Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"Mary, Did You Know?" ~ the Story and the Song

This song was sang at church during the Christmas play last week (the 13th). And it really got me to thinking. Did Mary know? I mean, she knew who He was, but how much of what He would go on to do did she know? 
Seeing as how this song was written by my favorite comedian, I decided to share the story behind it. :) 

//The Song//
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will save our sons and daughters?

Did you know, that your Baby Boy
Has come to make you new?
This Child that you delivered, 
Will soon deliver you. 

Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Would calm a storm with his hand?

Did you know, that your Baby Boy
Has walked where angels trod 
And when you kiss your little Baby, 
You've kissed the face of God? 

Oh, Mary, did you know? 
Mary, did you know? 

The blind will see, the deaf will hear,
The dead will live again
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak,
Praises of the lamb? 

Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Is Lord of all creation?
Mary, did you know, that your Baby Boy
Will one day rule the nations?

Did you know that your Baby Boy
Is Heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping Child you're holding
Is the Great I AM! 

//The Story//

 In 1984, while living in Houston, Mark Lowry was asked by his pastor to write the program for their living Christmas tree choir presentation. They always sang the traditional Christmas carols, so Mark's job was to write the bridges to connect them. 
  It was while he was working on the project that Mark considered what it would have been like to have been Jesus' mother. 
 "When I wrote this thing about Mary," Mark explained. "I began by thinking I was interviewing her on her thoughts of being a mother to Jesus. A couple of the lines really stood out, like 'when you kiss your little baby, you've kissed the face of God.' I just thought this needed to be a song." 
 Keeping the perspective of a reporter doing a story on Jesus from Mary's viewpoint, Mary penned a poem that sent chills up his spine. Still, taking those powerful lyrics and turning them into a full-blown song was a bigger challenge than even he could have expected. Although he gave the words to a solid music writer, he wasn't happy with the results; the melody didn't have the right feel. Filing "Mary, Did You Know?" away, Mark decided to wait on the Lord's timing rather than put his lyrics to music that failed to move him. 
 Mark joined the Gaither Vocal Band in 1988. Two years later, Buddy Green, a songwriter and talented musican, also joined the band. 
 Deciding to share "Mary, Did You Know?" with Buddy, Mark wrote the following words at the top of the lyrics and gave them to him. "Buddy, here are some God-inspired words. Please add some beautiful music and make it a profitable hit." 
 Though Mark meant it as a joke, Green took the whole thing very seriously. After setting the lyrics aside for a few weeks, he set to work. 
 One day, after finishing this project, Buddy called Mark on the phone and began singing the song to him! Mark loved it and within a week they had put together a "jam box" demo to give to one of their favorite artists....
 Looking at the world through his unique, God-given perspective led him to think of one of the world's most familiar stories in a new light. "Mary, Did You Know?" a song like no other Christmas carol 
ever penned, written about a mother like no other, came from the hand of a man like no other. 

***Wording in italics are direct excerpts from "Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas" by Ace Collins. Ordinary type is parts of the story in my own words. ***

Have you heard this song? 
Do you like it?
Before reading this, did you know the story behind it? 

Thanks for reading! Have a lovely day. :) 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

"It's a Wonderful Life"

 It's a Wonderful Life *sigh* Just that title is perfectly Christmas, don't ya think? I hadn't seen this movie until...Christmas before last? Anyway, it's quickly became my favorite Christmas movie. :) Instead of including it in the post of Christmas movies I did Sunday, I decide to do I separate post just for this. :) Here goes! 

(We watched this movie last Saturday night and I made two whole lists of be prepared for this to get lengthy... B-))

- In the drug store. Mary: "I'm still thinking." 

Violet: "I like him." 
Mary: "You like every boy." 
Violet: "What's wrong with that?" 
(Tucker says "what is wrong with that? Especially if I'm one of the boys." LOL.) 

Aw....<3 <3 

- the strings on Uncle Billy's fingers 

- George saving Mr. Gower, the druggist, from accidentally poisoning 

 "I wish I had a million dollars. Hotdog!!" 

- Quote from Annie, the Bailey's maid,: "That's why all children should be girls." 

- dancing the Charleston

- The entire part with George and Mary walking home in the robe and oversized football uniform singing Buffalo Gals! <3 

- When George steps on the belt of her robe and then hands in to her and kisses her hand. "Your caboose, m'lady!" 
- Throwing rocks in the windows of the old house

 "You want the moon? Just say the word and I'll throw a rope around it and pull it down." 
 "I'll take it." 
 "Then you could swallow it and moonbeams would shoot out your fingers and toes and the ends of your hair."... Isn't George poetic? *wink, wink* 
- the man on his porch watching George and Mary  "Why don't you kiss her? Instead of talking her to death." I loved the flowers in this scene. :) 
- when Mary is in the hydrangeas... George: "You don't get a chance like this everyday, especially in Bedford Falls. Maybe I should sell tickets? Naw." 

- Potter: "Sentimental hogwash!" 
- Uncle Billy: "I can get another job. I'm only 55." Then the woman who works there corrects him. "56." Hehehe... ;) 
- When they ask George to stay and work in his father's place

- At the train station.  George: "What's the three best sounds in the world?" 
 Uncle Billy: "Breakfast is served. Lunch is served. Dinner is served." 
- Meeting Ruth Bailey... And George realizes he won't be leaving Bedford Falls
- An intoxicated Uncle Billy trying to find his way home 
- Quote from George's mother, speaking of Mary: "She lights up like a firefly whenever you're around." 
- The type of date George suggests to Violet. "Let's go out in the fields and take off our and walk through the grass. Then let's go to the falls, it's pretty up there. And then we'll climb Mount Bedford!" 

- George showing up and Mary's house and the gate is stuck and he kicks it open. ;) 
- Mary's dress in that scene. So pretty!!! 

      "George Lassos the Moon"

- When Mary starts singing and George acts so...awful, terrible, different.... :-( 
- Mary's mother: "Mary dear, who's down there with you?" 
 "It's George Bailey, mother." 
 "George Bailey, what does he want?" 
 "I don't know. What do you want?" 
- George leaves and Mary breaks to record
- Sam Wainwright calls and Mary offers to let him talk to George. Mary's mother: "He doesn't want to talk to George Bailey, you idiot!"

- The whole scene where Mary and George are sharing the phone and pretending to listen to whatever Sam says... *sigh* 

- Leaving the wedding and seeing 'the run'
- The words under George's father's picture, in the bank office. "All you can take with you is that which you've given away." 
- George is trying to reason with the people and then when they're all heading for the door to go to Potter and then George jumps across the counter and stops them and Mary holds up the $2,000. "How much do you need?" THAT is what makes Mary the perfect girl for him!! :D
- When everyone is saying $20 and the one lady asks for $17.50 :) It gives me all the good, sweet feels! 

- Mary calling and telling George to come home "320 Sycamore" 
- "This is there honeymoon!" 
 "Honeymoon? What are they, ducks?" 
- The rainy duet from outside the window 

- This part :D

- Mary breaking the news to George..."You mean you're on the nest?!" ;)
George: "What is it? A boy or a girl?" 
Mary: "Uh, huh!" That really answered the question... (I'm being sarcastic) 

- Houstus's hair and neck tie. Hair, always messy. Tie, always to short. :D 
- The missing money...
- "It means bankruptcy, scandal, and prison!" 
- The knob on the banister coming off in George's hand
- Talking to Mrs. Welch on the phone...talking to Mr. Welch on the phone... 
- George going to see Potter, the "warped, frustrated, old man"
- George's prayer in Martini's... *sniff, sniff* 
- Wrecking the car into the tree
- The moment of decision on the bridge *creepy background music* 
- Hooray! George didn't go through with it, but jumped in to save Clarence! :D 
- Clarence: "I passed away in it." 
- AS2= Angel, second class 
- George: "You look about like the kind of angel I'd get." 

"You got your wish..." 
--changes after George's wish...
- Mr. Gower, he would've went to prison 
- Zuzu's petals aren't in his pocket
- Pottersville, not Bedford Falls
- All the bars and dance halls up and down the streets...
- The police with Violet
- Ernie, the taxi driver, his wife and son left him
- The house at 320 Sycamore (and Clarence hollering "Joseph, Joseph!" while being handcuffed, and then disappearing into thin air. ;)) 
- Visiting George's mother (and Clarence leaning on the mailbox ;P) 
- Harry Bailey's grave, because George wasn't there to save him. "All the men on that transport died. Harry wasn't there to save them, because you weren't there to save Harry!" 
- Mary, an old maid and leaving the library 

"Please, I want to live again. I want to live again. Please, God, let me live again." Aww...

"My mouth's bleeding!" 

- George comes running into his house and sees all the guys – police, bank inspector, etc. "Isn't it wonderful? I'm going to jail!" 
- George calls one of the kids (Zuzu, maybe?), 'gingersnap' <3

- Mary comes in and then everyone comes with money. Violet decides not to leave town. Annie gives her life's savings, and even the bank examiners chip-in. :) 
- The telegram from Sam Waimwright. "Hee-haw!" 
- Harry shows up :D (By the way, WHERE IS HIS WIFE?!?!? All this time he's gone off to war, where is Ruth?? So maybe she was with her parents...but where is she now? He's just been decorated, why want she there?? *sigh* I guess I'll never know...) 

"Dear George, Remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings! Love Clarence" 

So yeah. I love this movie SOOO much!!! :) 
Have you seen it? Do you enjoy it? If not, do you want to now? 

I'm posting this as part of Heidi's December Inkling Explorations

As soon as I saw this month's theme, I knew what I wanted to do. :) 

Thank you all for reading! Have a lovely day!! :D 

Monday, December 21, 2015

"Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" ~ the Story and the Song

If you do not read my other blog, click HERE see what this is all about. :) 

It has came to my attention that many of my blogger friends are not familiar with one of my favorite Christmas songs, "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem". If you are one of them, this is for you. ;) 
When looking up the lyrics to this song online, I realized that they're not exactly the same as we sing at church. So below is the words to this song from our church hymnal. ;-) 

"Beautiful Star Of Bethlehem"

Verse one:
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem
Shining afar through shadows dim
Giving a light for those who long have gone (have gone) 
And guiding the wise men on their way
Unto the place where Jesus lay
Beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 

**Oh beautiful star (beautiful, beautiful star) of Bethlehem (star of Bethlehem)
Shine upon us until the glory dawn (glory dawn) 
Oh Give us thy light to light the way
Into the land of perfect day
Beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 

Verse two: 
Oh beautiful star the hope of light
Guiding the pilgrims through the night
Over the mountains 'till the break of dawn (the dawn) 
And Into the land of perfect day
It will give out a lovely ray
beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 


Verse three:
Oh beautiful star the hope of rest 
For the redeemed the good and the blest 
Yonder in glory when the crown is won (is won) 

For Jesus is now that Star divine
Brighter and brighter He will shine
Oh beautiful star of Bethlehem shine on (shine on) 


~ The Story Behind the Song ~ 
Few people today realize the popular Christmas song “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” was written by the late R. Fisher Boyce in a Middle Tennessee milk barn in the early part of the 20th century. It would go on to become a seasonal standard performed by a variety of artists, and it would eventually be sung in the White House by The Judds during a nationally televised Bob Hope Christmas special.
Boyce was born in the tiny community of Link, located in southern Rutherford County, in November 1887. The third of six children, Boyce loved music and was singing solo and in quartets by the early 1900s. In the spring of 1910, he married Cora Carlton from the Rockvale community. They would become the parents of 11 children, five of whom lived to be adults. Only one daughter, Willie Ruth Eads, remains alive. Eads remembers singing as a great source of entertainment for their family.
"The neighbors would come in, and we'd all gather around our family piano," Boyce's daughter said. "My sister Nanny Lou (Taylor) would play, and we would sing way into the night."
In 1940, the Vaughan Company published Boyce's song "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem." The song was printed in the company's song-book, Beautiful Praise. Later, the song would be republished in Vaughan's Favorite Radio Songs.
Boyce wrote “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” while the family was living on a dairy farm in the Plainview community, about two or three miles from what is now the Interstate 24 Buchanan Road Exit. The songwriter’s son, the late Franklin Boyce, recalled in a 1996 interview that his dad said he couldn't concentrate in the house because of noise made by the children. He walked across the road to the barn to find the solitude he needed to write.
“My father said the song was inspired by the Lord. Otherwise, how could he, a simple country man, ever write a song about such a glorious event in world history?” Franklin Boyce asked.
When searching through some old papers, the family found a yellowed article clipped from The Daily News Journal, a newspaper in Murfreesboro. It had been written in the early 1960s. A story by Marie Chapman recounts the elder Boyce's recollection of how the song came to be written.
"I got up one Sunday morning to write it down,” Boyce recalled. When his train of thought was interrupted by a member of the family who entered the room singing, he moved his pencil and pad to the barn, and there "Beautiful Star of Bethlehem" was put on paper.
“The words and melody got on my mind," Boyce told Chapman, "till I could hardly sleep at night." The humble farmer said he looked upon both the words and tune as gifts from God.
Dean Boyce, Franklin's wife, remembers how her late sister-in-law, Nanny Lou, talked about helping her father put down the music for the song. "I believe,” she said, “they worked all morning on the music at the piano, and it rained hard all the time they were working on it.”
Nell McKee, a retired educator who lives in the Buchanan area, attended Mt. Carmel Baptist Church where Boyce was a deacon and song leader when the song was written. Now in her 90s, McKee still attends the same church and recalls that Boyce would sing the lead part and his wife would sing the harmony in her clear alto voice.
"Fisher and Cora would sometimes sing the song at church," McKee remembers. "Cora would weep every time they sang together. She was very proud of her husband for writing that song."
Ironically, the family has never received royalties from the song. As was commonplace during that time in history, the legal copyright became the property of the company that published the material. As a rule, the song-writers were paid a one-time fee. To make a living, Boyce taught private voice lessons and worked at a variety of jobs including dairy farming and insurance and nursery sales
During his later years, Boyce and his wife moved into town where he and a nephew, M. B. Carlton, were partners in the Ideal Fruit Market on West College Street. There, Boyce sold single copies of the song for a small amount of money.
Although he is often overlooked, Boyce is an important part of Tennessee’s musical history. Wolfe said, “With the exception of Uncle Dave Macon’s music, Boyce's song is the most important musical composition to come out of Rutherford County.”
According to family members, music was a part of Boyce’s life until his last breath. Shortly before his passing in October 1968, as his family gathered around his bed, Boyce “raised his arm and started beating out time, like he was leading a song. Daddy was singing ‘Meet Me There’ just before he died,” Eads remembers.
During this holiday season, the saga of a simple man and his music will shine on wherever “Beautiful Star of Bethlehem” is sung. ***

***I borrowed the above story from HERE. Anywhere that I tweaked it or removed something that I felt did not apply here, is marked by "....."

If you'd like to listen to this song (it's so beautiful and totally worth your time! :D), I suggest the following video. It's the cloest I could find to the way we sing it. ;) 

Thanks for reading! Have a blessed day! 
Sisters in Christ, 

Friday, November 27, 2015

I'm thankful for....

Here's the previously mentioned post of what I'm thankful for. I could never think of them all so I'll just do a few. :) 

I'm thankful for the flowers of summer...


The colors of Autumn...

The snow of winter...

  Snow in the Christmas trees 

I'm thankful for the amazing trip we got to take this year...

   Yellowstone National Park 

I'm thankful for the wonderful blessing of being able to meet an amazing girl who I'm blessed to call friend in person. :)

I'm thankful for the potter's wheel...and all the mud that it slings out (that being the reason for my clay-caked knees.) :D

I'm thankful for the chance to take classes and create beautiful pottery

I'm thankful for these lovely blossoms that come fall are delicious apples

I'm thankful for the stiff grasses that grow along the creekside (that's a great place to write, by the way!)

I'm thankful for baking and sugar and spices :) My mom was a bit concerned when I snapped a picture of butter, sugar, cinnamon and salt.... ;)

I'm thankful for great friends that I can be myself around :)  (Sorry for the wording. I couldn't crop it out without cut myself in half :P) 
   Can you read the menu on the wall behind us? ;-) 

I'm thankful for words, for with them beautiful books are made. :) If any of y'all can read the papers in this picture, then I suppose you deserve a sneak-peak of what's to come, story-wise. ;D
   This is the bar in our kitchen where I often sit to write. My mom can't stand the clutter I picked it all up after taking the picture. ;) 

I'm thankful for bookstores. I'm going to own my own bookstore one day. :) Y'all can come see me and buy some books!

I'm thankful for eggs in a pretty bowl.

I'm thankful for birthday brownies.
   Can you guess how old I turned? 

I'm thankful for dogs that hop into the old recliner when your back is turned.

    Biskit: you're disturbing me, girl

    "I'm asleep now and couldn't care less what you do to me". 

I'm thankful for brothers who encourage the dogs onto the furniture and then plead the fifth. :)
    Looking at a coyote in Yellowstone 

And last but far from least, I'm thankful for my parents. :)
    Mom and Dad at an old log chapel in Grand Teton National Park :)

What are some of the things you're thankful for? Do you agree with any of mine? 
Thanks for reading! 

Sisters in Christ, 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! {2015}

HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!!! :) God bless you all! 

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 
1 Corinthians 15:57 KJV

Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift. 
2 Corinthians 9:15 KJV

In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. 
1 Thessalonians 5:18 KJV 

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all he lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord He is God: it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His Name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endureth to all generations. 
Psalms 100:1-5 KJV

Tomorrow or tonight I'll finish a post of my 'I'm thankful for's. But today I'm just going to enjoy my family. :) Also look for a special post on Stories by Firefly tomorrow morning! 

Have a blessed Thanksgiving everyone! Thank you for reading! 


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans' Day

What is Veterans Day? Many people in today's culture probably couldn't tell you. They may say something like "oh, that's the day in November when there's no school."  Wrong! Veterans Day is so much more than that. 

I wanted to write a poem for Veterans Day. I first I didn't think it was going to work out, but last night the words finally came and here it is! It's short and written in haiku. :) 

Veterans Day by Firefly

For all those who've fought, 
For their selfless sacrifice, 
A large debt is owed. 

Young, old  land, or sea 
Bravely serving our Country
They deserve our thanks. 

On this Veterans Day 
Remember our troops. 
Show your gratitude. 

The next time you see a soldier or marine, let them know what they're service means to you! If someone reading this served or is serving in the United States military, thank you!! Your sacrifice is appreciated. :) 

Thanks for reading! :D

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Announcement! // Catch-up on Life's been far to long since I've posted here. Sorry!! Things have been busy, but other than that I have no excuse. :) First I'm just gonna ramble for a few minutes about...everything. ;) 

I somehow got talked into getting up at six o'clock AM and going crow-hunting with The Kid (my brother). I went all in, I guess you could say. Wore the face paint...

And the camo clothes and his outgrown waders. *rolls eyes* Yep, I'm questioning my sanity too. ;) For anyone who wants to know, no, we didn't kill any crows. :) We just sat on a tree that had fallen across the creek and ate deer jerky. Then moved to the tree hut porch for a awhile and walked home. :) 

Tree season is up and going for this year. There's been a few...difficulties. But all's well that ends well, right? ;) 
This weather just doesn't seem right. I'm wearing a t-shirt and shorts on Novemeber 7th in the mountains! 
Then, last night I came to the realization that it's 7 weeks to Christmas! S-C-A-R-Y-! Anyone got gift ideas? I don't. :-/ 
I've started a "Bookshelf Tour" on Stories By Firefly. For details and the first post, click here

I've rambled senselessly long enough..., on with my announcement!  A few weeks ago I was accepted as part of the B&H Blogger Group!! Woo-hoo!! This means that I will request books from B&H for free to review here. :) Sound like fun? I think so too. ^_^ 
My first book came yesterday. 

The Battle Plan for Prayer by Stephen and Alex Kendrick 

So as soon as I finish this book, I'll be posting my review. :) 

I believe that's all for today. I'll have some more posts up on this blog soon, promise!! ;D
Thanks for reading! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Autumn, My Favorite Season

Autumn...Fall... What do these words mean? To different people they mean different things, I suppose. In this post I will share with you all what Fall is to me. ;) 

Fall is wearing pants and a sweatshirt to bed beacause you refuse to shut the window just yet. 

Fall is grabbing a beautiful handmade quilt and curling up in your favorite chair to read a good book. 

Fall is lugging a box up from the basement and decorating the house with...


...leaf-shaped candles.

...and cute window clings. 

Fall is the print of leaves on the concrete. (After being gone for two weeks and then removing all the leaves that had piled up, this interesting design was discovered. ^_^) 

Fall is onions hanging up to dry. 

Fall is the beautiful pink chrysanthemums blooming in the yard.

Fall is the leaves trying to cover the large rock behind the house. 

Fall is eating your fill of candy corn, because it isn't around the rest of the year. (I take that back, it isn't supposed to be around the rest of the year. But last year I saw 'Christmas corn' and even 'Valentine's corn'. That's just wrong, sorry...) 

Fall is the cute welcome signs hanging...

...on the porch.

...and on the door. 

Fall is rolling pumpkins and gourds from the garden and piling them up to show themselves off to the world. 

Fall is hunting through dusty, closet nooks to find the sweaters, boots, pants, and coats you put away the past spring. 

Fall is listening to a woodpecker, chipping away at a tree in the woods above our house. (I'm listening to one right now. ^_^) 

For my family, Fall also means it's almost time to start cutting down, baling, and shipping out Christmas trees. :) I'll do a post on that sometime. 

That's all for now! Thanks for reading! What does fall mean for you and your family?