Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Funny Thing About Christmas

I've just returned (well, not JUST. About three hours ago I did...) from the Stone Family Christmas gathering (my mother's side of the family). We did it a day early this year and yes, we are all at a loss of what we will do on Christmas Eve now.

Although half the family was missing, so many things remained the same. Chatting all long-time-no-see like with cousins. Stuffing our faces with finger foods. Singing "Children, Go Where I Send Thee" at the top of our lungs and in perfect three-part harmony. We are a musical family.

But also, asking the many kiddos what they've asked Santa for and if they've been good enough all year to get it. This is something we all do when we get around kids at this time of year, and it hit me today just how funny the whole thing is.

We sing, "he's making a list and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice." We've ingrained into ourselves and our society, this figure, this man who gives gifts only to good little girls and boys. It's a ploy to get good behavior out of our kids. When my nephew starts acting up, the first thing that comes out of our mouths is, "Santa's still watching."

We've conjured up this idea that we have to perform for our gifts. There's this imaginary list that we try and try and try so hard to get on.

But the funny this is that the real meaning of Christmas reflects the exact opposite. Christmas, the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. The very nature of God come to Earth in human form to save the entire world from the wrath of sin. He's THE gift of the season. The FREE GIFT of the season.

Unlike our gifts from Santa, we don't have to perform to receive the gift of Jesus Christ. In fact, there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that we can do, on our own, to get Jesus. Nothing. That's why it's called MERCY -- compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an enemy, the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone, something that gives evidence of divine favor.

The bible says we were enemies of Christ but now we are co-heirs with Him in the kingdom of God. While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. And we didn't have to do anything or perform any task or act a certain way to gain His favor. He met us where we were -- dead deep down in our sin -- and He laid down his life and raised us up out of the yucky mess that was our life and now, when we confess Him as Lord, we will reign with Him in eternity.

And, we don't have to wait until Christmas day to receive the gift. It's there for our taking every single day.

Now, that's a gift worth taking.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Your Weekly Sing-Off Indulgence

So I love my Committed boys from Alabama and they did fantastic this week. But Street Corner Symphony is quickly edging out The Backbeats for my second favorite. Except I really want to learn how to beatbox like that girl Courtney from The Backbeats. Anyway, everybody killed it on last night's show but SCS was just so good. So they win the honor of being spotlighted on el bloggo this week.

And they win an extra award for having a John Lennon doppleganger. Except it was especially freaky this night.

Jeremy Lister's voice is just genius. God knew what he was doing with that one.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Amazing Grace

I promise one day I'm going to do a post with actual words but things are just way too busy for me right now to try to form sentences that don't have anything to do with track and field and softball.

So, here a fantastic video of my home church, FBC Jackson (MS), singing "Amazing Grace" at this weekend's Carols By Candlelight.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Music Video Thursday (Or The Post Where I Post Sing-Off videos)

You're welcome in advance. These videos will be your favorite part of the day.

First a little Christmas fun from Northpoint Church.

Just get ready for me to post videos of this next group every week because I am slightly obsessed with how talented they are.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It Must Be Video Wednesday...

I figured since its 22 degrees outside, it's perfect weather for a summer video. Ha. I was looking through some videos on my computer and realized that I made this video of our family vacation and never posted it. So here it is. I hope thoughts of the beach warm you up on this cold night.

Walden Family Vacay 2010 from Katie Walden on Vimeo.

Sing Off

If you're not watching this show called "Sing Off" on NBC, then you'd better have something serious going on.

Y'all, these white boys from Oregon (On The Rocks) just rocked some T.I. and Rhianna. Rocked. It.

There's also a group from Nashville called Street Corner Symphony. But really, they are reppin' Mississippi because the Lister boys, Jeremy and Adam, are from Madison.

Committed is from Huntsville. That's in Alabama, y'all. And they are basically reppin' God because well, that's why they are named committed. They said they are committed to God first, each other second and music third. And there are some kind of good.

Then there's this other group, I forget what they are called. But they have a female lead singer who is insanely talented.

So, watch it.


Because I said so.

Have I ever led you astray?

This Makes Me Sad The Season Is Over. Oh, Wait...

It's not! 1.1.11. The fat lady will sing. And she will be singing "Hail State!"

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I could watch this over and over again...

Blog-Linkity Goodness 12.1.10

On this Wednesday, I share with you:

1. Our Fox channel here in Birmingham, spotlighted my church recently and talked to our pastor about what we call The Radical Experiment. I know it's reached people across the U.S. and around the world because we hear stories from those people and pray for those people every Sunday. I have to say I'm humbled by what I'm seeing God do throughout this process and very thankful that I'm being led by such a man as David Platt, along with other men who have a passionate commitment to making disciples of all nations. Click here to see the news package and here if you have 24:06 to watch the raw video of his interview.

2. If you haven't gotten Dave Barnes' Christmas album "A Very Merry Christmas", you need to drop what you are doing and go to iTunes or Dave Barnes' website and get it NOW. Seriously. My Christmas music collection never knew what it was missing until baby came along. His original songs are amazing and his version of "The Christmas Song" is chasing Avalon's for best version ever made. And his video for "Christmas Tonight" has everything, including Jennifer Lowe Hewitt. Watch it now.

3. If you didn't see my post about fashionABLE or if you did and don't remember where you can get a scarf, go here. Y'all they are cutie-patooty and are for a great cause. I just ordered mine Monday and can't wait for it to arrive.

4. Annie Downs' book, From Head To Foot, comes out in SEVEN days, people. That's exciting. It's her first and I know it won't be her last. It's geared toward teenage girls but I know the themes in her book will touch all women, young and old. This is a writer I admire so so much, who inspires me to take hold of what God has for me, and who I consider one of my spiritual heroes. If you have a teenage girl in your life who is facing or about to face those tough, yucky teenage-y years, this would be a great gift for her.

5. If you haven't seen the video for David Crowder's song, "Shine", consider this your Christmas gift from me.

6. And what's an editioni of Blog-Linkity Goodness without a link to SCL. Jon Acuff hit the nail on the head with this serious Wednesday post about when things in life don't go exactly as you planned.