It’s a great way to get beat up.

Being a writer is not for sissies!