Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas Carols: I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

This may be the last Christmas Carol I post. I hope you've enjoyed this rather small series of Christmas Carol lyrics. Blessings to you and Merry Christmas.

I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In

I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
I saw three ships come sailing in
On Christmas day in the morning.

And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
And what was in those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?

Our Savior Christ and His lady,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Our Savior Christ and His lady,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day?
Pray whither sailed those ships all three,
On Christmas day in the morning?

O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day,
O they sailed into Bethlehem,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the bells on earth shall ring,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the angels in Heav’n shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.

And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
And all the souls on Earth shall sing,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Then let us all rejoice amain,
On Christmas day, on Christmas day;
Then let us rejoice amain,
On Christmas day in the morning.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Santa and His Snacks

So we have a wonderful time visiting Santa on Saturday and on the way home the boys begin talking about Santa's snacks. According to them, Santa said to be sure Daddy puts out carrots for the reindeer and he prefers chocolate chip cookies, or a brownie, and a glass of milk.

Oh, great. And who do you think gets the carrots? Hmmm?

Yup. The sacrifices we dads make.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Visiting Santa

Originally uploaded by Mark Mansheim.
We visited Santa this past Saturday. The boys were wonderful! We always look forward to this visit and can't wait until next year.

Bush Impeachment?

From the calls for Bush impeachment

If someone with a lick of common sense could tell me where was U.S. Representative John Lewis when Clinton deliberately lied to the people of the United States? No seriously, I want to know. Did Lewis support Clinton's impeachment? If you're going judge apples, let's do it equally. If not, then don't bother bringing up the "impeachment" word.

And don't bother with this, "Well, Bush had people illegally wire-tapped..." garbage. So what? If he had a reason for the safety and security of the people of these United States, then let it be done. But most of you uneducated, misinformed, and doped up fools won't understand since you believe your rights were violated.

Allow me just a moment here. Oh, yeah...

September 11, 2001 my rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness were seriously altered by a bunch of Muslim extremists.

Let Bush wire-tap all he wants to. He's only after those who would do us harm.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Joe Lieberman Dems Consider Challenge to Lieberman

Joe Lieberman is a Moderate - through and through. There are many issues that I agree with him on, and many I don't. Mr. Lieberman recently paid a visit to Iraq to witness the progress going on there and wrote a very detailed and positive summary. He DID NOT make criticisms against President Bush nor did he affirm the President's position. What he did do was support the troops serving in Iraq and their efforts to stabilize the country. For this act, I am grateful to Mr. Lieberman.

However with all the good Mr. Lieberman is doing, it now seems the liberal Democrats in Connecticut are very unhappy. Why? Because they claim he's out of touch with "reality", that he's "not toting the party line". Yet the real truth is that the liberals in this country are the ones out of touch with what Americans want. They don't understand why so many Americans want moral values and leaders they can trust. Liberals sway on issues that mean the most to us (not in any particular order): abortion, health care, terrorism, taxes, taxes, and more darn taxes. They can't seem to agree with each other how to best handle these issues. Sadly, many of them side with their conservative counterparts and keep spending, spending, and more darn spending.

The liberals should take a lesson from Mr. Lieberman: a moderate approach is the best one if the Democrats are to have a good contender in the next election. If they keep up their bickering, they'll turn Americans away, once again, from electing the next President of the United States.

Christmas Carols: The First Noel

The First Noel

The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds
in fields as they lay;
In fields as they lay, keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
Born is the King of Israel.

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the east beyond them far,
And to the earth it gave great light,
And so it continued both day and night.

And by the light of that same star
Three wise men came from country far;
To seek for a king was their intent,
And to follow the star wherever it went.

This star drew nigh to the northwest,
O'er Bethlehem it took it rest,
And there it did both stop and stay
Right over the place where Jesus lay.

Then entered in those wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee,
and offered there in his presence
Their gold, and myrrh, and frakincense.

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord;
That hath made heaven and earth of naught,
And with his blood mankind hath bought

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Christmas Carols: Silent Night

The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass.

Silent Night

Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Atheist Review of The Chronicles of Narnia

I give the credit to my friend, Tim Ellsworth, for writing this story. Before making any comments, please read Polly Toynbee's review as linked from Tim's site.

First, if you have ever debated with a devout atheist, it's like partaking in a fierce tug-o-war. No matter how convincing you are, the atheist refuses to see the 'unseen'. The only magic or mystery they believe in comes from a Harry Potter book.

Personally, I find this very sad. To the atheist, Mother Teresa was a myth or she was the exception to the norm. Sometimes as I observe the behavior of fellow Christians, I happen to agree somewhat with that last statement.

Second, devout atheists are very comfortable in their beliefs. They don't care if their soul goes to Hell for if they don't believe in it, why should it go there upon their judgement. And speaking of judgement, they could care far less for a sovereign and loving God who will condemn you for your disbelief in Him or his Son, Jesus Christ.

Third, acts of kindness or servitude to our fellows is trifle and intermittant. Says the atheist, "If one were truly a Christian, then why don't they act like one?" But the atheist view of a Christian is either a weak peasant or Rambo. There's no in-between.

As Ms. Toynbee seems to be an atheist, and quite a cozy one at that, so it's no wonder her sarcastic banter cuts so deeply into any Christian's take on The Chronicles of Narnia. She's a miserable person who could no more explain Aslan's resurrection (nor want to) as she could why the Chicago Cubs haven't won a World Series. Only Christ's sacrifice for our sins can be explained. The Cubs are a different story altogether.

I say all this for I have debated a few atheists since my conversion in 1999. And I must say, no matter the evidence from the mind or heart, they will stand their ground using some of the aforementioned tactics. It's only when a seed is planted, and God grows it, will the atheist come to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

Iran: Danger Ahead

From CNN...Iran leader: Holocaust a 'myth'

Suddenly, my blood has begun to boil.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad publicly stated that the Holocaust was a myth and believes Israel should move out of the Middle East.

Mr. Ahmadinejad, I've got some news for you.

You think the brutal execution of over 6 million Jews, men, women, and children, was nothing. You are dead wrong. But of course you don't understand history. And I'm beginning to believe the American hostages are right: You were their captor.

If you even so provoke Israel, they will fight back. And if you declare war on them, they will end it. Israel is sacred ground and it does not belong to you or your fellow extremist followers. Maybe you should study your history and learn what happened when Egypt and other surrounding countries tried to takeover Israel.

Israel won.

Side note: The United States and her allies need to watch Mr. Ahmadinejad very carefully. He speaks with forked tongue.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Christmas Carols: Carol of the Bells

I thought I would do something interesting for this wonderful time of Christmas. Posted below are the lyrics to one of my favorite Christmas carols, "Carol of the Bells". Each day I may post different Christmas carol lyrics. Enjoy!

Carol of the Bells

Hark how the bells,
sweet silver bells,
all seem to say,
throw cares away

Christmas is here,
bringing good cheer,
to young and old,
meek and the bold,

Oh how they pound,
raising the sound,
o'er hill and dale,
telling their tale,

Gaily they ring
while people sing
songs of good cheer,
Christmas is here,

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas,
On on they send ,
on without end,
their joyful tone to every home
Dong Ding dong ding, dong Bong

Monday, December 12, 2005

The Church on Christmas Day

I've taken some time to mull this topic of whether or not the 'church' should have worship services on Christmas Day. Here's my response:

We should ALL be ashamed of ourselves for our finger-pointing behavior declaring who is right and who is wrong. If a church decides to be open that day, then good for them. If not, no problem. If your church is only offering Christmas Eve services, then by all means go. If they're offering services on both days, then make a choice or attend both days.

But by all means, STOP the finger pointing!

The world is observing your behavior and you're acting like 2-year olds.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Pearl Harbor Day

Today in 1941, the Japanese Navy attacked us at Pearl Harbor Naval Station in Hawaii. Please keep the men and women of the United States Armed Forces in your prayers as they continue to fight for freedom.


One of the many special foods, my grandmother used to make, was homemade fudge. It was the type of fudge that melted in your mouth and soothed your soul.

The Trappist monks, of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, are now making fudge for this Christmas celebration.

From the over, fruitcake

This past spring, I had the pleasure of visiting the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia. Yes, I hung out with the monks for the day. The monastery is a wonderful place of peace to seek God.

The Abbey Store, located on the monastery grounds, is home to many delights. If you like good coffee, mouth-watering fudge, or fruit preserves, they got it. The Abbey Store also contains a rich assortment of Thomas Merton's books.

If you're looking for something different to give for this Christmas, and support these wonderful men of God, please consider shopping at The Abbey.

Blessings to you!

Friday, December 02, 2005

Third Day - Advocacy

I'm a firm believer that if you support an organization, you better volunteer with it. Too many so-called 'stars' say they support one cause or another, but never get their hands dirty with that particular organization.

Third Day gets their hands dirty.

From the research I've done, TD supports three organizations: (More than likely they support additional groups as well!)

- Habitat for Humanity
- World Vision

If you keep up with TD happenings, then you'll know the band has been to numerous Habitat builds and they have witnessed firsthand the AIDS devastation in Africa. Better yet, they even participated with former President Jimmy Carter and his wife in building a Habitat house. Now that is cool!

Please check out the links above and get involved in an organization that helps people. It doesn't take much to volunteer your time to help build a house, feed the hungry, or promote social justice awareness.

God bless you.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Third Day - Wherever You Are

Third Day: Wherever You Are

As previously posted, I was blessed to attend Third Day’s All Access concert in Atlanta on November 1st. After taking a month to listen to their new CD and letting the music soothe my soul, I’ve decided to write a review of it.

Drum roll please…

Wherever You Are begins with the message of constant and everlasting hope with, Tunnel. This is a great song if your life is full of burdens and worries as mine is right now. No matter what I'm going through, Jesus is my light and will always show me the way toward him.

As mentioned, my life is full of burdens right now. Some days the load is so heavy, I can actually feel the weight on my shoulders. Hearing, Eagles, takes me to a far away place where I be truly free. Sure, I try to give these burdens to Jesus, but the more and more I face them, (and usually it’s everyday) I collapse. Eagles don’t collapse; they soar. One day I will soar.

Through my burdens, I’ve been blessed to meet others who are also going through hardships and pray for them. From the hurricane’s devastation to those who live everyday in poverty, Cry Out To Jesus, is for everyone needing the love and grace of Jesus. I had tears in my eyes when Third Day performed this at the All Access concert. In my humble opinion, this song is the best one on the album.

I got goose bumps the first time I heard, I Can Feel It. Now I know some of you will probably find this humorous or heretical, BUT, I truly believe the Holy Spirit can be felt within and around us. I believe that God is always near even though we don’t recognize him.

The upbeat, Keep On Shinin’, is a good reminder that wherever we are, whatever we are doing, to show God’s love to others, i.e. strangers, church members, family, and friends. Not an easy task with all that’s going on in our own personal worlds. The Apostle Paul encourages us to, “…fight the good fight.”

As with all of Third Day’s songs, you can play them and visualize a personal or biblical story. Communion reminds me of the last supper with Jesus sharing the bread and wine with his apostles, who clearly didn’t understand what was about to take place. We know what took place and celebrate the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Carry My Cross explicitly tells what Jesus has done for my salvation through love. He took my sins, my burdens, and my shame to the cross.

Track 8, How Do You Know, lifted my head and heart from severe criticism. Moreover, lifted me above those who doubt me and my godly purpose. There’s nothing worse than family members criticizing your abilities and questioning your life in Christ. In a society that frequently measures success by your salary, size of your home, and how many cars you drive, it’s great to hear a song that defends what people, like me, are trying to do in the name of Christ. Sure, every now and then I may lose my step, but I will never lose my way in Him. Lastly, I love what David Carr says about ‘legalism’, “The high horse of legalism and piousness needs to be led to the water and drowned.” Amen.

Mountain of God is a sabbatical from the everyday worries and troubles that we encounter. I believe we become closer to God when we take the time to seek him without noise, distractions, or cell phones. Jesus often took the time to intentionally pray to the Father. Let Him be the example for us.

Generally speaking, Love Heals Your Heart and The Sun is Shining are two songs that fill in the album’s gaps. Both speak of love, hope, and encouragement in a lighthearted way. Love… is a beautiful ballad while The Sun… puts a smile on your face knowing Jesus is always with us and renewing us.

Wherever You Are ends on an inspirational high note with, Rise Up, that beckons you to keep the CD playing over-and-over. As I previously mentioned, Rise Up is a call to rise above the burdens and worries. Earlier I mentioned the physical impact of burdens. Rise Up lifts us up to face life. I can still picture Mac, at the concert, bellowing this verse: (Even with a cold!)

“Rise up my friend and live again.”

Overall, Third Day’s music keeps maturing as the songs tell of faith, hope, and love. In a time of war, famine, disease, and various hardships, Wherever You Are inspires us to keep living through Christ.

Hands down, Wherever You Are is Third Day’s best album to date.