Today we wrapped up what has been a musical journey -- as we have had guests joining us in the studio for our "Christmas Cafe". We've heard everything from a Dobro, to a harp, to a children's song and everything in between. Our final guest for our daily feature was James and Jordan of "The color". Here's a look at their in studio visit:
This is one of my favorite poems that I remember from taking in my school days.
It has for me a peaceful quality about it, how this person takes the time to stop, to simply savour the moment, to watch and listen as the snowfalls in the bush.
... .It is a time of pausing, a time of renewal, and then a moving on.
Such is life - and if you are fortunate, or simply make it happen, this time of year can be a wonderful time.
In this time of Advent, the time before Christmas we often say it is a time of waiting and preparation, in anticipation of the celebration of the birth of the Christ - child and in anticipation of His coming again.
But what do we make of all this? We well know that this is a time or preparation — getting ready for Christmas plans, concerts, parties, holidays, travels, and meals among many other things.
We read in Isaiah 40: 1-5
3A voice cries out: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God. 4Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. 5Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all people shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The prophet Isaiah talks about “preparing the way of the Lord”
This can be a wonderful time of year, but often it becomes stressful. Some of us react to it by becoming likethe character “Scrooge “ in “ A Christmas Carol”
Though these words come to us from 7 or 800 years before Christ’s birth, spoken to the people of Israel during a time of captivity, this Scripture has come to mean a lot to me right at the present time.
It makes me think of the obstacles before us and within us that keep that “glory of the Lord” from coming to us.
For me the mountains represent things like fear, and guilt and anger, that are obstacles to his coming to us.
The valleys represent the grief and sadness of life that has come upon many of us during this past year.
We can get stuck in those valleys and stopped by those mountains, from knowing the light and love, peace and joythat is truly part of this season — otherwise known I would say as Isaiah expresses it — “ the glory of the Lord.”
And so I have realized that for me I must name the mountains and the valleys and strive to do my part to prepare the way.
To do my part to build that highway between me and God and it is very worthwhile work.
We all know how wonderful it is when a road that was flooded out gets rebuilt, or a bridge is fixed where there was none.
Finally I will conclude with some further words from Isaiah 40: 28-31
28Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 29He gives power to the faint, and strengthens the powerless. 30Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; 31but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.
No matter what kind of year you have had this year — my prayer is that your mountains may be lowered and your valleys raised up within you — so that fears and sorrows do not overwhelm you — but instead you are overwhelmed with the very power and peace of God.
Take the time to stop and watch and listen to the snow -flakes. Take a tour of the Christmas lights .Enjoy the flowers in the shops. Cherish those you are with.
Our Christmas Cafe today featured Trevor Johnson. Here's a look at his in-studio visit:
Join us next week, as we continue with another week of Christmas guests, including Lulu and the Tomcat, Lindsay Rae, Mary Blatz, Lorenzo Friesen, and Paul Dueck. That's every weekday morning at 8:15, and 10:40.
We pulled up 3 extra chairs to our morning show table this morning, as special guests Alvin Elias, daughter Kayla Elias, and Aaron Burnett joined us for our "Christmas Cafe". It's not often we have an upright bass, a banjo, guitar, and 3-part harmony in the studio -- here's a look at their in-studio visit:
People say that you can’t turn back time, but that’s just what I did this week. Sort of. Well, not really. The last time I played volleyball was in my junior high school gym – and on Monday I returned to it, in very little of my former glory.
My youngest daughter is in junior high and her team just wrapped up their volleyball season. A few weeks ago they had a home game, and something unique happened. A couple of moms, in their zeal for the team, caught themselves being a tad critical from the sidelines.
To their credit, displaying vast amounts of wisdom and a thirst for empathy, they requested to arrange a Mother-Daughter volleyball game. Brilliant. I too, have caught myself rolling my eyes and sighing at missed plays or rookie mistakes. I know. Reeeeeal mature.
When the day of the big game rolled around, I found myself with some unexpected emotions. As my daughter headed down the driveway to the bus, I called out,“Have a good day… and you’d better bring your ‘A’ game!!” Whooops, where’d THAT come from…
I also considered that maybe us moms should have had a practice or something. But then quickly realized that our(cough)mature bodies would probably only have one go at this, and we’d better not risk injury or exhaustion on a practice that probably wouldn’t change any outcomes. It would only serve to give us a depressing reality check.
I was nervous and self-conscious about how I would look and perform on the court – even though there would be no spectators. It gave me an appreciation for what our kids go through every day when they do sports or music recitals or class presentations – largely against their will. I feel like I sometimes minimize their anxieties, and don’t give them enough credit when they over-come them. (We’ll just shelve that with the othermom-guiltitems for now.)
My inclination, when I’m on the sidelines of a game – or life, in general – is to shout directions. Yell at people to get up when they’ve fallen. Roll my eyes and groan when someone misses a shot. This, of course, from the perspective of NEVER EVEN HAVING PLAYED THE GAME.
I have a better handle on this with sports than I do in other areas of my life. When I go to my kids’ games, I’ve given myself a job description with a single function – cheerleader. The refs have their job, the coaches have their job – my job is to cheer. Not a fool-proof plan, but I try.
I know our lives are not always that simple. Sometimes we need to be coaches. Sometimes we need to be referees. Sometimes things need to be said, and more often, things need to bedone.
But if I’m not in the game, have never been in the game, what does it mean to anyone to just holler out directions?
If a random spectator yelled at me to keep my stick on the ice, I’d be like,“Why don’t you come down here and keep YOUR #&$@ stick on the ice??!!”
Anyway… As ya’ll know, I shoot my mouth off way too much. If I can say something about something, it’ll probably get said. My head knows that if I am not in the game, my best act must be as cheerleader. But my crappy self usually goes for the rush of feeling superior and being right. And this has very little to do with true righteousness or justice or caring.It haslessto do with wanting people to grow, andmoreto do with being in control.
But in a better, calmer moment I know that my shouting is mostly about my own issues. Richard Rohr writes,“Divine union overrides any need for self-hatred or self-rejection. Such people do not need to be perfectly right, and they know they cannot be anyway; so they just try to be in right relationship. In other words, they try above all else to be loving. Love holds you tightly and safely and always. Such people have met the enemy and know that the major enemy is ‘me’… “
The shouting is not productive. I know this because whenIneed ‘coaching’, I go to my cheerleaders – the people who have supported me through ups and downs. When I need a ‘referee’, or someone to set me straight, the people I hear best are my cheerleaders.
They are ones who have been involved in my life. Who have been there to listen. Or maybe they are ones who have been through something similar, or they’ve waded down deep onto the field with me… even during the rain when it was just mess and muck.
They are the ones who are in the game. They’re the ones whose motive is to help free other people, and are willing to get a little dirty to do it.
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