Behind the Christmas Song: What Child Is This?

What Child is This? was written by William Chatterton Dix in 1865 in England. Dix worked as a manager for an insurance company before being afflicted with a severe illness that left him bedridden and severely depressed. This near death experience brought about a spiritual renewal in him while he was recovering. During his recovery he would read the Bible […]

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Who is Joseph, the earthly Father of Jesus?

Last Christmas, we studied Mary, the Mother of Jesus. So in the spirit of Christmas, it only seemed natural to take a look at Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus.  For the next eight weeks we will explore what scripture tells us about Joseph. The only information we know about Joseph comes from three of the four gospels.  Joseph is […]

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Keep the Christmas Spirit Year Round

Christmas day has passed, but not the reason for the season.  What if we were to keep the Christmas spirit year round? Christmas is a season of love and giving.  Everyone seems to be in better spirits and more willing to lend a helping hand after this time. What if we kept this spirit year round? There are many in […]

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Mary, How Did You Feel?

Mary, How Did You Feel?–Part 1 You were such a young girl When it all began Sprung from such innocence Oh, Mary how did you feel?     What was it like to be so young? To become engaged at just fifteen Looking to build a home of your own Oh Mary, how did you feel?     Then the […]

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Christmas is About Family

Christmas brings it’s own temptations with parties, family gatherings and celebrations. However, the most important thing to remember is that Christmas is about family. Yes, we should make healthy choices during the holidays.  We don’t want to completely blow our diet. However, Christmas is the time to focus on our family and enjoy the time together.  We can resolve not […]

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Book Review: The First Christmas Carol

  What would happen if Ebenezer Scrooge were at the birth of Jesus?  How would Scrooge be effected by the birth of the Christ Child? That is exactly what the book The First Christmas Carol—A Miser, A Manger, A Miracle by Marianne Jordan explores. Ebenezer is concerned with nothing but his pocketbook.  He owns a local inn in Bethlehem and demands […]

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Behind the Song: O Holy Night

In 1847, Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure was most likely shocked when the parish priest asked him to write a poem for Christmas Mass. De Roquemaure was the commissioner of wines in a small French town and well known for his poetry.  He was an unlikely person for the priest to ask to write this poem, in the fact that he was […]

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Behind the Song: Ave Maria

Franz Schubert composed the popular Catholic hymn in 1825, as part of his Opus 52.  He titled the song “Ellens dritter Gesang” or Ellen’s Third Song. Philip Adam Storck translated and published the poem Lady of the Lake into German in 1819.  This was the inspiration for Schubert’s work. The song was composed as a setting for Sir Walter Scott’s […]

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Behind the Christmas Hymn: Joy to the World

Joy to the World is a paraphrase of the Psalm 98. Originally the Christmas Carol was titled “The Messiah’s Coming and Kingdom” and first appeared in Watt’s 1719 “Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament” hymnal. The music is believed to be adapted from parts of Handel’s Messiah by Lowell Mason. “And heaven and nature sing” […]

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Behind the Christmas Hymn: Silent Night

Silent Night has become a favorite Christmas Carol around the world. The hymn was never meant to be the legend it’s become. Joseph Mohr was the assistant priest at the Church of St. Nicholas in the Tyrol Alps of Austria. Father Mohr and Franz Gruber, the village schoolmaster and church organist, were discussing the fact that they believed the perfect […]

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The Untold Story: Handel’s Messiah

I love to attend a performance of Handel’s Messiah each Christmas.  So where did it begin?  Actually, although the oratorio is most often performed at Christmas time, the premiere took place at Easter time. The oratorio was composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel.   An oratorio is a large musical composition for orchestra, choir and soloists. Charles Jennens compiled the scriptural […]

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Behind the Christmas Song: Christmas Shoes

Christmas Shoes came out just a few months after Daddy died of cancer.  The song and story really resonated with me and continues to touch me even years later. The story first appeared in the book, Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul. In the book Helga Schmidt tells the story of a young brother and sister trying to buy their […]

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