Saturday, December 15, 2012

Mary, Did You Know?

Word on the street is Cee-Lo Green has a stunning rendition of "Mary Did You Know?" circulating the web. I actually got a chance to hear it at an adult learning class Sister Tauoa and I volunteered at this week, and again when a member played it for us at a lesson. I add my personal "Amen!" with the oohs-and-aahs to this out-of-character performance.

Back in my Deseret Book days, I was surrounded by amazing illustrations of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus. Unfortunately, I can't remember my favorite, but I do love the new Bible videos produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This screen-shot-edited photo is from a scene where the Wise Men bring gifts to the now toddler-aged Jesus.

I love the Mary in these videos. The actress really helps me ponder on what Mary must have felt and thought as she first heard the news that she would bring our Savior and Redeemer to this world. I often wonder, did Mary truly absolutely the events that would follow the birth of Jesus Christ?

Mary, Did you know

The Wondrous Gift is Given

Okay, I have repented. I solemnly promise that I will post weekly from now on, unless some dire circumstance comes up. It's Christmas season!! And there are so many songs that inspire me and build my faith! I love hearing songs about Jesus everywhere I go!  Like this one:

O little town of Bethlehem,
How still we see thee lie.
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by;
Yet in thy dark streets shineth
The everlasting Light.
The hopes and fears of all the years
Are met in thee tonight.
For Christ is born of Mary,
And, gathered all above
While mortals sleep, the angels keep
Their watch of wond'ring love.
O morning stars, together
Proclaim the holy birth,
And praises sing to God the King,
And peace to men on earth.

How silently, how silently
The wondrous gift is giv'n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of his heav'n.
No ear may hear his coming;
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive him, still
The dear Christ enters in.
Isn't that awesome? It's a "wondrous gift"--a perfect gift--we get to enjoy year after year! We get to unwrap it again and again each day as we strive to follow the example Jesus Christ set while He was on the earth.

My companion, Sister Tauoa, says, "It's sad that most of the world only thinks of Jesus Christ around this time of year....we should remember Him every day!"  I agree. The Spirit of Christmas should continue January....February....March through November. Hey, even BlueBell, the best Ice Cream in the South, has "Christmas Cookies in July" flavor! If an ice cream company can do it, we can! ;)

So, what's your favorite Christmas song about the Savior? Why?

Monday, December 3, 2012

The Journey

Imagine my elation when one of my lifelong favorite and less well-known hymns was sung in LDS General Conference last month.  I remember flipping through the hymn book as a teenager and stumbling across "Does the Journey Seem Long?" and reading the words for the first time. The words spoke peace, hope, and courage to my heart.

Does the Journey Seem Long?
Does the journey seem long,
The path rugged and steep?
Are there briars and thorns on the way?
Do sharp stones cut your feet 
As you struggle to rise
to the heights thru the heat of the day?

Is your heart faint and sad,
Your soul weary within,
As you toil 'neath your burden of care?
Does the load heavy seem
You are forced now to life?
Is there no one your burden to share?

Let your heart be not faint
Now the journey's begun;
There is One who still beckons to you.
So look upward in joy
and take hold of His hand;
He will lead you to heights that are new--

A land holy and pure,
Where all trouble doth end,
And your life shall be free from all sin,
Where no tears shall be shed,
For no sorrows remain.
Take his hand and with him enter in. 

Text: Joseph Fielding Smith Music: George D. Pyper

This week especially, I hope you and I remember to "look upward in joy and take hold of His hand" as He leads us to new heights.