I have been working on a Christmas post all week, but it just never came together, so I guess I'll just scrap it ... or maybe I'll save it for next year. I do hope that each of you had a wonderful Christmas, just as my family did. After leaving church on Wednesday night, we didn't venture more than 5 miles from our house until after Christmas ... it was wonderful! We spent Christmas Eve at home with my parents and 2 of my 3 brothers. I love being at the home where I spent most of my childhood and having my kids play with their cousins in the same house that I played with my brothers. Actually, I prefer seeing them play in the yard with their cousins, but since it was raining, that didn't work this year.
For Christmas Day, we just stayed in our own home and enjoyed the kids. My parents came over in the afternoon and we ate homemade pizza. All in all, it was a great day ... simple and uncomplicated.
Now, on to the new favorites. Since it is time to change my blog music from Christmas back to regular music, I thought this would be a good time to leave the music off for a few days and share two of my new favorite songs. Music has always been very important to me and I love old music. I still love to sit and listen to the old songs that my brothers and I used to play on my Daddy's record player. Music like that brings back sweet memories, even if the songs are silly or childish. As much as I cling to old music, I still have room for new favorites as well and these two songs I am going to share here have earned a special place in my heart.
Just so you know, I do realize that these songs have been out for a few years, so they may not be as new to you as they are to me. I'm always a little behind the times ... but that is okay with me!
The first song is one that I first heard at a preview service for the new Baptist Hymnal. I must admit to being leery of the new hymnal. Most people would probably describe me as an old fogey when it comes to church music. I love to sing the hymns of my childhood (and my parents' childhood) and while I do enjoy some of the newer praise and worship music, I don't think they can take the place of the beautiful hymns that are falling by the wayside in so many churches today. But, I digress ... the point is, that I wasn't sure what to expect from the new hymnal, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a good mixture of the old favorites, choruses and even great new hymns. This song is an example of what I would call a great new hymn.
The second song is going to come as a shock to some who know me in a more personal way. For years my friends Brad and Amy have been talking about the band Casting Crowns. At first, I didn't expect to like any of their music ... they don't exactly qualify as my parents' church music you know. But, as much as I hate to admit to being wrong, I'll make an exception on this occasion. I have actually found several of their songs that I enjoy. I think that what I like is that their music speaks to some very real and some very difficult situations that I have experienced and this song is no exception.
I pray that this music speaks to you. Not because it speaks to me, but because it speaks of Jesus. You see, I believe the message of this music with all of my heart. For me, there is no question that the only hope I have for anything is In Christ Alone. And, I have also found that praising Him in the storms of life - big or small - is the only way to survive those storms and come out stronger on the other side.
So, maybe this is my Christmas post after all. Because all of the stuff we take part in during the Christmas holidays is totally meaningless if we leave the baby in the manger. As beautiful as the Christmas season is, it is only the beginning of the story. The Christmas story is where Jesus chose to lay aside His glory and come to earth knowing full well that 33 years later He would go to the Cross and complete the plan of redemption that was brought to earth in the form of a helpless baby. Thank you, Jesus!