One job ended...another began.
I'm closing in on 5000 posts on Pilgrim Progressional.
My niece married in early June. I was honored to officiate, and blessed to be able to attend.
Some of the year's happenings are chronicled here on my blog, which is now over 10 years old. The rest is written in my private journal which I'm thinking I need to gather into one place.
One of my most memorable moments this year? The publishing of my first novel. I still am so excited and proud about the completion of this goal.
Createspace - the website which was used to self-publish my novel - shows that there have only been 17 copies of the book sold. I laugh when I see it, knowing I purchased 10 of those copies and then gave them away to family and friends.
But it never changes the fact that I finished it and that it can be purchased through Amazon.
I have three additional titles in the Benjamin Sunday series. I'm hoping that in 2018 I can complete the second novel - tentatively title Benjamin Sunday and the Mayan's Viking - and publish it towards the end of the year.
I learn by doing - and I'm determined to keep learning through the new year.
I mean when you consider the hymns of the church over the years, what is being produced today is incredibly disappointing.
This was a Christmas day stop while I was floating around the internet enjoying a cup of tea and some toast. A magnificent tune, a beautiful voice, and a tender arrangement with some amazing visuals - a great reminder of the Gift that was given and the lesson He gives us...
"Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace."
So much of the Christmas holidays are expressed in music. Some good, some horrible. (I'm NOT a fan of the John Lennon tune about Christmas -- ugh...)
This year, the song that caused me to pause what I was doing and listen to the words was one recorded by Casting Crowns. It contained one very pointed question about the condition of my heart and the place my Savior has within...
"Is there room in your heart, for God to write His story...?"
It's a chance for the family to deliver news about what they did over the past year. Where they went. What they saw. Achievements. Disappointments. Changes. Anticipated events in the coming year.
Personally, I prefer regular contact as opposed to the data dump as the year turns the corner from old to new. So much of what are in those letters comes off as "old news" - and I find myself wondering why I wasn't important enough to hear about it in a more timely fashion.
I'm glad Disney decided to add our 45th president to their attraction. To have heard some, Disney was deciding against having him speak; I think the update is well done.
The holidays are hard. So many emotions. So many memories. Each year they all come flooding back...and for those who find themselves alone at Christmas it becomes particularly difficult.
I miss my Mom. I miss my Dad. I miss the friends that are no more - whether it be my fault or theirs. Some nights I sit and watch the lights on my little Christmas tree, and pray to my Savior and ask Him to help me to remember, to reflect, and to rejoice knowing that no matter what has happened or will happen, He's ever with me.
I pray the Lord will inspire you to grow closer to Him this Christmas season, and help you hold on to Him today, tomorrow, and always.
Merry Christmas my friends.
I am convinced that the best measure of a church’s music is not what takes place on the stage, but what takes place in the pews. It is not so much the sounds and sights of a band leading, but the sounds and sights of a congregation worshiping. A church with a truly great music program is the one that could worship just as well on the day the power goes out and the instruments won’t play. A church with a truly great music program is the one that generates far more sound from its raw voices than its amplified instruments. A church with a truly great music program is the one where the people sing—they really sing.
Tim Challies, "A Church with Great Music" (@Challies, December 19, 2017)
I have long thought that the quality of a church's worship demonstrates the quality of a church. It's one of the main reasons I tend to avoid modern church services which are led by a praise band. The rise of this "entertain-ship" style of worship just doesn't seem to fulfill what I think should be a dynamic and engaging form of worship. As Challies points out, it's too easy for people to watch, to be entertained, rather than to be involved and inspirational to others.
Christmas...is music. This is one of my favorites. I prefer the version with Michael W. Smith singing with a choir, but this one is good, too.
Another great teacher of God's Word has gone home to be with his Savior.
R. C. Sproul was one of those teachers who not only made you think. He also made you feel. I remember his series on The Holiness of God - and what a difference it made in my life in understanding the total uniqueness found only in my God and my Savior. He will be greatly missed.
I got posted online! NOTE: This is a follow-up to my blog post of December 9, 2017.
While scrolling my Facebook timeline, an article link caught my eye from one of the groups I follow. It was an article about single women and how they could enjoy the Christmas holiday. It was a good article with some great suggestions, but the nagging question I had after reading it was, "What about single men?"
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
(Psalm 51: 10-12 ESV)
Half a million lights + two houses + and a plugged in piano = electric Christmas light show.
A Facebook group I follow had an article about the stresses and troubles single women face during the holidays. It was a good article, but after reading it, I was thinking, "OK, but what about single men?"
So I wrote an article and submitted it to the group's editor. No idea when it'll appear on their website, but I'll put it on mine...
I treated my sister and niece to dinner in honor of my sister's birthday last evening.
It was my sister's choice, and we all looked forward to a nice time, a good meal, and celebrating her day.
It wasn't long before we were all remarking about our experience.