2014 in review


The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.  What the helper monkeys didn’t say but should have was that if it wasn’t for you, the readers of this blog, it wouldn’t have turned out this great.

Thanks also goes to my co-editor Robin whose written some of the better posts this year.  Thanks to all and  happy New Year.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,800 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 30 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Earworm Wednesday: Joy to the World~Jeremy Camp


Issac Watts wrote this song basing it upon Psalm 98 this was when most songs sung in the Church of England were the psalms put to music.

Psalm 98
Oh, sing to the LORD a new song! For He has done marvelous things; His right hand and His holy arm have gained Him the victory. The LORD has made known His salvation; 2 His righteousness He has revealed in the sight of the nations. He has remembered His mercy and His faithfulness to the house of Israel; 3 All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth; 4 Break forth in song, rejoice, and sing praises. Sing to the LORD with the harp, 5 With the harp and the sound of a psalm, With trumpets and the sound of a horn; 6 Shout joyfully before the LORD, the King.

Let the sea roar, and all its fullness, 7 The world and those who dwell in it; Let the rivers clap their hands; 8 Let the hills be joyful together before the LORD, For He is coming to judge the earth. 9 With righteousness He shall judge the world, And the peoples with equity.
(NKJV)

Watts wanted to show the joy that would happen at the return of the Lord Jesus not his birth and it was with this in mind that he wrote these lyrics:

Joy to the World

Joy to the world! the Lord is come; Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven and nature sing, And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world! the Saviour reigns; Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found, Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness, And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love, And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Later Lowell Mason adapted some music to Watt’s lyrics, some think from Handel’s Comfort He My People, to what we currently sing today. It is unknown when this song started to be sung during Christmas time.

Today’s Earworm is by Jeremy Camp off of his Christmas album. Please enjoy.

Movie Review: Hogfather



It’s Christmas time and for some of you there are certain movies that you may watch as a family. Some of you have the intestinal fortitude to be able to watch  Ralphie and his quest for the elusive Red Ryder BB gun. Some may sit down and watch the classic Christmas cartoons of their youth and have that hidden tear appear as Linus tells Charlie Brown what Christmas is all about, or how the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes that day.

Or you run with Jimmy Stewart down the snow-covered streets of Bedford Falls yelling Merry Christmas to everyone even old man Potter.  Maybe you sit down with some hot chocolate and watch the Bingle as he sings about a white Christmas in the Holiday Inn.

Well let me introduce you to my guilty little pleasure come Christmas time.  Hogfather.  I know, it sounds like something right up there with some sorority house being terrified by a guy in a Santa suit but you would be wrong.

Come meet Discworld a fantasy universe created by Terry Pratchett where the world is a disk that lies upon the back of four elephants that stand on the shell of the Great A’Tuin a turtle that swims through the cosmic sea.  And there during the winter time is a similar holiday called Hogswatch where the Hogfather comes in his sleigh drawn by four boars.  The Hogfather then gives gifts to good little boys and girls.  Which is the problem it seems as Auditors, beings of smoke clad in gray cloaks, can’t stand children believing in the Hogfather so they contract with the guild of assassins to have the Hogfather inhumed. The head of the assassins knows this is going to take a special kind of man so he calls for Jonathan Teatime (pronounced “Teh-ah-time-eh,”).  Teatime is in touch with his inner child, that scary one that no one would play with and pulled the wings off of flies, and he know how to kill the Hogfather.

This gets Death involved and Death’s granddaughter Susan, who has left all this supernatural stuff behind and wants to have a normal life, but can’t because she’s Death’s granddaughter.  To save the Hogfather children must believe in the Hogfather so Death must dress up as the Hogfather to help the children believe which has some comical results.  After all how does one hang that beard with wires for your ears on a skull?

Will the Hogfather be saved?  What about Mr. Teatime? For that matter what about Susan will she ever be reconciled to how strange her family is, especially around Hogswatch?  You’ll have to watch and find out.

This is a fun film especially if you are a fan of the Terry Pratchett books.  Plus there are things in it especially the talks that Death has with Susan that can lend to interesting discussion with your children of teenage years.

Speaking of words there is some swearing in the film, not a lot and some scatological humor.   Really young children maybe scared by Mr. Teatime as his appearance is a little offsetting but then again that is the point isn’t it?

I give this film four stars out of five.  Give it a try.

Catechism


5. Canst thou keep all this perfectly? 
No: for I am by nature prone to hate God and my neighbor.

Romans 3:10, 23; 1 John 1:8; Romans 8:7; Ephesians 2:3; Titus 2:3

6. Did God then make man wicked and perverse?
Not so , but rather he made him  good, and to His own image; that is, endued with true righteousness and true holiness; that he might rightly know God his Creator, heartily love Him, and live with Him blessed forever, and that to laud and magnify Him.

Genesis 1:31; Genesis 1:26,27; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Colossians 3:10; Ephesians 4:24

 

Earworm Wednesday: O Come O Come Emmanuel


Veni, Veni Emanuel was a series of Latin antiphons  made by an unknown author and translated by John M. Neale.  The song is based upon various prophecies in the Bible and the title is from Isaiah 7:14

 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

This version is from Prepare Him Room studio session by Sovereign Grace Music.  Please enjoy.