Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year 2012!

In The New Year
In the New Year,
we wish you the best year you’ve ever had,
and that each New Year
will be better than the last.
May you realize your fondest dreams
and take time to recognize and enjoy
each and every blessing.
Happy New Year,
And many more!
By Joanna Fuchs

To all my family and friends ~ wishing everyone a very Happy New Year.  May God's grace be poured out in abundance on you and may this year bring you closer to Him and to each other.  Praying that you'll be richly blessed in the coming year ~ looking forward to sharing it with all of you! 

On Loan

Originally posted on August 12, 2011:

Today would have been my sister Ellen's 55th BD. We lost her last month after a long and courageous struggle with cancer. I think about her every day and it still seems unreal that she's gone. We weren't always close, but the last year of her life we did connect in a deeper way and talked about how we regretted the many years when we didn't see much of each other. It's not as though we had a disagreement or misunderstanding of any kind;  it's just that I only make it home once a year and there isn't much time to spend together.  Two weeks go by quickly and Ellen worked long hours at her job. She and her husband Don were raising three of their grandkids and between work and the kids, she didn't have time for much else. Regretfully, we would go for long periods of time without calling each other. A year ago May when Ellen was in the hospital having radiation treatments, we had some of our first "real" conversations in years. Something good came out of this terrible illness; Ellen and I were truly sisters again and we vowed to keep in touch from then on. We did and even towards the end of her life, she would tell me how much she loved me and how much she appreciated my prayers.

After her death and on the evening of her viewing, my sister Jackie came to me with a small box and told me it was a gift from Ellen. She had asked Jackie to give it to me after she was gone. I opened the box and found a beautiful bracelet with garnet colored stones. Jackie said it was one of Ellen's favorite bracelets; she had chosen it herself and wanted me to have it. Jackie remembered the day when ElIen selected it from her jewelry box. I couldn't contain my tears as I looked at this special gift. All I could think about was that as she was dying, she was thinking about me and what she could give me as a special rememberance of her. What an incredible gift! It touched me very deeply but even looking at the bracelet was so painful in light of her just having died, I couldn't put it on until this past Sunday when I wore it to church. I showed it to a few friends and told them the story of how Ellen had wanted me to have something of hers. They were touched and inspired by the story.

A couple of days after Ellen's funeral, my mom, sisters and I were talking and Mom said how good the Lord was to let us have Ellen for 54 years. I had never thought of it in that way, in terms of the number of years that were granted to Ellen and to our family, but Mom was right. When Ellen and her twin sister, Teresa were born they were several weeks premature. Teresa lived only a few hours after birth and Ellen almost lost her fight for life, too. She was so tiny that my dad nicknamed her "Shoebox" (she was almost small enough to fit in one) and to the best of my memory, the name stuck through her grade school years. It is an incredibly beaurtiful way to look at Ellen's life ~ she was "on loan" and how thankful we are to have had her for those 54 years.

Ellen, you've earned your crown of life.*  Rest in the loving arms of Jesus and I'll see you again.  I love you.

*Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.  James 1:12

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Fragility of Life

This was originally posted December 17, 2009:

Carol Ann passed away yesterday. I didn't know her very well, in fact I'd only met her twice at the new home group Craig and I are now a part of. We had just seen her at our group traditional Thanksgiving dinner last month. She had fallen at church on Sunday, December 6th and an ambulance was called, but she refused to go to the hospital saying she was okay. Later that day she was in a car wreck and ended up in a coma and on life support. It seems she had struck her head when she fell earlier in the day and this caused her to black out while driving. We received an email last night saying she had gone home to be with the Lord. I was so sorry to hear of her passing, but as always when someone knows Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, I am happy that she's now with Him in glory. I can't help reflecting on how fragile life is. Little did we know that the last time we saw Carol Ann would be only a few short weeks ago and before the next meeting she would be with Jesus, seeing Him face to face. Thinking on that causes me to shout in my spirit, "Glory to God!" Just think of it. Finally seeing the One in person who died for us, who shed His precious blood for us. Praise His Name! I think it's always good to remember how short life is and how important it is for us to be ready to go at any time. Psalm 103:15-16 says "As for man, his days are like grass; As a flower of the field, so he flourishes. For the wind passes over it, and it is gone. And its place remembers it no more." Knowing this, my prayer is that I will always be kind, generous, patient and loving toward all those I encounter.

Here's the cute little ceramic tea cannister I received for Christmas:

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Worn, Precious Bible

For the next few days, I'd like to share several entries from my previous blog with you.  Here is the first one, about " my worn, precious Bible." 

The following portion of text is from my Beth Moore Esther Bible Study workbook. I immediately identified with what Patricia Raybon said about her Bible and what it means to her, how it comforts her and its preciousness to her. I've never heard it expressed so exquisitely! I have done all those things she mentions with my own precious Bible ~ in my case, it is worn, been pasted together twice (maybe three times) and loved beyond measure. I have several Bibles, but my NKJV Spirit Filled Life Bible is my favorite and most cherished of them all. I've written important dates in the front of it such as my day of salvation, baptism, family "Homegoings" and the day in 2003 when our beloved Pastor Scott Bauer suddenly went home to be with the Lord, the day I joined my wonderful church, and other dates I want to remember. I have special verses underlined, notes written in the margin, dates of healing and promises from God written next to scripture, etc. I'm sure you have these kind of things written in your Bible, too. Such precious memories and promises of hope. Doesn't it give you a warm and special feeling thinking of these times of communion and fellowship with Jesus and how He's seen you through everything in your life?

"Author Patricia Raybon described a time when she sought the presence of God in a hospital chapel while her husband underwent life-and-death surgery. 'I picked up a Bible. I waited for that nice rush that comes from holding a worn, loved copy of the Scriptures. Bibles like that have their own heat. They've been prayed over, cried on, sung with, stroked and gripped and loved so hard they just emote - just by being touched - that human loam and steam and hope that faith gives off.' ...Glance over at your Bible. Think what you've been through with God in those pages... Think of the hope, guidance, assurance and affection you've sought. Think how thankful you are that God wrote something you can hold to your chest, rocking back and forth, when your heart is shattered and your sight too blurred to read. Every Bible is the Word of God, but with no ears to hear it, hearts to love it, or hands to warm themselves by the fire of it, man is tragically lost to it." (BM)

Here's a card I just made to "bless" someone in the New Year.  My prayer is that each of you will be blessed in 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Dear friends ~ just to let you know I'll be taking a break from blogging until the middle of next week, as we're going away for Christmas and I won't have time to do much writing; I'm sure you won't have time to do much reading, either!  I want to wish all of you a wonderfully blessed Christmas.  Have lots of fun and I hope Santa is good to you this year.  :-)  Most of all, be filled with joy as you celebrate our dear Lord's birth.  May His peace permeate your whole being and may His sweet presence fill your hearts and home with love.  Merry Christmas!

This is a card I made yesterday that I'm going to use as a New Year's card.  I received several Christmas cards this year from friends who I missed sending cards to in return and will make winter or New Years cards for them to make up for it. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Keepsakes and Mementos

Here is the last, but not least, of my special Christmas ornaments.  A doctor I used to work with gave this to me back in 1992. He went to England to visit his brother and bought this little pillow ornament at Harrods Dept. Store in London. On the back is embroidered the date and name of the store.  Dr. Williams passed away this past year and I'm so glad I have this little memento to remember him by; he was a good friend and I'll always having special memories of the years we worked together. 

I've been considering the word memento today.  One of its definitions is keepsake.  I have many souvenirs or keepsakes that family/friends have given me through the years that they've brought back from their travels here and abroad and I've given away my fair share of items; just a little something from a trip here or there that I've picked up and think they might like to have.  But I think the real mementos we give others are the intangible ones; the gift of ourselves.  I like to call them "Living Mementos."  This might include taking the time to listen when someone needs a friend to talk to, spending quality time together with family, taking a home cooked meal or treat to someone who is ill, or offering a word of encouragement to a discouraged friend.  Aren't these the real keepsakes?  I'll be looking to gather and give away lots of mementos this Christmas.  I hope you will, too!

Here's a favorite memento given to me by my Aunt Joy several years ago.  It's a very special keepsake, one that I'll always treasure, as she is now with the Lord.  I like to think of her every time I pour a cup of tea from this little pot.  I have wonderful memories of the times we spent together, our long distance phone calls and most of all, our shared laughter. 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Past

Today I'm sharing a very special ornament made for me by my mother-in-law some years ago.  It's a photo of my husband Craig, taken when he was 11 years old in 1955.  I like to look at this picture and think of Craig as a little boy from that era.  I think the shirt and the rolled up cuffs are a dead giveaway ~ he's definitely a child of the 50's! 

Craig has told me stories of some of his boyhood adventures and how much nostalgia he has for those days.  He was into comic books, science fiction (I think he must have seen every Sci-Fi movie released during the 1950's!) and all things boy. 

He is a wonderful husband.  My MIL always says that good sons make good husbands.  This has certainly proven true in my case.  We'll have been married 31 years next month and they've been good years.  We sometimes have disagreements, but very rarely argue.  I thank God for giving me such a special and loving spouse.  I often think of the lines of the poem, "Grow Old Along With Me":

Grow old along with me
The best is yet to be
The last of life, for which the first was made
Our times are in His hand
Who saith "A whole I planned
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid"

Beautifully said!

Hope you're filling your home with the smells of Christmas baking or bringing home yummy treats from your local bakery to share with family and friends.  We went to a Christmas party last night where we sampled lots of delicious foods.  We sang Christmas carols and had a fun gift exchange, but I enjoyed the fellowship and laughter most of all.  I hope you have lots of enjoyable times planned during this holy season.  Christmas is almost here and Christ is the center of all our family/friend celebrations.  Praying He'll bless you as He's in the midst of yours.  Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Christmas Cards and Memories

Don't you just love receiving Christmas cards?  I do.  I've enjoyed going to our mailbox each day and seeing who we've received cards from.  It's always fun to get a card from an old friend; especially those we haven't heard from in a long time but who are faithful to send a card every year.  To be honest, I'm not crazy about those generic Christmas newsletters, but I realize that when you have a lot of people to write to during the holidays, this is probably the best way to go.  :-)  (And no offense intended toward those who do like to write/receive newsletters). 

Today there was a card from Ruth in our mailbox.  Ruthie and I grew up together in church.  She was several years older than me, but she always included me in her group of teenage friends and I never forgot it; she still lives in my hometown of Joplin, MO.  I was able to see her this past July while I was home for a visit .  Isn't it amazing how old friends can pick up where they left off as though so many years hadn't passed?  Ruthie's that kind of friend.

There was a card from Brenda today, too.  She's another childhood friend, also from the same church group.  We're the same age and though we didn't hang out together all the time, we were friends and there's still that special bond between us.  Brenda's health hasn't been good the past few years due to a terrible car accident she was in and it's only by the grace of God that she's still with us.  She added a P.S. to the note in her card, saying she and her husband Ben are now great-grandparents!

Cards from family members bless me.  I love the cute little kids pics that I get now from my nieces.  I can hardly believe they're all grown up with children of their own.  I received a card from my Aunt Jean today.  She's the only surviving aunt I have now and she's very special to me.  We keep in touch by phone, but it's so good to get a handwritten note and Christmas card from her in the mail. 

My mother-in-law sent us a card she made that included a photo of my husband, his sister and their parents taken years ago.  They all look so happy.  It's a moment frozen in time; a picture to look at that brings back so many good memories.  My father-in-law passed away in 2007 and it's been hard for my mom-in-law after having been married for over 50 years.  She is looking forward to seeing us at Christmas.  And we love spending time with her and other family members.

This is the first Christmas without my sister Ellen.  There won't be a Christmas card from her in my mailbox this year.  I am sad but there is an inner peace and comfort in knowing she is with Jesus in a better place.  When I see her again she'll be laughing and full of joy; we'll both be radiant in the presence of our risen Savior.  I look forward to that day. 

So I wonder who I'll hear from tomorrow?  I'll be waiting to find out!  God bless you, friends and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones. 

A fun Christmas card I just made:

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Setting Ambushes

I've always enjoyed reading about King Jehoshaphat and the defeat of Moab and Ammon. This is the story to read for inspiration and motivation to sing and praise when we are frightened, discouraged and need to set ambushes against the enemy.

The story begins with King Jehoshaphat receiving word that a vast army from Edom is coming against Judah. As most of us would be, he becomes alarmed, but oh, how I like what Jehoshaphat does next: "...he resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah." 2 Chron. 20:3. In all honesty, I haven't fasted in a long time and only recently have given serious thought to doing so again. Prayer and fasting are means to a breakthrough and there are some strongholds, breaking of bondages and deliverances that won't come unless we commit to doing both.

Jehosphaphat stood up before all those who assembled in Judah and cried out to the Lord for His help, admitting that he and the people of God had no power against this huge army coming against them. Here's what the king said next that is such a wonderful example of how we too, should pray, "We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You." 2 Chron. 20:12. So many times, I don't have the answers I need - I'm scared, confused, panicky, but if I'll just keep my eyes on Jesus, He'll take care of the problem for me; the battle is His. And as I'm waiting on Him, I need to begin singing and praising His name; in other words, setting ambushes! Whatever I have to face, the Lord will go before me. I needn't be afraid or discouraged. I will see His deliverance.

This is just what happened in Judah's case. Jehoshaphat appointed singers to go before the army as they set out for the Desert of Tekoa. And as they began to sing and praise the Lord, He set ambushes against their enemies; they began to destroy each other and were defeated. In the same way, when we begin to sing and praise Jesus, we set something in motion in the spiritual realm that will see strongholds demolished, demons defeated and our victory at hand!

The plunder left behind after the destruction of Judah's enemies took Jehoshaphat and his men three days to collect. I believe we receive the plunder from our victories in the form of spiritual treasures that are more valuable than any wealth or prizes we could ever receive here on earth. Among these treasures are knowing that when we praise and worship our King it brings us into closer relationship with Him, we have the rewards of His peace, our faith and trust in God has grown and we can rest in Him. And remember to thank Him for His saving, delivering power!

I have another favorite ornament to share with you today.  I love the unusual design of the three wise men ornament pictured below.  This was a gift from my mother-in-law several years ago.  For many years she has given me one of her beautiful handmade ornaments or one that she especially selected and bought for me.  It has became a tradition that I eagerly look forward to every Christmas.  We have so many of her lovely ornaments hanging on our Christmas tree each year.  I treasure each one.

Holly, Jolly Blog Hop!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

This is my little Santa ornament ~ a replica of a Czechoslovakian St. Nicholas circa 1897. He looks very cold with icicles hanging from his head gear! The rabbit at his feet would have depicted a real one, rather than a toy. Rabbits were often part of Christmas scenes in Europe.

Do you remember the Christmas carol sung from childhood, "Jolly Old Saint Nicholas"?  There isn't much known about the back story of the song, but it's one I especially remember with fondness during my early years.  Here is all I could find on it:

The history of this simple, childlike Christmas carol isn't well-documented, but many historians believe that American composer, pastor, and school principal Benjamin Hanby wrote 'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas' because it was published in the mid-1800s around the same time as Hanby's Christmas song 'Up on the Housetop' and has similar musical qualities.

The music that forms the basic notes of 'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas' is 'Canon in D Major' by Johann Pachelbel.

Sometimes people credit Wilf Carter, a singer who was known professionally as Montana Slim, with writing 'Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,' because he was the first to record the song. But the song was published before Carter recorded it; albeit anonymously.

The traditional lyrics are:

Jolly Old Saint Nicholas,
Lean your ear this way;
Don't you tell a single soul
What I'm going to say,

Christmas Eve is coming soon;
Now you dear old man,
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
Tell me if you can.

When the clock is striking twelve,
When I'm fast asleep,
Down the chimney broad and black
With your pack you'll creep;
All the stockings you will find
Hanging in a row;
Mine will be the shortest one;
You'll be sure to know. (Or, in some versions: "Mended at the toe.")

Johnny wants a pair of skates;
Susy wants a dolly;
Nellie wants a story book--
She thinks dolls are folly; (Or, in some versions: "She thinks they are jolly.")
As for me, my little brain
Isn't very bright;
Choose for me, old Santa Claus,
What you think is right.

The last verse has been changed in the 20th Century to:

Johnny wants a pair of skates,
Susie wants a sled;
Nelly wants a storybook –
one she hasn't read.
As for me, I hardly know,
so I'll go to rest.
Choose for me, dear Santa Claus,
What you think is best.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunflower Tea Pot

I just had to share my latest find with you ~ my cute little Sunflower Tea Pot. I squeezed in a thrift store shop yesterday and came across this little treasure. It's a bright spot in my kitchen and a favorite addition to my tea pot collection. God is good to give us all the little things we love and which add so much to the small pleasures of daily life. Have a wonderful evening, doing something you enjoy!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Enjoy the Season!

My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for He has been mindful of the humble state of His servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me - holy is His name.  Luke 2:47-49. 

Good Morning!  It is early and I am having a cup of delicious Bigelow Vanilla Caramel tea.  What a wonderful aroma!  I'm going shopping later this morning and will be looking for some new teas to try, preferably some as yet undiscovered and delightful Christmas teas. 

Each Christmas I tell myself I am not going to get caught up in all the hustle and bustle of the season, but will take it slower and enjoy each day of December, not letting myself get stressed out over the pressure to shop, shop, shop!  Yes, I know I just said in the above paragraph that I'm going shopping today, but I do have a shorter gift list this year.  In the past, I have often allowed myself to be swept along by all the Christmas hoopla and never really taken the time to seriously remind myself what Christmas is all about.  Oh yes, I  know that we're celebrating Jesus birth, but I'm ashamed to say that I didn't truly pause as I should have to really think on this until a couple of days prior to December 25th. 

This season, I've decided that I'm going to spend some time each day reading small portions of the Christmas story, beginning with the angel's announcement to Mary and her response in song (the Magnificat).  I want to meditate on these scriptures and allow myself to vicariously "be there", imagining what it must have been like for this young woman to hear that she was going to be the mother of our Savior.  Many scholars believe that Mary was only 12 or 13 when she became engaged to Joseph and was 14 when she gave birth.  Imagine absorbing all she had just been told by Gabriel and all she would be facing at such a tender age! 

This will be the first Christmas that I've shared my handmade cards with family and friends.  While this may not seem like a big deal to many, it is to me; it's my way of sharing a small part of myself with those I love and care about.  While I can't afford to buy presents for everyone, I can let them know by something small and personal that I've made that they were in my thoughts and prayers as I created a card for them.  I want them to know that each of them is as unique as the cards and that they are loved and valued by me.  I hope they will think of this as they open their cards this Christmas.  They are being sent with lots of love. 

I pray that during this holy time of year the Lord will reveal Himself to you in a new and deeper way.  Celebrate His birth and share His love with all you encounter.  Enjoy the Season!

Sharing my heart with you ~ my Christmas heart ornament:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Today I want to share a short bio behind the song, "I Heard the Bells On Christmas Day".  Did you know it was penned by one of America's best known poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)?  He contributed to the wealth of carols sung each Christmas season, when he composed the words to "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" on December 25th 1864. "Glory to God in the Highest, and on Earth peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14). The carol was originally a poem, "Christmas Bells," containing seven stanzas. Two stanzas were omitted, which contained references to the American Civil War, thus giving us the carol in its present form. The poem gave birth to the carol, "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," and the remaining five stanzas were slightly rearranged in 1872 by John Baptiste Calkin (1827-1905), who also gave us the memorable tune. When Longfellow penned the words to his poem, America was still months away from Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9th 1865; and, his poem reflected the prior years of the war's despair, while ending with a confident hope of triumphant peace.  There is much more to his story; he endured the tragic loss of his wife Fanny when her dress caught on fire and she was burned to death.  He himself suffered severe burns in trying to put out the fire.  Several years later in 1864 he wrote the words to the poem, "Christmas Bells." 

"Christmas Bells"
(The original poem, complete with all seven stanzas)
"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Here is my little Gingerbread Man ornament.  I found him a couple of years ago at Crate and Barrel.  He's a cutie!  :) 

And my latest handmade card...

Friday, December 2, 2011


Hope ~ I keep coming face to face with this word all week: in Bible reading, my daily devotional and in an article in a Christian magazine, so I think the Lord is telling me that I need to be in a state of great anticipation for the days ahead.  If you were to look up hope in the dictionary it would say, "to wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment" and in terms of Christianity, "the theological virtue defined as the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain with God's help."  Boy, do I like that last definition!  Just reading it sends my heart soaring as I think on our many reasons for having hope in Him. 

We find those reasons in God's Word.  A couple of my favorite Scriptures about hope are:  "You are my hiding place and my shield. I hope in Your Word."  Psalm 119:114 and "For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope."  Romans 15:4.  Try inserting your name in these verses in place of "I", "my" and "we".  I have been doing this lately and how good it feels to say my name aloud and to know in my heart that the Lord is speaking to me personally through His Word in such a special way.  I have specifically been quoting Psalm 130:7, "Anne, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love..."  Ah, yes Lord, You are good!

Sometimes when we're in the valley, we need to just keep repeating these Scriptures to ourselves often, to keep encouraged and to build ourselves up in the Lord.  Today I had an appt. for my annual mammogram.  I went through a period of time in the past 2 years where I had to go in every six months to have my left breast x-rayed.  It finally came down to me having to have an ultrasound, as they couldn't make a definite determination by looking at the film whether or not anything was there.  They could see a "shadow", but it never changed in appearance.  I put out a prayer request among friends to pray for me during this time and they faithfully did so.  Waiting to go in for my ultrasound on that morning, I anxiously prayed that all would be well.  I prayed that should I face bad news, that Jesus would give me the strength to carry on and to rest in Him, my hope and my salvation. 

As I thought about all those praying for me that day, I felt God's peace and love descend on me at that moment.  I knew that I was in the best of hands; that nothing would happen to me that hadn't first been filtered through Him.  As it turned out, all was well and it was determined that it was nothing, but I learned that day and continue to learn that I must trust the Lord and have the certainty and hope in my heart that He will take care of me, no matter what, and that He wants only good things for me.  Yes, I knew these things before, but until you really go through something that challenges you and "sets you up" to test your faith in God, you won't know whether or not you will pass the test.  And should your strength falter, just ask God to hold you close to Him.  He'll hold you in His arms and give you all that you need.  Friends, there is always reason to hope. 

I haven't had any new Christmas cards to share lately, as I haven't made any in a couple of weeks.  Hopefully, I'll have some time to do that this weekend.  Here is another favorite ornament to share with you.  It is a vintage art box ornament that I bought last year.  Those of you who know me well know that I love all things vintage and Victorian! 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Angels We Have Heard On High

This is my little folk art angel.  Isn't she lovely?  I like her sign proclaiming peace.  I believe this proclamation is a reminder that we all need God's peace during these turbulent times.  When I look at her, I think of one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Angels We Have Heard On High."  And I think of Andy Williams as one who sings it who I most enjoy.  I have one of his Christmas CDs and this Christmas Carol is on it.  I had no idea that this beautiful song was the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church!

Here is a short history and the lyrics to the song.  Join me in singing this beautiful hymn that tells of our dear Savior's birth.

In A.D. 129, Telesphous, Bishop of Rome, ordained that, "In the Holy Night of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, all shall solemnly sing the 'Angel's Hymn.' " With that proclaimation the 'Angels Hymn' became the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church. Its most common English version was translated in 1862 by James Chadwick, and its most memorable feature is its chorus Gloria in Excelsis Deo!, which is Latin for Glory to God in the Highest.

Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly o'er the plains,
And the mountains
in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be,
Which inspire your heavenly song
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!