O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Advent begins today and with it the hope that we all make more room in our hearts for Emmanuel, God with us.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o'er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai's height,
In ancient times did'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

When It's All Been Said and Done

I've listened to songs written by Jim Cowan over the years but didn't hear this song until last week when it was sung at the funeral of a much beloved priest - Fr. Bob Bedard, the founder of The Companions of the Cross. I'm so thankful for Fr. Bob teaching us by example the importance of living our lives surrendered to God's will and challenging us to "Give God Permission".

"Lord, whatever you want me to do, I will do."
Highly recommended prayer (caution needed)

Found this lovely performance of Cowan's song

When It's All Been Said and Done

When it’s all been said and done
There is just one thing that matters
Did I do my best to live for truth
Did I live my life for You

When it’s all been said and done
All my treasures will mean nothing
Only what I’ve done for love’s reward
Will stand the test of time

Lord Your mercy is so great
That You look beyond our weakness
And find purest gold in miry clay
Making sinners into saints

I will always sing Your praise
Here on earth and ever after
For You’ve shown me Heaven’s my true home
When it’s all been said and done
You’re my life when life is gone

Inspirational Films

Here is a list of films (mainly period dramas but not necessarily)
which are inspirational or faith-based. (Most are Christian films.)
[Copied from my other blog "Enchanted Serenity of Period Films"]

Amazing Grace
Amish Grace (2010)
A Walk in my Shoes (2010)
A Walk to Remember
Barchester Chronicles
Brother Sun, Sister Moon (1972)
Butterfly Circus (2009)
Change of Plans (2010)
Chariots of Fire
Christy (1994-95)
Chronicles of Narnia
Courageous (2011)
Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler
Creation (2009)
Facing the Giants (2006)
Fireproof (2008)
Jesus of Nazareth
Joshua (2002)
Katherine of Alexandria (2011)
Like Dandelion Dust (2010)
Love Comes Softly
Love's Abiding Joy (2006)
Love's Enduring Promise (2004)
Love's Long Journey (2005)
Love's Unending Legacy (2007)
Loving Leah
Molokai: The Story of Father Damien (1999)
Magic of Ordinary Days
No Greater Love (2009)
Of Gods and Men (2010)
One Night with the King
Pay It Forward
Road to Avonlea
Seraphine (2008)
Simon Birch
Soul Surfer (2011)
The Book of Ruth: A Journey of Faith
The Christmas Cottage
The Gospel of John
The Grace Card (2011)

The Greatest Story Ever Told
The Lion of Judah
The Mighty Macs (2011)
The Mission
The Nativity (2010)
The Nativity Story
The Passion of the Christ
The Scarlett and the Black (1983)
The Second Chance
The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968)
The Song of Bernadette
The Shunning (2011)
The Sound of Music (1965)
The Ten Commandments
The Vow (2012)
The Waltons (1972-1981)
The Way (2010)
There Be Dragons (2011)
Though None Go With Me
Tree of Life (2011)
What If (2010)

Links of Interest

The Christmas Cottage - Thomas Kinkade

"Returning home from college one Christmas, young artist Thomas Kinkade (Jared Padalecki) is dismayed to learn that attempts to promote local tourism have failed and his mother (Marcia Gay Harden) is dangerously close to losing the family cottage to foreclosure. Inspired by his mentor, Glen (Peter O' Toole), a famous artist who lives next door, Thom accepts a job painting a mural of his small, idyllic hometown. With Glen's help, Thom not only discovers his calling as the Painter of Light™ but also helps the town rediscover the true spirit of Christmas in this nostalgic, humorous and heartwarming true story destined to become a holiday classic."

Christmas with a Capital C

Quoted from ChristianCinema.com
(DVD to be released Nov. 1, 2011)

Christmas will never be Christmas again if Lawyer Mitch Bright (Daniel Baldwin) has his way.

Mayor Dan Reed (Ted McGinley) and the townsfolk of Trapper Falls face their toughest challenge in a legal battle with one of their former native sons as they struggle to keep fifty years of tradition and the spiritual fabric of this joyous season alive. In the heat of this legal battle the town discovers the secret behind Mitch's return.

Dan's wife Kristen (Nancy Stafford) and their daughter Makayla (Francesca Derosa) show the true meaning of Christmas by launching an inspired CHRISTMAS WITH A CAPITAL C campaign to keep the town together and remind them all that "with the arrival of God's Son, peace on earth and good will was given to all. Even to those whose heart seemed closed to Him."

Based on the hit song "Christmas with a Capital C" by Go Fish

The Hot Water Bottle - A True Story

As told by Helen Roseveare, Missionary to Africa

"One night, in Central Africa, I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all that we could do, she died leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying, two-year-old daughter.

We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive. We had no incubator. We had no electricity to run an incubator, and no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

A student-midwife went for the box we had for such babies and for the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly, in distress, to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst. Rubber perishes easily in tropical climates. "...and it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk; so, in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over a burst water bottle. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways. All right," I said, "Put the baby as near the fire as you safely can; sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with many of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle. The baby could so easily die if it got chilled. I also told them about the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died. During the prayer time, one ten-year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt consciousness of our African children. "Please, God," she prayed, "send us a water bottle. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, the baby'll be dead; so, please send it this afternoon." While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added by way of corollary, " ...And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?" As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say, "Amen?" I just did not believe that God could do this. Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything: The Bible says so, but there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time that I reached home, the car had gone, but there, on the veranda, was a large twenty-two pound parcel! I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone; so, I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then, there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children began to look a little bored. Next, came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - - that would make a nice batch of buns for the weekend. As I put my hand in again, I felt the...could it really be? I grasped it, and pulled it out. Yes, "A brand-new rubber, hot water bottle!" I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could. Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!" Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone: She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, "Can I go over with you, Mummy, and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?"

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday School class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. One of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child -- five months earlier in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "That afternoon!"

"And it shall come to pass, that before they call,
I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear."
~ Isaiah 65:24

Helen Roseveare a doctor missionary from England to Zaire, Africa, told this as it had happened to her in Africa.

Isn't It Strange?

Isn't it strange how a 20 dollar bill seems like such a large amount
when you donate it to church,
but such a small amount when you go shopping?

Isn't it strange how 2 hours seem so long when you're at church,
and how short they seem when you're watching a good movie?

Isn't it strange that you can't find a word to say when you're praying
but you have no trouble thinking what to talk about with a friend?

Isn't it strange how difficult and boring it is to read one chapter of the Bible,
but how easy it is to read 100 pages of a popular novel?

Isn't it strange how everyone wants front-row-tickets to concerts or games
but they do everything possible to sit in the last row at Church?

Isn't it strange how we need to know about an event for Church
2-3 weeks in advance so we can include it in our agenda,
but we can make adjustments for other events at a moment's notice?

Isn't it strange how difficult it is to learn a fact about God
and share it with others;
but how easy it is to learn, understand, extend and repeat gossip?

Isn't it strange how we believe everything that magazines and newspapers say
but we question the words in the Bible?

Isn't it strange how everyone wants a place in heaven
but they don't want to believe, do, or say anything to get there?

Isn't it strange how we send jokes in e-mails and they are forwarded right away
but when we have messages to send about God,
we think about it twice before we share it with others?

[Received in email from my sister]

Video: Chris Medina - What Are Words

Any of you who saw Chris Medina compete on American Idol will know his heartbreaking and inspiring story. Two months before their wedding, his fiancée Juliana Ramos was in a car accident that has left her confined mainly to a wheelchair after suffering a severe brain injury. Medina's commitment to her has captured the heart of tv viewers even as he failed to make it to the next level of competition. Rodney Jerkins, a successful music producer collaborated with songwriter Lauren Christy, inspired by Medina's story to come up with "What Are Words". [L.A.Times]

Beautiful song, so inspiring!

His audition for American Idol

Pilot Father's Tough Love

Got this is in an email...

Most people nowadays think it improper to discipline children, so I have tried other methods to control my kids when they have had one of 'those moments.'

Since I'm a pilot, one that I have found very effective is for me to just take the child for a flight during which I say nothing and give the child the opportunity to reflect on his or her behavior.

I don't know whether it's the steady vibration from the engines, or just the time away from any distractions such as TV, video games, computer, iPod, etc.

Either way, my kids usually calm down and stop misbehaving after our flight together. I believe that eye to eye contact during these sessions is an important element in achieving the desired results.

I've included a photo below of one of my sessions with my son, in case you would like to use the technique...


Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith

Hearing of their upcoming tour has me wondering if I could find someone to accompany me stateside to catch one of their concerts! I absolutely loved listening to the music of Amy and Michael during my teen years and thank them for reminding me of God's love and providence at that time and to this day!

Here they're pictured with Steven Curtis Chapman,
another inspiring singer who's a fave of mine!

Roe v. Wade: Jane Roe speaks out

January 22, 1973 - Roe v. Wade opened the door to legal abortions.
To date, there have been 53,000,000 lives lost.

"Jane Roe" never did get an abortion. Norma McCorvey, the woman referred to as Roe in the landmark case of Roe vs. Wade, has become an advocate for the pro-life movement.

"In Roe v. Wade, perhaps the most controversial United States Supreme Court decision, Norma McCorvey fought for and won the right to secure an abortion. Though she never had an abortion, under the pseudonym "Jane Roe," Norma reluctantly became the poster child for the pro-choice movement. Over the next two decades, Norma experienced the grief and despair of millions of women who chose to abort their babies; she witnessed the destruction of thousands of human lives in abortion clinics where she worked; and the "champion: of the pro-choice movement was soon being crushed by the weight of so much death, and so many ill-considered "choices." Finally, she began to break. She found out that the real choice she had been burdened with was not about abortion but about eternal life. It was a choice that would shock the world and change Norma's life forever." [Amazon.com]

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