Christmas 2019 was a very special Christmas for our family, especial my wife and me. Earlier in the year I was diagnosed with two types of cancer, prostate and a large cancerous tumor in my abdomen. I had surgery in October of that year to remove a 30 lb. tumor. By mid December I was undergoing radiation treatments for the prostate cancer. When this image was taken at our home, I was about six weeks removed from the surgery. As I write this post I am cancer free. God gifted medical professionals to successfully treat the cancers and my Savior provided me with family and friends to minister to me throughout the journey. I just celebrated another birthday because my Creator still has work for me to do in His kingdom. The very least I can do is celebrate the birth of the Messiah. To God be the glory!
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.
Autumn Leaves Part III
Monday’s Music Moves Me
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.
Autumn Leaves Part II
Happy Trails to You
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.
Let Freedom Ring
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.