Children bring a special joy to the home during the Christmas season. They embrace every tradition from wrapping packages and decorating the tree to attending special Christmas services at the church. This image of the grand kids. This image is from about 2007. The oldest grand daughter is now married, the other two are in college and the grandson is a junior in high school and stands 6′-2″. We have been blessed to live in the same town and share Christmas every year since their birth.
The Bible tells us that there were shepherds in nearby fields on that first Christmas night. They were the first to hear the birth announcement of Christ from a heavenly host of angels. This fact alone tells us that a relationship with God and a place in eternity is available to everyone who calls on the name of the Lord, regardless of our position in this life. The message is, “Glory to God in the Highest.”
Welcome everyone to my eleventh annual Christmas Music Marathon. It’s hard to believe that I have been blogging this long and that the marathon is still my favorite thing to do each year. If you are new to the blog, here is how it works. Every day between now and Christmas I will post a photo and at least one music video that attempts to focus our attention on the true meaning of the holiday. In this day and age it is easy to get distracted by the troubles of the world, social media and just the general commotion surrounding Christmas.
This year I intend to spend a lot of time traveling down memory lane. This image is of me and I am probably three or four years old. I grew up when cowboys were popular on television and in the movies so I got all of the cowboy gear for Christmas. This is probably 1949 or 1950. Now, let the music begin.
One tradition I have regarding this marathon is to begin by thinking about that first Christmas night. We are celebrating the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. The Bible tells us the story of Christ’s entry into this world in the second chapter of Luke. Everyone was commanded to register in their hometown and pay their taxes. Mary and Joseph entered Bethlehem and proceeded to look for a place to stay. There was no Christmas shopping or twinkling lights. There was just a cold night with no place to stay. Let’s take a walk through Bethlehem.
It is important to pass the true meaning of Christmas on to the next generation. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 22:6 and Ephesians 6:4 that we are to train our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. 2 Timothy 3:16 declares that all scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. Teaching our children songs about the glory of the Creator is a wonderful thing. Carrie Underwood and her five-yer-old son, Isaiah sing Little Drummer Boy.
Come back tomorrow for more music and images of the season. Have a blessed day.
It’s Thanksgiving week at 4M and the theme or challenge this week is to put a playlist together that spells “Grateful” I am being pulled in three directions. I could just do a playlist that spells “grateful” and pull the songs from any genre. I could do a playlist that focuses on the One to whom we should be grateful for all of life’s blessings or I could develop a playlist of songs that give a preview of things to come here on Driller’s Place.
Thursday is Thanksgiving and that means the Driller’s Eleventh Annual Christmas Music Marathon will begin on Friday and continue through Christmas day. I do hope you will find time to stop by and view the daily featured video(s) that attempt to focus on the true reason for the holiday celebration. I think I am going to combine the latter two themes to spell this week’s theme.
I supposed I could just post this song and be done, since it is simply titled, “Grateful.”
We have all spent a sleepless Christmas Eve waiting on Santa Claus to arrive or, later in life, playing “elf” by assembling the toys that Santa has left the kids. But when the sun comes up and the kids explode from their rooms, there will be plenty of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.
On that first Christmas there were shepherds in the fields surrounding Bethlehem and the angels appeared to them with the good news that a Savior had been born. They left their flocks and went to see the Christ child and when asked how they knew of the birth of the Messiah, their response was, “Angels We Have Heard On High”.
We celebrate Thanksgiving and say we are thankful for all of the good things in our lives, but who should we be thankful to? Psalms 100:4 tells us, “Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good.” What should we be be thankful for? Again, the Good Book tells us “…in everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for your.” (1Thessalonians 5:18) Be thankful.
I have my Christmas lights on the exterior of the house and the tree is covered in lights. Every light that shines at Christmas is a declaration of the birth of a Savior.
Most of us dream of a white Christmas. There is just something magic about a layer of snow on the ground that makes a Christmas celebration very special. Of course, the whole family participates in the construcion of their own version of Frosty the Snowman.
One Christmas tradition that seems to have faded into the past is mistletoe. While it is still used as a decoration, the idea of having to kiss a person who is standing under the mistletoe appears to have been lost. Let’s revive that tradition. Maybe it will help us be a little kinder to one another.
National news is reporting that there are now three vaccines that are successful against Covid-19! If an emergency approval is granted, distribution can begin in December. That would be a marvelous gift for a troubled world. In the mean time, how ever you celebrate the holiday, just Let It Be Christmas.
Well, there you have it…GRATEFUL in song titles celebrating Thanksgiving and previewing Christmas. Hope to see you here during the marathon. Hve a safe Thanksgiving. Stay safe, stay healthy, and stay joyful.
This final post of my local trail trilogy involves a trail that is a favorite of ours. It begins a couple of blocks from the town square and ends at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. The paved trail is about a mile long. Once you reach the museum there are a couple of additional miles of trails on the grounds that lead you past large pieces of art. But it’s autumn in the Ozarks and God is putting on a much more colorful display than any of the exhibits.
Crystal Bridges is a beautiful piece of architecture that houses a world class collection of art by American artists. If you are in the area, it is a must visit destination.
My wife and I spent Halloween afternoon on the trail. I didn’t bring my tripod so I didn’t get a photo of us together and now the leaves are gone and winter is just around the corner. The colors were simply spectacular this year.
Monday’s Music Moves Me
This week is a freedom of choice week and 4M, so I am going to take the opportunity to shamelessly plug something coming soon to Driller’s Place.
Eleven years ago I began what I now call my Christmas Music Marathon. Beginning the day after Thanksgiving and continuing through Christmas I post at least one photo, one video, and a short comment regarding Christmas. The purpose of this annual project is to focus on the true meaning of Christmas, which is the birth of Christ. As a society we have become so busy, so over saturated with the commercial side of the season that we have lost the real reason for the celebration. If you want to get a better idea of how this is going to work you can scroll back to December posts of 2018 or 19. Prior to 2018 I was posting on e-Blogger. I made the transition to WordPress in January of 2018 so there are only two years of marathon posts here.
This year the photos will concentrate a little more on family photos from Christmas past. Lucy and I will take you on a journey through the years around the Christmas tree. The songs will come from secular and inspirational sources, so if you are a fan of Christmas and tired of the same old mall music, stop by here any day between Thanksgiving and Christmas to hear music that celebrates the true meaning of the season.
Needless to say 2020 has been and very different and difficult year for people worldwide. Covid-19 has wreaked havoc on our society as people have sheltered in their homes, sports were canceled, restaurants were closed, even churches quit meeting in worship services. It might leave some to ask, “Where Are You Christmas?”
Another question that we often here is, “What does Christmas mean to you?” Well the next few weeks I hope to answer that question and by Christmas day you will know what Christmas is to me. Have a blessed week.
During the past few years Northwest Arkansas has become a hiking and biking trail Mecca. You can literally hike or bike from the Fayetteville town square to the Bentonville town square on a paved trail. Bella Vista has nearly 40 miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. There are trails of all kinds and all levels of difficulties everywhere. A couple of weeks ago I drove over to a local trailhead to explore the venue and photograph some fall color. This trailhead had a rest area, parking, and multiple options for enjoying the great outdoors. Here are a few images from my visit.
Monday’s Music Moves Me
Well the theme at 4M this week is to pick songs of musicians born in November. Not braggin’ but I think I hit the jackpot. Two of the Eagles were born in November. Co-founder of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jimi Hendrix, Lyle Lovett, Keith Emerson and Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer all have November birthdays. Bonnie Bramlett and Bonnie Rait are November ladies along with Miley Cyrus. Duane Allman, Johnny Rivers, and Eddie Rabbitt are in the mix. The writer and original recording artist of “The Twist”, Hank Ballard is a November boy. I could have a playlist for days from these artists, so where do I start? How about we start with a popular band member.
Steve Van Zandt was born in November. He is a guitarist with Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street band. Van Zandt also landed a role on the Sopranos. One of my favorite Springsteen songs is about a part of life that all of us experience. When we get into our thirties and forties, most of us look back on our high school and early twenties and recall that those were probably our “Glory Days”.
Randy Becker is another band member of one of my favorite groups, Blood Sweat and Tears. Back in the day, BS&T often went head to head with Chicago for the number one record on the charts. The debut album of BS&T was filled with classic hits and I wore that record (vinyl) out. One of my favorite songs from the album was “When I Die”.
How about we honor two November birthday kids in one song. Bonnie Rait and Delbert McClinton…”Good Man, Good Woman”.
Like I said, I could create a playlist for days, but I’m going to close this out with a song from an artist that shares my Birthday, November 20. Duane Allman and the Allman Brothers Band playing Midnight Rider. Have a blessed week.
Recently my wife and I spent a couple of days at Paradise Point just outside of Branson Missouri. It is adjoins Big Cedar Lodge and sits on the shores of Table Rock Lake. It is an awesome place to stay. Branson is about an hour and a half drive from our home so we make two or three trips per year. At least one of the trips involves the family vacation and one involves my wife and I just getting away from everyday life and spending some quiet time in the Ozark mountains.
One of the attractions at Big Cedar is the Top of the Rock. It is a golf course restaurant, museum, and there is a 2-1/2 mile golf cart ride through an area filled with rock formations and waterfalls. We have never done this attraction before and autumn seemed like the best time to take the tour. You rent the golf cart, and you can spend as much time as you like on the trail. There are places that are made for photo opportunities and places that you make your own opportunities. The colors were changing so it was a great couple of hours. Here are few images from our time on the Lost Canyon Nature Trail at Top of the Rock, Big Cedar Lodge.
Monday’s Music Moves Me
This week at 4M is a “We pick ’em” week so I am going to drift back into inspirational music and introduce a couple of groups that are new to me. The contemporary Christian music genre is in a constant state of flux and it seems that new groups are emerging almost every day.
For many people the word “hope” implies wishful thinking. We hope our team wins. We hope surgery goes well. For the Christian hope is a guaranteed event that just hasn’t happened yet. We place our hope of eternal life in Christ because his death on the cross and resurrection three days later guaranteed our salvation and an eternal home in a place prepared for us called heaven. Our hope is real, it just hasn’t happened yet. When life becomes difficult we find ourselves “Holding On To Hope”
The third chapter of Matthew tells us that Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized establishing a widely recognized ordinance of the Church. Baptism is a public demonstration of our private decision to accept Christ as our Savior and to seek and follow His will for our life. The water can be a creek, stream, swimming pool, livestock trough, or a place in the church specifically designed for the purpose of baptism. The water itself has no special power, but in its own way it is Holy Water.
Scripture tells us that heaven is a real place created by God the Father and Christ has prepared a place for every believer to spend eternity. The Bible also tells us that no one is good enough to get there on their own. We are naturally rebellious and sinful, falling far short of the perfection required to enter paradise. Christ stepped out of heaven, lived a perfect life and offered Himself as the only acceptable sacrifice to pay for our redemption. Every believer is a Rescue Story. Have a blessed week.