Musings From A Musical Mind

Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

Angels We Have Heard On High (ThePianoGuys)

Merry Christmas! You will LOVE this version of the old carol – done beautifully by ThePianoGuys.  Have a warm and wonderful day.

Enjoy and God Bless!

O Come, Emmanuel (ThePianoGuys version)

When a piece of music moves me to tears – it is time to share it. Listen for yourself and see if this is not the the most emotional and beautiful
version you have ever heard.

May God Bless you this Christmas Eve

Song For The King

Last week I was listening to my Christmas CD driving home from somewhere.  All of a sudden this next song came on and I was transfixed by its beauty.  You know the kind of song that I mean.  The one that has a hint of sadness in it.  Of pulling at your heart-strings – in a good way.  The pulling of emotions that only music can do – when mere words fail us.  It was Michael W. Smith.  This song is on his Christmas CD.  It is reflective and moving.  I found myself being grateful and shuffling through some wonderful memories of past things around the holiday season – some sad, some happy – some a little of both.  Tears were streaming down my face and it was a little embarrassing the closer I drove to home.  I wondered, “what will Greg think I’m crying about?”  It was a little silly.  Thankfully he was not home yet – just my pretty puppy and she did not notice anything out of the ordinary – was just glad to see me as always.  I told Greg about the incident the next time we were in the car together listening to my Christmas CD.  I can’t remember him ever being moved to tears by any music before, except “Lamb of God” by Michael English – but I think he understood.

We had the pleasure of hearing Michael (Smitty) in concert a few years back with a full choir and orchestra.  From the first notes of his majestic Christmas music – I was moved to tears and stayed that way the entire concert.  He’s just that good.

Music is the universal language and can say things that words can’t express.  It sets a mood – prepares our hearts and minds – and brings a new appreciation for the gifts around us.  I’m always grateful and thankful for music that stirs and moves my heart.

Enjoy and God Bless

Kicking Off The Season

Over the next 4 weeks – I will be posting a favorite Christmas song or movie.  I LOVE this time of year – the sights, smells and sounds of Christmas.  Some of these are old favorites – some are brand new.  Join me on a song a day adventure – and tell me some of yours.  One of my voice students is singing this next song at our Christmas recital next month.  This is dedicated to all of you who lost someone this last year.  Enjoy!

God Bless

Wrapping Up Christmas

I feel like I’ve been absent – even though I have posted something every day since the week of Thanksgiving.  We did all the Christmas things, made Chex mix (multiple times) made the pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving week, decorated the house, put up small trees on tables this year, watched all our favorite traditional (and non-traditional) holiday movies, listened to old and new Christmas songs, got together with family and friends, spent a few short days with our college son, home and gone before Christmas, ate too much snack food, made a new potato recipe from my friend, had wonderful spiral ham and now I’m making split pea soup from the bone – and finally – it’s time to wrap up Christmas for another year.

I must say that I’m disappointed we had no snow whatsoever during this season – and there is still no snow in sight.  However, I did feel all warm and toasty many times with our cozy fire and warm blanket when the temperatures dipped below 30.  Our puppy, Daisy has been fun to watch as she grows, plays, entertains us with her clownish ways – and as she snuggles up and sleeps next to us by the fire.

I have also learned something new.  When people write “Merry Xmas” it’s actually NOT a bad thing, like my generation (and my parent’s) used to think.  “X” means “Chi” in Greek – or another word for “Christ“.  Who knew?  Ever heard someone say, “They are leaving out Christ when they say or write it that way”  Guess what?  They aren’t!

And as my pastor pointed out yesterday, when we say “Happy Holidays” it actually  means “Holy Days” – and I say it all the time!  So glad I was actually saying something good all along – don’t you just love being chided by other Christians when they think you’re forgetting about Jesus when you don’t say Merry Christmas?  It’s ALL good, people – and let’s not forget that there are three holidays to speak about, Thanksgiving, Christmas AND New Years.

So the next time you see “Xmas” – I encourage you NOT to be miffed – but embrace it!

And with a clear conscience I can say “Happy holidays” and “Merry Christmas” to all!

Have you ever been chided by someone over these things?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Warm after Christmas thoughts to you – as you “wrap up Christmas” for another year!

God Bless!

Plans For A Merry Music Film Festival

A mother plays the guitar while her two daught...

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This year between the weeks of Thanksgiving and Christmas – I want to select a song or a movie each day to post on my blog to bring the season in style.

Many people have various ideas about what is the best music and the best movie memories at this wonderful time of the year – and I’m no exception.  I definitely have my favorites.  Most of them are for personal reasons – either I grew up watching or listening to them – or they touched me in a place that’s very special.

So starting tomorrow – I’m going to feature a song or a movie (or both) each day to help you celebrate as well.  Fell free to add your favorites in the comment section – it’s fun to share ideas with you – and have you list your favorites too 🙂

Besides the food of this holiday season – the music and movies provide a vehicle for me to continue celebrating all month-long.  Most of these holiday films have wonderful soundtracks too – which is one reason they have become classics to me and why I love watching them over and over.  In fact – we have quite a collection of them in our 30 year marriage – and there are some things we simply have to watch during the holiday season – or it just isn’t the same to us.  Even better – having a roaring fire while watching and munching on holiday treats 🙂

So I hope you will join me in helping to create a list of incredible “must watch” movies and “must listen to” music – for those who need a little help to jump-start this season.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving week – and God Bless!

Making A Healthy Choice

Krispy Kreme logo

Image via Wikipedia

My husband and son are trying to corrupt me.  And after I was doing so well too.  Yesterday after working a job together they brought home – KRISPY KREME doughnuts!!  And they MADE me eat two glazed ones right in front of them.

I’m not happy about it.  In fact – I’m so NOT happy about it – that I had another one with my coffee for breakfast.

Three months ago I would have said NO WAY!!  You can’t tempt me with DOUGHNUTS!!

Greg and I began to eat right – no SUGAR and only whole foods.  We didn’t starve – far from it! Eating good things like fruits and veggies – lots of fish and chicken – sprouted wheat breads and butter, eggs and even bacon!  For snacks – raisins for Greg – nuts for me.  It was good – although no real weight loss – we just KNEW we were doing better with our choices – and a regular exercise routine felt right.

But then – Thanksgiving came.  And homemade pumpkin pie.  You know you can’t make just one pie.

And then the slow decline to the Christmas holidays – food and EVERY wrong choice in front of us.  Greg has a sweet tooth – I love the salty things more – like chex mix, salted nuts, chips – you get the picture.  Gone were all our healthy choices – well not gone exactly – just pushed to the side in the fridge and pantry.

And then yesterday – those messengers of the DEVIL brought me DOUGHNUTS!!   Well I’m as shocked and surprised as you are.  They are victims themselves and should be pitied.

When our son-in-law was here the other day he said to me – ‘I thought you guys weren’t eating this stuff anymore?’   Yeah.  So did I.

So like everything else in my life up to now – I will have to make another hard decision – to say goodbye to the unhealthy choices – and then – STICK WITH IT – for good this time!

And I will – really soon.  Get those DOUGHNUTS away from me!

 

God Bless

 

Silent Night

During exercise Joint Resolve 26, in Bosnia an...

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Just saw a true story called ‘Silent Night’ starring Linda Hamilton – set in WWII time – Germany.  It was a story from a little boy’s perspective just before the end of the war.  A German mother and her son fled to a family cabin away from their German town.  Just as they were settling in – three American soldiers broke in and used the cabin for a ‘hospital’ for a wounded soldier.  Then shortly after three German soldiers came upon the cabin.  The woman (Elisabeth) insisted that they keep their weapons outside if they were to use her cabin for shelter – calling it a ‘neutral zone’ – and amazingly THEY DID!

I was touched by this story of strength and courage from this woman – who at first feared for her life and the life of her son – but who ended up literally bringing peace and love into that small cabin  preparing a meal for them and taking care of the wounded man.  The atmosphere and influence of a warm and caring woman – was felt by all the men.  And they all changed that night.  The war was left outside for Christmas – and common ground between the men – fighting on opposite sides was discovered.  It was Christmas Eve and as Elisabeth prepared soup for the hungry men – each of them had something special to add to the meal from their rations – and one American officer even had ‘presents’ – chocolate for the young boy and young German soldier (about 15 years old) and a french soap wrapped in a little box for Elisabeth – which very much moved her.

What could have been a very tragic and bloody night for all of them – ended up being a very different night in that cabin as they exchanged words and stories with each other.  And later the young German soldier sang ‘Silent Night’ beside a modest little Christmas tree.   It was a night that Elisabeth and her son remembered for the rest of their lives.

I was thinking about this remarkable woman as I watched this.  Would I have been so brave?  Could I have brought peace into a hostile situation?  Can one person really make a difference?  Yes.  I believe they can.  I believe I can.  I believe you can too.

Are you one that brings peace in the midst of a storm?  Do you bring a calming effect to people in your world?  A healing balm?  An atmosphere of true humility and graciousness?  Do you seek out good in everyone – can you look past the ugly things – try not to blame or cast judgment?  Only think the best and try to encourage, embrace and love?

I pray that you will be one to shine your light – make difficult things better – lighten the load for others that carry a heavier burden.

After all – this is the Gospel Message.  Good News.  Great Tidings of Joy.  Jesus came to redeem, love, and win back what was lost.  You and me.

 

I am praying special blessings on you this day after Christmas!

 

God Bless

 

 

Merry Christmas To Everyone!

The Virgin Mary, baby Jesus, and angels in heaven.

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Just a quick note to say Merry Christmas!

 

I am praying that you are surrounded with people you love – and who love you back today!  May the peace and love of Jesus be with you today and always.

 

He is the reason for the season.

 

God Bless!

Christmas Memories

Stef's Present with Handmade Wrapping

Image by ex.libris via Flickr

I was inspired by a few of my students this week.  I love talking to children about Christmas – to see their eyes light up and the excitement on their faces as they tell me what they are asking for – hoping Santa will bring for them.

This last week has brought joy, excitement and laughter as each student has come for their lesson – with a brightly wrapped present for me.  They love to watch me open their gift (I’m pretty much a kid at heart) because I get so excited to open it!  It makes them giggle.  And it proves that Christmas is WAY more about giving than getting.

I try to make Christmas special for each one of them.  We sing and play only Christmas music in the month of December after the recital is over – and it is REALLY fun!  Last week my grown-up married daughter, Ashlee was here during some of my afternoon lessons – and I invited her in to sing harmony with us as we sang Christmas carols for most of the afternoon.  Special memories.

I have many memories from my childhood as this season approaches.  I remember  taking my very first airplane ride the Christmas that I was 10.  It is forever etched in my memory – and nothing else will likely compare to that Christmas for me.  We were flying from Seattle to Calgary, Alberta – where I was born and lived for the first 8 years of my young life.  My Grandparents lived there – and we were flying up to spend that Christmas with them.  Calgary is very cold in the winter – and we were greeted with a ‘winter wonderland’ of snow!  Our taxi driver was very nice – he could see our excitement and stopped by a Christmas light display at a neighborhood park – turned off his meter and let us get out and enjoy it.  I will never forget that Christmas.

However – we make new and unique Christmas memories every year – without knowing it.  As I look back over my life – I’m sure what I’m doing right now in this season with my students will rank right up there with the most special memories.  And I do have many wonderful memories when our own children were small.

Sometimes we are not even aware that we are ‘making memories’ while they are happening.  It is only as we look back on them – some years later that we truly recognize it – smile and remember.

I’m not sure if we should try to recapture the past – as great as some of those memories are.  Life is ever-changing – and we are all on a journey, good and bad.  The present and future are still there to write upon – and I for one can’t wait!

What are your favorite memories?  Do you think the best is yet to come?  Do you try to recapture the time when your children were small – or still with you?  Or do you see the future as an opportunity to meet new friends and share yourself with others that need your encouragement and warmth?

I am praying for each one of you this holiday season – that you will surround yourself with those you love, who love you and those that cross your journey this season.  That you will have your heart open to embrace and love – and be in anticipation of the wonderful things ahead.  That you will have the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with those you come in contact and share your life with.  That they will be drawn to the love of God just by knowing you.  This is my prayer.

May God truly Bless you!

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