Mid-month, my parents came for a visit and, wow, what a great time we had! Their visit began with our Springfield Fresh Grounded Faith Event. There were 2000 women in attendance and according to the official count, there were 246 rolls of toilet paper used! (Yes, there are people who count such things.) Truly, the event was a venti size blessing! Stormie Omartian was so effective--especially when she "spilled the beans" with me and shared such practical and honest lessons from her life. Her funniest line came as she described her morning routine. She said it takes her a while to get ready because she has to "find her features!" Of course, Michael O'Brien dazzled all of us. God moved; we're grateful.
After the conference, my folks helped us set up the Christmas tree. Yes, it's up and my blood pressure and stress level are consequently down! Since the tree is sparkling in our living room, I turned on the Christmas music. Sara Groves O Holy Night CD is the one most captivating me this season. She artfully alters the melodies of several standard carols; I think they are the strength of the collection. I especially love Angels We Have Heard on High. She also has a few original tunes that are true to her poetic, contemplative bent. The whole CD is thoughtful and helps me direct my musings toward the truth of Christmas. It's like listening to poetry!
Instead of listening to a new book this month, I caught up on my Mars Hill Audio Journals. Mars Hill Audio Journal was started in 1993 by Ken Myers, formerly of NPR. It's an effort in journalistic cultural apologetics. It is an "audio magazine" featuring 90 minutes of interesting and thought-provoking conversation with a variety of guests on a broad spectrum of topics including literature, music, politics and community. It explores the nuances of modern culture and thought that makes the Gospel of Christ seem implausible to non-believers, and it exposes the cultural norms that confuse or weaken the faith of believers. What I love about Meyers and his guests' approach is that it is less about making arguments for the truth, and more about developing a historical understanding of why even the best arguments for truth are seemingly fruitless in current culture. I admit, sometimes it is exceptionally "heady," but somehow it always impacts my heart. We all need the challenge to our heads and hearts, don't we?
Clayton came home for Thanksgiving and our beloved friends from Oklahoma, the O'Gwynns, joined us for the annual tradition. Listen girls, I've got it good. Deborah O'Gwynn cooks everything and it's all delicious! All I do is turkey and rolls! This year though, we did "feast on the Word." I got the Scripture dishes I've been hoping for just in time for the holiday. They are so lovely and so meaningful. I am just grateful the plates didn't bear verses about self control or gluttony because man, did we eat! I'm full-need to stop typing and get on the elliptical!
So, give these things a taste test:
1. Well-Bred Bakery and Café in western North Carolina
2. Sara Groves O Holy Night Christmas CD
3. Mars Hill Audio Journal
4. Scripture dishes