It’s getting cold here in the mountains. Soon we’ll have a bit of snow, or maybe a lot of snow, and we’ll enjoy the warmth of hearth and home. It will be quiet outside as the snow falls softly. Christmas is coming.
The stable and the manger represent another kind of hearth and home, and a deeper sense of anticipation. Can you feel it? Can you see it? Picture this:
There’s an inn in a tiny village in a far country, a long time ago. The weather may be warm or cold, we don’t really know. What we do know is that the sky is extraordinarily clear and open, and that something profoundly important is about to happen.
The quiet starry night sets a scene of hushed expectation as we await the birth of a child. There are many participants, each with an important part to play, and they are journeying, converging, preparing or just quietly waiting: the shepherds, the angels, the wise men, the inn keeper, the animals, the king, the parents and the child.
The world is listening, trembling with expectation, preparing for joy. Soon, soon. Are you ready?
A Christmas Story – this movie is number one for a lot of people.
I don’t know why.
Christmas Vacation – notably quotably hilarious. I would love to see this in a theater with a bunch of hard core fans.
Die Hard – is this a Christmas movie or a movie set at Christmas time?
Elf – “Ow! Son of a Nutcracker!”
Ernest Saves Christmas – a low brow guilty pleasure, I’ll grant you, but I love this movie. Know whut I mean?
The Grinch Who Stole Christmas – the original, thank you very much! Although we’re going to see the latest one later today, so who knows? Maybe I’ll change my mind.
It’s a Wonderful Life – you matter.
Love Actually – a collection of love stories set at Christmas time.
Mixed Nuts – also a collection of love stories set at Christmas time!
Polar Express – worth it for the hot chocolate scene alone.
The Snowman – sublimemagicalrealismchildhoodfantasy.
White Christmas – the scene on the train where the four main characters sing those cascading vocal lines.
‘Snow, snow, snow, snow … ‘
A Christmas Carol – George C. Scott version. Although there’s never really been a bad version that I know of.
The Man Who Invented Christmas … earlier review here:
“Gratitude is the great multiplier of our good.” – Charles Fillmore
“For it is in giving that we receive.” – St. Francis of Assisi
“I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day.” – Smokey Robinson / Ronald White
Feeling grateful opens our hearts and deepens our awareness of our moment by moment blessings, clearing the way for ever more blessings. And if feeling grateful opens us to receiving more blessings, acting from our gratitude multiplies our blessings even more.
Please join Mike and Paula Davis on November 18th for a joyous celebration of gratitude.
There will be a community Thanksgiving feast right after the service!
Tonight at Wall2Wall Frames in Cartersville, GA!
This weekend at the Olive Tree Art Centre in Blairsville, GA!
“As part of the NE GA Arts Tour, come watch Paula Davis make an adorable clay pumpkin rattle in the pottery studio along with Carol Davis demonstrating her alcohol ink tile painting. Marsha Reeves will also be sharing her talented art of gourd carving in the gallery at Olive Tree Art Centre, 563 Gainesville Hwy, Blairsville, GA, Friday, November 9, from 1-3 pm.”
Follow Paula’s work at http://mikedavismusic.net/paula-davis-artist/
I’m not too crazy about political memes on Facebook.
Why? Because a society where people can only communicate by echoing thoughts from an unknown source is a society that does not value original or creative thinking, and that, folks, is a society that is flirting with totalitarianism. Orwell 101.
Who really knows where these things come from, anyway? And why?
I’ve observed many of my friends, from both left and right, who post and repost a dozen memes or quotes a day. Some of them are funny, some of them are a little offensive, and some of them are truly ugly. I’m referring to the memes, not the friends.
Do you think any of that ever changes another person’s mind? Please, formulate and share your own thoughts and ideas. They are worthy. Believe it! You are worthy.
Our democracy thanks you. Is that an overstatement? Think about it.
The world seems angry, unsettled and out of balance at the moment.
The world seems loving, peaceful and (one)derful at the moment.
Which is it? Well, there’s a foundational principal that says this: ‘What we focus on expands.’
Please take a minute to go within, and remember this:
We grow stronger, body and soul, when we breathe intentionally. When we live, move, breathe and have our being in the presence of the Divine. So be quiet now, listen to your soul, and just breathe. God is good.
Meditation is not a way of escaping or avoiding the real world.
It is the real world.
Focus, expand, be. And just breathe.
This is fascinating: physicists are exploring the idea that there is no color in our physical world. We create it with our perceptions, moment by moment, as light from the sun reaches the receptors in our eyes. Deepak Chopra writes about it in his book, ‘You Are the Universe.’ The implication of course is that nothing exists until we perceive it. Very controversial book, I might add!
Did Van Gogh just see with different eyes? Or did he literally create the colors of the universe in his own image?
How will you choose to see today?
By the way, I never got much beyond Sam Cooke in my understanding of science. 😉
“To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.” – Ecclesiastes
Our lives flow in seasons and reasons, spirals and curves. Straight lines? Not so much! What happens when you reach a crossroads, an opportunity or a crisis?
Well, Psalm 119 tells us this: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
The great Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh shares these words: “At any moment, you have a choice, and it either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it.”
And from an unknown, but very wise source: “Each next level of life will demand a different you.”
Are you facing choices? Decisions? Is shift happening?
Has God tapped you on the shoulder and invited you to dance?
Be willing to dive right in and explore. Trust that the wisdom is within you and know that the water is fine!
God is good.
We’ve been here in the North Georgia mountains for six months now, and I have to say I’m having the time of my life running-wise. And otherwise!
Running here is a completely different game compared to running in Florida. There, my favorite running spot was the West Orange Trail in Winter Garden. 22 miles of smooth asphalt, pretty much in a straight line with no elevation changes, and there are distance markers embedded in the trail at tenth of a mile intervals. I could look back through my running logs right now and tell you that on a particular day in, say, 2015 I ran 5.2 miles. 5.4 the day after that and so forth.
Here? Nothing is a straight line, you’re running up and down some fairly steep hills and the surface changes constantly. Mile markers? Ha!
It took me about two seconds to adapt. Somewhat to my surprise! I don’t track anything, I have no idea what my distances are, I have no idea what my times are.
Instead, I listen to my body. It’s pretty simple, really. You push to your (self perceived) limit and then do a little more. I’m getting better results than ever before. More joy, more freedom, more connection with the beautiful natural world around me.
Whether or not you run, is there some area of your life where that applies?
In the now viral video of Beto air drumming at the Whataburger drive through, he says that The Who’s ‘Baba O’Riley’ may be the best song ever written. Hmmm … I think I would have to go with ‘Close to the Edge,’ amirit? But ‘Baba O’Riley’ might very well be in my top 10. You know where I’m going with this, right? Please share yours! Here are mine:
10. ‘Baba O’Riley’ On a different day I might have called ‘Won’t Get Fooled Again.’
9. ‘Selling England By the Pound’ OK, the whole album, because it actually all fits together as one piece.
8. ‘What a Wonderful World’
7. ‘Amazing Grace’ (quote, paraphrased, from Willie Nelson: “everyone’s been trying for years to write a better song than ‘Amazing Grace.’ No one’s been able to yet.”)
6. ‘My Girl’
‘The Macarena’ hahahaha just kidding!
5. ‘Try a Little Tenderness’ the Otis Redding version, please
4. ‘Every single thing Aretha Franklin ever did.’ Well, hey, you try to choose one!
3. ‘God Only Knows’
2. ‘Side 2 of Abbey Road’ It’s sort of all one song, isn’t it?
1. ‘Close to the Edge’ See #9
Bonus: everything else YES ever did. Cheers!