Christmas and New Year Greetings

Last night we had the privilege of attending G.F. Handel’s Messiah, with members of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra and the Rosa Barocca – Chorus & Baroque Orchestra, directed and conducted by Claude Lapalme. The Peter and Jeanne Lougheed Performing Arts Centre concert hall was filled to capacity—and for good reason, almost three hours of ‘heaven on earth’ music, celebrating the Incarnation, life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Messiah.

I have seen Handel’s Messiah several times, and heard it on record, cassette and CD a host of times—yet I never get bored or tired of it. There’s always something beautiful about it that so movingly proclaims ‘the holy’ and fills one for an all-too-brief time with the joy, love and peace of God in the midst of a troubled and all-too-often evil world that would rob us of every God-given gift. I wonder what would happen if every human being in this world—regardless of how well or how poor they could sing or play—would sing and play Handel’s Messiah together, if the intercession in the Lord’s Prayer “your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven,” would become more incarnate in and through the music to such a profound extent that all hatred, terrorism and war would vanish forever.

This time round, Isaiah’s prophecy in chapter nine, verse six, keeps playing in my head: “For a child has been born for us, a son given to us; authority rests upon his shoulders; and he is named Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of peace.” (NRSV) He is the one who is coming to set all things, all peoples, right with the world.

Here is Sir Colin Davis and the London Symphony Orchestra with the Tenebrae Choir. I love some of the expressions on Colin’s face, he seems captivated by the joy of this marvelous music.

Wishing all of you, my readers, a very blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

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Our New Year X-County Ski

Today we went out skiing to Police Point Park. It was a perfect winter’s day, not too hot, not too cold, no wind, about minus 7 or 8. God was smiling down on us, so we got our 30-year-old cross-country skis, boots, poles, and  gloves and headed out to do some skiing.

Me all enthusiastic at the beginning of the ski

Me all enthusiastic at the beginning of the ski

My wife, Julianna on the enjoying the trail

My wife, Julianna enjoying the trail

Me gliding along on the trail

Me gliding along on the trail

We met up with these folks snowshoeing

We met up with these folks snowshoeing

Of course others were x-country skiing too

Of course others were x-country skiing too

The sun going down behind the trees

The sun going down behind the trees

River banks in the distance

River banks in the distance

Happy New Year everyone, and a BIG thank you to all who visited my blog and especially those of you who took the time and made the effort to leave a comment on my blog in 2013. I am going to take some time to evaluate whether or not to continue with this blog, as it has been online now for several years. So if you find my posting rather infrequent or not at all, that is the reason.