Thinking Out Loud

December 19, 2013

Simeon: “Now I’ve Seen Everything”

Filed under: Christmas, music — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:58 am

Life is like a box of Christmas ornaments. You never know what you’re gonna get.

I was wondering if I would have time to post anything today, when last night an old friend asked if I would post a particular song on our store’s YouTube channel. The song was the title song on a vintage Canadian Christian album called Simeon by a band called Simeon. So yes, the album, the song and the band all have the same name. The band was the house band at The Master’s Workshop in Toronto, Canada and did studio work for clients during the week and did weekend ministry at Christian concerts.

I was just thinking about Simeon — the one in Luke 2, not the band — just the other day. His speech in Luke 2 is the ultimate, “Now I’ve seen everything.” Eugene Peterson tells the story this way:

In Jerusalem at the time, there was a man, Simeon by name, a good man, a man who lived in the prayerful expectancy of help for Israel. And the Holy Spirit was on him. The Holy Spirit had shown him that he would see the Messiah of God before he died. Led by the Spirit, he entered the Temple. As the parents of the child Jesus brought him in to carry out the rituals of the Law, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God:

God, you can now release your servant;
release me in peace as you promised.
With my own eyes I’ve seen your salvation;
it’s now out in the open for everyone to see:
A God-revealing light to the non-Jewish nations,
and of glory for your people Israel.

So enjoy this song from the early 1980s.

December 7, 2013

Show Me The Manger

I thought we’d take a break from yesterday’s busy day here at Thinking Out Loud. It’s been a couple of years since this first appeared here. My wife Ruth is a naturally gifted songwriter and singer. Her best writing is often centered on Christ’s birth (Christmas) and death (The Cross).  I hope you enjoy her song.

 

Show me the manger
Show me where life begins again
Show me the manger
Show me where hope and peace come breaking in
Show me the shelter and the family and the faces and the dawn
Of untidy love that’s forever, forever from now on
Once I’ve seen the manger
How could I ever turn away?

Show me the angels
Show me a hint of what Heaven can do
Show me the star now
Show me a flash of forever shining through
Show me the beauty and the glory and the music and the flame
Show me the power of the promise and the power of the Name
Once I’ve seen the glory
How could I ever turn away?

Show me the baby
Though I don’t begin to understand
How such an ordinary baby
Could be God becoming man
Could he be born to live to die to live again?
To be the life, be the way, be the truth, be the plan
Once I’ve seen the baby
How could I ever turn away?

Show me the manger, show me the family,
Show me the angels, show me the star now
But once I’ve seen the Savior,
I will never turn away.

December 27, 2012

Last Chance Christmas Songs

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:30 am

Okay, so it’s the 27th already, and the cool thing to do now is to pack up Christmas and move on, but before we leave it entirely, we want to draw attention to the audio advent calendar our friends at Third Space Church in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada produced, with a song (or something) for every day from December 1 to 25. (Well, they just embedded some videos; so maybe ‘produced’ is misleading…)

If you’re arriving here anytime after December 2012, you’ll have to hunt through their blog for posts in that month using the tag “online advent calendar,” for everyone else a simple click will work.

November 21, 2012

Wednesday Link List

Try to have your link suggestions in by 8:00 PM EST Monday.

December 25, 2011

Show Me The Manger

Filed under: Christmas — Tags: , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 5:23 am

Here’s another one of Ruth’s songs.

From our house to your house, Merry Christmas.

Show me the manger
Show me where life begins again
Show me the manger
Show me where hope and peace come breaking in
Show me the shelter and the family and the faces and the dawn
Of untidy love that’s forever, forever from now on
Once I’ve seen the manger
How could I ever turn away?

Show me the angels
Show me a hint of what Heaven can do
Show me the star now
Show me a flash of forever shining through
Show me the beauty and the glory and the music and the flame
Show me the power of the promise and the power of the Name
Once I’ve seen the glory
How could I ever turn away?

Show me the baby
Though I don’t begin to understand
How such an ordinary baby
Could be God becoming man
Could he be born to live to die to live again?
To be the life, be the way, be the truth, be the plan
Once I’ve seen the baby
How could I ever turn away?

Show me the manger, show me the family,
Show me the angels, show me the star now
But once I’ve seen the Saviour,
I will never turn away.

December 7, 2011

Wednesday Link List

Hark how the links, sweet silver links, all seem to say, “Throw cares away!”

  • Gonna do something I’ve done here before and make the first link one from this very blog.  I’m getting a ton of hits for a piece I wrote here last year dealing with the burning question, Should Audiences Still Stand for the Hallelujah Chorus?  But with only eleven comments, there’s still room for yours, and it will get viewed many times over the next few days.
  • Just when think you’ve seen all the weird churches in the world, you discover this one, which has major parking problems, not to mention severe access issues.  Check out this mini photo essay from our old friend Abraham Piper at 22 Words.
  • It’s rare in the Christian blogosphere that you see someone give a Christian book a really bad review. Perhaps that’s what makes this review at the blog Supermoms Are Fake, in some ways, so refreshing.
  • Some of you remember Hermant Mehta at the blog, The Friendly Atheist, from his book I Sold My Soul on E-Bay.  Sometimes I check back to see how he’s doing, whereupon I found this one: Why Are This Many Atheist Scientists Taking Their Children To Church?
  • Leaders are readers. So begins a concise, 7-point piece by Dave Kraft at Leadership from the Heart, I Would Love to Read More, But…
  • Music video department: Enjoy a free taste of fourteen updated hymns at Indelible Grace III – For All The Saints.
  • …which got me poking around YouTube where I ended up listening to this updated version of Jesus I Come (which I know as Out of My Bondage) by the Shelly Moore Band.
  • Christianity Today music guy Mark Moring talks to Chris Tomlin aka the “worship song machine.” Tomlin just doesn’t see himself writing any other kind of music. Which I suppose suits us just fine.
  • Philanthropy meets good business sense as a Toronto group puts together winter survival kits for the homeless.
  • Canadian Charismatic Evangelist Todd Bentley is in the UK, but a Member of Parliament is telling Brits to beware the tattoo preacher.   The Sunday Express reports. (HT: Rick and Bene.)
  • The newest blog at Alltop Christian is called Slow Running Honey, another blog which seems to exist for the purpose of promoting a book. That’s fine, I guess, but the Christian blogosphere didn’t start out that way. (Though it got there quickly.)
  • Newest blog at Alltop Church is Nate Fietzer‘s which is a KidMin blog, meaning children’s ministry and leadership.  It’s him we also thank for the Life graphic below. Did you design that, Nate?

  • I think Justin and Tricia attend Pete Wilson’s church; I know Justin filled in for Pete once during the summer. Here’s an article that could revolutionize your marriage, and the concept is so simple, it revolves around one little three-letter word.
  • After a few days in Sick Bay, Rev. Billy Graham is now back home.
  • Okay, so you go to a church where women don’t teach, but they do scripture readings. But isn’t the public reading of scripture a type of teaching ministry? Or is it? What about soloists? Jesse Johnson wades into a thorny topic.
  • Sounds of the season: Drummer Sean Quigley is the latest to offer a fresh take on a classic, in this case The Little Drummer Boy.
  • Lots of videos this week, but you don’t want to miss this one: Bethlehemian Rhapsody, which was actually posted in 2009, but is still being discovered. (The sheep steal their scenes each time!)
  • Like all good link lists, we have another t-shirt for you. This is from Amanda at Faith in The Journey a tumblr blog packed with great graphic ideas. The shirt is from zazzle.com

November 10, 2010

Wednesday Link List

One of the more interesting lists of lynx links I’ve posted in a long time…

  • Starting out, here’s the ultimate list of stats comparing the NIV 2011 with previous NIV editions.    Lots of changes in Ruth, Ezra, Amos and Jonah.  And III John.   But nothing like the 32% new content in Galatians.   The least renovated is Song of Solomon, with other low change rates in II Kings and Esther.
  • Very shocked to learn recently about the accident involving Ruth Graham’s husband Greg, who was in a major automobile accident.  (Ruth is a daughter of Ruth Bell Graham and Billy Graham.)   Pray for Ruth, Greg and their three sons.  You can follow some of the story by clicking on the ministry website, selecting Ruth’s blog, and scrolling back to September 30th’s entry.   Really, really try to remember to pray for this family.
  • Barry Simmons has embedded a film clip dramatizing a critical moment in Martin Luther’s trial before the Diet of Worms, where he is given a chance to renounce his beliefs.     Where would we be today if Luther hadn’t stood up the doctrinal corruption that was taking place at the time?  (No, this Diet isn’t a weight-loss program.   Click here and here to learn more.)
  • Speaking of film clips, a regular reader — and one-time guest contributor to this blog — Simon Fraser University film student Nathan Douglas scored an opportunity to do a film review for Christianity Today magazine of a Finnish movie releasing on DVD in February, Letters to Father Jacob.
  • Here’s a link to last night’s story on ABC World News about pastors who have lost their faith but can’t afford to lose their jobs. “…When speaking to parishioners, they tried to stick to the sections of the Bible that they still believed in — the parts about being a good person. Both said that they would like to leave their jobs though they can’t afford to.
  • Timmy Brister at the blog, Provocations and Paintings has been busy reading AND: The Gathered and Scattered Church by Hugh Halter and Matt Smay, and highlights two videos that were used to open the AND Conference.   I really like these videos, which help make the point of encouraging the blending the missional and the attractional approaches to church.
  • And speaking of Calvinist bloggers, Phil Johnson at Pyromaniacs seems to take great delight in pouring gasoline on this fire, in a post entitled The Problem For Arminians.    I’m not 100% sure what — other than intense pain — this particular line of discussion is serving, but I’m not alone, as the 200-odd comments clearly indicate.
  • Mike Gilbart-Smith posts some fairly extensive notes from a lecture by Stuart Townend on Leading Corporate Worship.    He also summarizes them here at 9 Marks.    Don’t know who Townend is?  Then click here.
  • The author of Heaven almost got there at an earlier stage of life.  Randy Alcorn talks about working at a 7-11 and being robbed at gunpoint.  Well, actually he kinda glosses over it.
  • Adam Young aka Owl City performs In Christ Alone with a couple of interesting key changes.   He ends the blog post related to the song with this:  “When He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me… because my banner will be clear.”
  • And then, at the other end of the musical spectrum, we have the bluegrass sounds of The Franz Family kicking off the Christmas season early with O Come, O Come Emmanuel.     I’ve always like this song; I like the simple harmonies on this, but I was really struck by the production of the video itself.
  • Guess I’m going nuts with video links this week.   If you were part of the Jesus Music scene in the late ’70s and early ’80s; you’ll remember an early worship song from the Maranatha! Five album by Bill Sprouse and the Road Home based on Psalm 5.
  • Our cartoon this week is a bit of a mystery.  I clicked on Church People at Baptist Press by Frank Lengel and ended up with a string of Friends cartoons by Franko.  Same person?  Beats me.  I haven’t seen this one before among the seven different cartoons available there.  The way I see it, the “news” value of telling that story makes up for my ignoring the copyright notice.

December 9, 2009

Links Links Links

Once again, we bring you the finest in links that you won’t see on any other blogs, except for the ones we got from other blogs.

  • To begin with, a five-minute advent meditation at YouTube with music by Jeff Johnson, titled The Coming of the Lord.
  • David Fitch at the blog, Reclaiming the Mission suggests that a staple of evangelism, getting people to admit that they are sinners, doesn’t work with postmoderns.
  • Speaking of evangelism, this is my favorite of the links this week:  Kevin Rogers at the blog, The Orphan Age, introduces his son Levi (15) who shares a dialog that took place in a Grade Nine class discussion.   Ever get asked why God would make us imperfect and given to doing evil things?   Check out his response.
  • With nine locations, The Meeting House is Canada’s largest multi-site church.   Pastor Bruxy Cavey, author of The End of Religion is currently doing a series about Facebook culture where he suggests to his parishioners: “Get over yourselves.”  Read about the church in this December 8th article at Christian Week.   [Two hours later: Having already heard the first message in this series, I just listened to the second — The Culture of “i” — and totally enjoyed the blend of technological and Biblical insights.  To listen, click here.]
  • Andrew Faris at the blog, Christians in Context, rethinks the Christmas song, “Mary Did You Know,” and suggests some additional verses.
  • Speaking of Christmas, for you ‘crafty’ people out there, Ann Welch at the blog, Resolved to Worship suggests some Christmas tree ornaments you can make with no budget on a rainy day.
  • Kathy aka Kaybee at the blog, The Well, suggests that when it comes to our intimacy with God,  “We can’t dash into His presence and choke down spiritual inwardness before we hurry to our one o’clock appointment.”Read the post, No Hurry here.
  • When the minister says, “I now pronounce you husband and wife;” the couples kiss next, right?   Not necessarily.  Check out this short YouTube, At My Wedding.
  • At the blog, The Online Discernmentalist Mafia, a new gadget offers protection from Liberal, Emergent, Catholic-related, Shack-inspired influences that might creep into your mind undetected.
  • Last, an internal link.  I’d really like to have gotten more discussion going on so called “contemporary” churches whose basic order of worship is part of the church bylaws and constitution.   How “fresh” and “alive” is the worship sequence where you worship on Sunday mornings?
Got Prayer Requests?

Use the Comments Section in this post

As a family, we get together at 9:00 PM EST and often include items gathered throughout the day from my work (confidentiality permitting.) Today, I thought, “Why not open this up to our blog community as well?” Feel free to list anything on your heart, but if it’s not for yourself, don’t use names.  … I think it’s good for us to pray for things outside our family circle. Sometimes our prayer life can be very insular, which isn’t good in a world of global need. If you miss today’s connection time-wise, there’s always tomorrow.

December 7, 2009

Cliff Richard’s 21st Century Christmas

Faithful readers will recognize this as a re-blogged item from last year, but nothing kicks off the Christmas season for me like listening to Cliff Richard signing “21st Century Christmas.”   Don’t know this artist?

In the early days of rock ‘n roll, while the kids on my side of the Atlantic were idolizing Elvis, kids in the U.K. were growing up on the pop music of Cliff Richard.  Years later, at a Billy Graham crusade, Cliff would reveal his Christian commitment.  (If you click the Wikipedia link in this paragraph, check out the list of awards toward the end of the page.)

Cliff’s Christmas songs are a staple on British radio, and rather than embed the YouTube vids, I’ve linked a few here along with highest chart position.

  • Little Town – 1982 #11 – This was the first Christmas song I heard Cliff do, and now when people talk about “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” this is the tune that first pops into my brain, not the one we sing in church.
  • Mistletoe and Wine – 1988 # 1 – “Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, children singing Christian rhyme.” Not sure what ‘Christian rhyme’ truly means, or how the Baptists in the U.K. dealt with the whole wine thing.  Ends with a boy soprano solo.  (If you Google “Cliff Richard Christmas” you’ll find some far worse songs, like the one that spells C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S with a lame attempt at spiritualizing it at the end.  Hey this one was a #1 song in the U.K.)
  • Savior’s Day – 1990 # 1 – It actually took YouTube for me to hear this one the first time. Be sure to catch the kid towards the end of vid on Cliff’s right; definitely a Cliff Richard wannabe. With some modifications, this song can be used year round.
  • Millennium Prayer – 1999 # 1 – Cliff appropriately ended the millennium with the Lord’s Prayer lyrics sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.   Surprised more American worship bands didn’t pick up on this for the last Sunday of the year.   They still could.
  • Santa’s List – 2003 # 6 – Another one I heard for the first time on YouTube. It’s too bad that North American is so quick to dismiss what’s happening across the pond.
  • 21st Century Christmas – 2006 # 2 – Somehow he manages to mix Christian sentiment and Santa Claus into this song which also highlights every form of recent technology out there. (Note to Americans: mobile = cell phone.)   Your kids might like this.
  • Good on the Sally Army – Not strictly speaking a Christmas song, but it’s hard to think Christmas without thinking of the Salvation Army. This classic from the Small Corners album of all Christian songs doesn’t have a true music video, but you can link to YouTube audio here.

Speaking of the Salvation Army, don’t forget you can still contribute to our iKettle.  We want to raise another $870 by Christmas Day.  Here’s the link.

And speaking of iKettle don’t forget the contest at Rick Apperson’s blog, Just a Thought on Tuesday. It was Rick that first alerted us to the Salvation Army online fundraiser.  Refer back to Saturday’s post.  (Two posts back.) Twenty people will win a book from Zondervan just for sharing stories about sharing faith.  Look for “Blog: Just a Thought” in the blogroll at right.

December 21, 2008

Cliff Richard Christmas Songs

Filed under: Christianity, Christmas, Faith — Tags: , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:32 pm

cliff-richard1

In the early days of rock ‘n roll, while the kids on my side of the Atlantic were watching Elvis Presley’s swaying hips, kids in the U.K. were growing up on the pop music of Cliff Richard.   Years later, at a Billy Graham crusade, Cliff would reveal his Christian commitment.

Cliff’s Christmas songs are a staple on British radio, and in deference to people who don’t have high-speed internet; rather than embed the YouTube vids, I’ve linked them all here for your enjoyment along with the year of release, and highest chart position.

  • Little Town – 1982 #11 – This was the first Christmas song I heard Cliff do, and now when people talk about “Oh Little Town of Bethlehem,” this is the tune that first pops into my brain.
  • Mistletoe and Wine – 1988 # 1 – “Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, children singing Christian rhyme.”  Not sure what ‘Christian rhyme’ truly means, or how the Baptists in the U.K. dealt with the whole wine thing.   Ends with a boy soprano solo.
  • Whenever God Shines His Light – 1989 #20 – A duet with Van Morrison.
  • Savior’s Day – 1990 # 1 – It actually took YouTube for me to hear this one the first time.   Be sure to catch the kid towards the end of vid on Cliff’s right; definitely a Cliff Richard wannabe.   With some modifications, this song can be used year round.
  • We Should Be Together – 1991 #10 – You’ll notice that many of the YouTube vids were placed by the same contributor, who ignores this one, as it lacks a Christian theme.   I left the link out because the YouTube version isn’t a true music video.
  • Millenium Prayer – 1999 # 1 – Cliff appropriately ends the millenium with the Lord’s Prayer lyrics sung to the tune of Auld Lang Syne
  • Santa’s List – 2003 # 6 – Another one I heard for the first time on YouTube.  It’s too bad that North American is so quick to dismiss what’s happening across the pond.
  • 21st Century Christmas – 2006 # 2 – Somehow he manages to mix Christian sentiment and Santa Claus into this song which also highlights every form of recent technology out there.   (Note to Americans:  mobile = cell phone.)
  • Good on the Sally Army – Not a Christmas song, but it’s hard to think  Christmas without thinking of the Salvation Army.   This classic from the Small Corners album of all Christian songs doesn’t have a true music video, but you can link to YouTube audio here.

I really respect Cliff for the stand he’s taken as a Christian in the entertainment business.

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