Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christmas Album Recommendations.

I think Amy Grant has released about 582 Christmas albums over the span of her career. I am just saying... That's a whole lot of Christmas tunes. I love me some holiday cheer and music - and she is totally blowing up my Pandora Christmas radio. Lovin' it!

There was a time in my life when I would listen to Christmas music year-round and I LOVED IT! I would be mowing the lawn in the middle of summer listening to my *NSYNC Christmas Album, on my DISC MAN, by the way, singing along out loud and without shame! I highly recommend you make the purchase... TODAY!

But this album, Your King Has Come, is by far one of my favorites. If you enjoy the classic songs like "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus" - have you ever heard the Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken version? I thought so. Check it out immediately if not sooner. This album contains a treasure trove of classic re-made, super-sweet, acoustic versions by great artists.

If I had to choose one song that I did not like that plays CONSTANTLY on Christmas radio, it is "Christmas Shoes." I will never understand it. I will never like it. This is by far the most frustrating Christmas song I have ever heard in my 23 years of living. If I am on my death bed and happen to have a small child, I will not send him out to buy me a pair of shoes with my last few dollars - OH NO. I'd want to spend time with my family and USE the cash to purchase something important... like... hmm what... oh yeah, perhaps a REMEDY FOR MY ILLNESS.

I imagine the pair of shoes looked something like this one. Perhaps this style of shoe would be called the Debbie Downer Low-tops by Keds.

(I do not mean to offend anyone by any means. I am just sharing my frustration. Thanks. And... sorry.) In any event... Everything else is pretty good! :-)

Don't fight the Christmas rush, friends. Embrace it. Dance, if possible. Sing along to some *NSYNC as you rake the leaves or shovel the ol' walk! Hope you enjoy some of my recommendations!

Peace and blessin's

P.S. I really don't want to read these books for my Apologetics class... Hope you took delight in my train-of-thought.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I am walking in a desert. I am in a dry, quiet, desolate place. But God quenches my thirst. I haven't been able to pin-point my "status" until recently. But, in a way, I finally have a Christianese diagnosis for where I am at right now. Maybe you can relate.

After writing and re-writing this post, I realized that ^ this sums it all up. I was blessed to attend the National Youth Workers Convention this past week with the youth staff. If I were to share with you that experience, I would have to leaf through the voluminous amount of notes in my busted up "Crossroads" composition notebook - and it would most likely drive you crazy. As my friend says, we are a "skimming generation" of people... so I will spare you. In any event, Mike Pilavachi spoke to us one evening concerning deserts. Let's just say that although I am walking is a desert, I am not yet dying of thirst.

I stumbled upon this verse a couple of weeks ago and I have been reflecting on it a lot:

Thus says the LORD: "Cursed is the man who trusts in man And makes flesh his strength, Whose heart departs from the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert, And shall not see when good comes, But shall inhabit the parched places in the wilderness, In a salt land which is not inhabited. Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, And whose hope is the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it? I, the LORD, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give every man according to his ways, According to the fruit of his doings."
~Jeremiah 17:5-10

What does this say to you?

This past summer, the series we were working on with the youth was called Thirsty. The pastor, and my friend, Jessica, talked about trees in the desert versus trees in more wet areas like what we are used to or rain forests. Where are you? Like this scripture reads, I am in a position right now where I feel like I am that tree in the desert with roots striving to reach God's rivers. Just stretching and wanting more of Him to enter in.

In the dry desert, we encounter God. I want more. I want to be pushed to my utmost extent in order to reach and feel God in a new way. I want to absorb all that He has to show me right now. But it is hard and it can be slightly painful being in this place. The beauty of it all is this: God provides and He nourishes. As the Jeremiah scripture says, there are rivers present and when we reach far enough, we are satisfied!

"The desert place is not that of the devil. It is he place where God meets us. It's God's place where He takes away all distractions so that we can focus on Him." -Pilavachi

Take heart, fellow desert dwellers: even fruitful trees survive in the desert.