Saturday, December 10, 2016

Christmas Joy, at Home and About

This Christmas season has been as full of activity as every 
other year for me. Other than our family activities,
 most of it has been musical, and that's just fine with me.  
I realized my pictures are piling up, and I'll be doing more
Christmas music in a variety of venues 8 out of the next 10 days.
The fingers can rest after Christmas!

Below are the super children of Watch Me Grow, where
at the invitation of my good friend Miss Marianne, I've 
been doing Christmas singalongs since I retired in 2008.

Here's a brief sample of our freeze dancing,
always a holiday favorite with these pre-schoolers.

At the invite of long-time educator friend Elaine Sills,
I participated in Christmas at Weymouth for the fourth year.

The welcome at the entrance puts one in the mood.

The stately Boyd House is a warm abode for a
bounty of Christmas cheer.

My friend Sue and a duet partner performed just 
before me.  Numerous individuals and groups pitch in
to make Christmas at Weymouth a heart-warming event.

There are special trees and other festive arrangements
throughout the grand house as I've documented in past
blogs.  I didn't have time for the grand tour this year,
but what I saw was as magical as ever.

The stately Weymouth trees were in stark contrast to
the 2016 Loyd tree pictured below.  But this one is very
special to me and Judy.  While we are renting, we don't
have our old 9 foot ceilings, which our "free-range"
cedar trees always touched.  But we found ONE perfectly
suitable young cedar on the property we just sold and 
which is about to be cleared.  In fact, 3 or the last 4 years
we used a cedar that grew within 50 of our old house.
God blesses us with the small things.

Retired educators still love Christmas parties.
My faithful band of NCRSP gathered at the 
Moore County library for our final 2016 meeting.
I loved the Tree of Books the staff had created.
I've got enough books to build one a lot bigger
than this, but I think I'll postpone that project!

Let's move on to First Health Moore Regional
Hospital, where this towering tree graces the
main lobby.  It lifts the spirits of many who may
not be in their favorite place at the holidays.

Here I am without my long-time volunteer buddies,
Lyn and Jim.  They brighten many people's visits to 
the hospital.  They are kind, caring souls, with
charm and humor besides.

Another reminder of God's little gifts was this 
spectacular sunset this week.  Perhaps you saw it or
another one just as stunning.

This Thursday night we joined our friend Sal DiBianca
for a celebration of the 30th year of Sandhills Teen Challenge.
If you're not familiar with this Christ-based drug rehabilitation
program, it has been a blessing to our county since Sal and Debby
started it in 1986.

There's way too much history to go into detail, but
Teen Challenge is the ministry begun decades ago by
Rev. David Wilkerson, made famous by the book and
movie "The Cross and the Switchblade."

Over 1,000 Teen Challenge locations worldwide now
serve young (or not-so-young) men and women fighting
all sorts of addictions.  Year after year, testimonies of
Christ's life-changing power are shared.

And each year, the marvelous Teen Challenge Choir
rocks the place with some of the liveliest, most spirited
carols you'll hear anywhere.  It's truly thrilling!
I'll post a couple of excerpts on Facebook.

This year, we were honored to have as special guest
Rev. Don Wilkerson, brother of David Wilkerson and
co-founder of the original ministry in Brooklyn.  He
has an impressive and visionary resume'.

As I mentioned at the outset, this blog covers the first
ten days of December and the next ten will be a real
whirlwind for me.  But I'm excited about it and hope to
 have time to snap a few more photos and share the joy!
Merry Christmas to all!