Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Favorite Christmas Carols

Thought I would share my top five.

Bing Crosby and David Bowie - The Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth.  This inter-generational classic was shot just a few months before Crosby died.  It was Bing's kids who suggested Bowie for the duet. It's just fantastic.

Christmastime is Here from a Charlie Brown Christmas - Hauntingly beautiful and chock full of oh so warm childhood memories.

The Christmas Song by Nat King Cole - One of my favorite orchestrations of a song, lyrics capturing a true family holiday and the utter coolness of Nat.

The next two go together. Just before all the merriment dies down and we move to the reason for the season, we get close to the end of the day on Christmas Eve and the hour that God becomes man, born as a child, to wash us of our sins, O Holy Night, the dénouement of the story with the song reaching it's final praiseful cresecendo when indeed the Savior is born.  This version, is by artist Josh Groban.

And finally, as the Savior is born and resting in his manger, we know must become very quiet, reflect, be with those we love and fall into adoration of Him and feel the peace embedded in Silent Night (the story of it's composition is a blessing itself).  Having once sang this song at midnight, Christmas Eve, on the steps of a 200 year old church in New England at five below zero, it will always signify the coming of Christmas to me.  Here is the song in both it's original German as well as English versions.

There are many, many other holiday themed songs and multiple recordings of such that I enjoy.  I hope you enjoy my favorites here though.  I would be delighted if you commented and noted some of yours.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Covenant Prayer

From Kay Warren...

Thank you Jesus that you are all knowing, all powerful and capable of keeping that which is given back to you. You hold my life in your hands. Order my steps rightly, and lead me with your heart of compassion. I remain yielded. I choose forgiveness for those I worked for in the past, and I choose your grace. You have promised us that you would not leave us or forsake us. Thank you that you do not change. Guide me through this turbulence in the journey called life, and lead me homeward to that place in heaven. Amen


In taking inventory of my actions as much as I hate to admit it narcissism (a tool beautifully designed by the Devil perhaps) is behind much of what I think is behind my fears and wants. It drives incorrect modes of thinking, is what leads us to escape the truth and puts a wall between us and God as well as those we love. The crazy self fulfilling prophecy of narcissism of course is that we refuse to admit we've fallen victim to it. But those things that we wish to control, surely because we would be better at controlling the situation and can't fathom any other outcome are a direct result of a level of malignant narcissism, at least for me anyway.

I found the following bible verse spoke to me on this topic.

Philippians 2:1-30: "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, ..."

And the great thing about perhaps being willing to give up those old egotistical ways is that I can humbly admit I might even be wrong about the above. Doesn't matter. God is right and his truth is the truth for me whether I get it the first, second or even 54th time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

My Hebrew Name

My Hebrew Name is:
Michael means "who is like God?" Michael appears in the Bible as a member of the tribe of Asher (Numbers 13:13). Michael is also the name of an angel and messenger of God, whose task is to act as the "defense attorney" for the Jewish people. Michael stays on our right side as we sleep at night; the right side is always associated with mercy and kindness.

My Hebrew Birthday is:

23 Tishri (5725)

On this Date in the Jewish Calendar:
Simchat Torah
Simchat Torah celebrates the completion and beginning of the annual Torah reading cycle. In the synagogue, all the Torah scrolls are taken out of the Ark, and the congregation dances "seven circuits" with great joy and song.

On this Date in Jewish History:
In 67 CE, Roman soldiers captured Gamla, a fortress in Israel's Golan region, and killed all its inhabitants. The ancient historian Josephus Flavius, a leader of the Jewish revolt against Rome, fortified Gamla as a main stronghold in 66 CE. The Romans attempted to take the city by means of a siege ramp, but were turned back by the defenders; only on the second attempt did they succeed in penetrating the fortifications and conquering the city. Thousands of inhabitants were slaughtered, while others chose to jump to their deaths from the top of the cliff. The location of ancient Gamla was discovered in archeological excavations during the 1970s; the remains have been preserved as a national park.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Moving Story of Love

Normally this blog, when I do write, covers things that are more upbeat and light hearted.

This particular post however does not fit that characterization at all but it was something so compelling that I had to share it with you and this is really my only forum to do so.

I received in my in-box today photos were so touching and made me nearly cry that I feel I must share them.

Marine 2nd Lt James Cathey of Reno, Nevada was killed August 21st, 2005 by an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations near Al Karmah, Iraq.

When his body was returned to Reno family and friends met were on the tarmac to meet the casket as Marines lowered it from the plane as stunned passengers on the plane watched.

The night before the burial of her husband's body, James' wife Katherine Cathey refused to leave the casket, asking to sleep next to his body for the last time The Marines made a bed for her, tucking in the sheets below the flag. Before she fell asleep, she opened her laptop computer and played songs that reminded her of 'Cat,' and one of the Marines asked if she wanted them to continue standing watch as she slept. 'I think it would be kind of nice if you kept doing it,' she said. 'I think that's what he would have wanted'

The photos taken by Todd Heisler of The Rocky Mountain News, are incredible and moving.

Monday, September 6, 2010

JP Myers A Blog: The Long Hot Summer

JP Myers A Blog: The Long Hot Summer