Hello world, I have returned! Did you miss me? If you’ve been wondering where I’ve been for the last 3 month, look no further. I’ve been working at camp (in the media area). Not to be boastful, but I was well loved. Sadly it wasn’t for my good looks, but because I was the one taking pictures and giving out candy. Haha – in all seriousness though, I loved my job! I grew in my leadership abilities and developed personally.
Here’s one of the pictures I took of the sunset last week! God is a great painter, Amen? Amen!
Anyways, I’m looking forward to another great school year in college! And my brother is coming to the same institute as me, so it’s going to be a good time! Some people may not be happy about school starting soon – or may even be anxious. However, I’m really excited about everything that’s to come (Obviously, since my brother is coming & that’s super awesome!).
This year I hope to write more music and learn how to play the guitar. I mean, I can play a few chords, but not fast and in the context of a song. So I don’t really count that as ‘being able to play’ the instrument.
I’m expecting God to do incredible things this year!
On the topic of family, here ya go!
Related to my word of the year, renew, is the song “Making Me New” by Royal Taylor. God is making us new! And going along with the theme of renewal, I like what Isaiah 43:19 says:
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” (NLT)
As I was looking up a few different versions of this verse, I found it interesting what the Message had to say. Consider this:
“This is what God says, the God who builds a road right through the ocean, who carves a path through pounding waves, the God who summons horses, chariots and armies — they lie down and can’t get up; they’re snuffed out like so many candles: ‘Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I am about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, rivers in the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’ — the coyotes and the buzzards — Because I provided water in the desert, rivers through the sun-baked earth, drinking water for the people I chose, the people I made especially for myself, a people custom-made to praise me.” (16-20, The Message).
Band Aid! I believe it was my dad who first showed me the 1984 original version of the song “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”. And I immediately fell in love! That’s why it’s up here at number two of my favourite Christmas songs!
I think that the melody is very catchy. Plus it is special to see multiple artists coming together for a single purpose! The message is challenging as it gets you to think about how people, specifically in Africa, (or in other parts of the world), may see or not see Christmas. Christmas for some may not consist of snow, fancy decorations and/ or presents. And while we have a comfortable and traditional season, the authors and artists want us to remember those who may not have it as good as we do.
“But say a prayer
Pray for the other ones
At Christmas time it’s hard
But when you’re having fun.
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?”
For some reason, every other time people have covered this song in the years following 1984, no other group seems to do the song justice. In my opinion, there’s just no beating the original song.
My third favourite Christmas song is “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby!
Yes, I like the traditionals too and not just new covers!
I can personally really identify with this song. Especially now when we, in North America, aren’t always guaranteed a white Christmas. Some years when it’s green, I find myself yearning for a ‘white’ Christmas!
The lyrics of this song also get me in the spirit of Christmas:
“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
Just like the ones I used to know
Where the tree tops glisten
And children listen
To hear sleigh bells in the snow
I’m dreaming of a white Christmas
With every Christmas card I write
May your days be merry and bright
And may all
Your Christmases be white”
And this year I did end up making my own cards, which adds something more special to it. Especially when I give them to my family and friends!
“Breath of Heaven” sung by Amy Grant is number four on my favourite Christmas song list!
This slower song is from Mary’s perspective. It is a beautiful prayer.
“Breath of heaven
Hold me together
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven
Breath of heaven
Lighten my darkness
Pour over me your holiness
For you are holy
Breath of heaven”
The verses are very meaningful as Mary, in the song, expresses her fears and feelings.
Although this is ‘Mary’s song’, it can also be taken individually for those who listen. That’s one reason why I like it. And it’s a beautiful Christmas prayer for us as well and has a calm soothing melody.
I sort of thought of this a bit late, but leading up to Christmas I thought it would be fun to show some of my top favourite Christmas songs or carols. So over the next 5 days (including today) and counting down, I will do my top 5 favourites! These may be some newer songs I have come to love or older traditional ones.
Number 5 on my list is “Angels We Have Heard On High” by the Piano Guys!
Ever since I was first introduced to the Piano Guys, I thought they were amazing and so talented! Plus, the hymn itself has been a long time favourite carol of mine. The Piano Guys do an amazing job covering the song. They have four guys on the piano all doing different parts, using hair off a bow to make the notes, and their own percussion.
The lyrics to the song itself have always been beautiful and mysterious to me.
“Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo!”
Plus the language Latin is a lovely language to sing in, though only a small part of the piece is sung in Latin.
So the beauty of this “Angels” song itself, along with the talent of the performers, make this rendition special and one of my favourites this year!