- New Duo – The Tide Rose, Richmond, Virginia. Whitney Cavin and Keilan Creech have just debuted with a new EP, The Tide Rose. They have been lighting up TV, radio, and the music events calendar in Richmond recently. You can see/hear them play here on video from their appearance on Virginia This Morning. I don’t really know how to describe their sound – nautical folk is the phrase used. You will have to listen yourself. We have known Keilan for many years. He recorded a solo EP awhile back (Dying for a Change) with our son, Nathan Mills on guitar. Now, his collaboration with Whitney Cavin is very new and lovely. Their voices weave together so soulfully. Hard to describe really – hauntingly beautiful. Take a listen. Maybe you’ll get to say, “I knew them when.” That’s where we are happy to be. Photo Credit: Facebook.com/thetiderose
2) In Defense of Christmas Cheer – I love Trevin Wax. He is a young theologian, a prolific writer, and regular guy. His blog is only one of two I read every day (the other belonging to Angela). Trevin’s In Defense of Christmas Cheer was an uncharacteristic “Bah, Humbug!” of another writer theologian (Scott McKnight)’s redress of current Christmas culture. McKnight ‘s blog is also a worthy read.Photo Credit: thegospelcoalition.org
Here are quotes from both (do read them in full – they bring beautiful balance to the whole Christian conversation about Christmas):
“Telling the world about Jesus as Messiah and family under threat is is not Starbucks’ job; it is the church’s mission to to be announcing this at Christmas. But it is not the church’s mission to tell the world a Dickens Christmas story. It is the church’s mission to tell the real story about Christmas, about a God who entered into the world in a socially shamed family in order to lift the socially shamed to the highest name ever. I can’t imagine Starbucks telling that story well.” – Scott McKnight
“Joy and singing and big family dinners and giving and receiving and caring for the poor” may not be what the original Christmas was all about, but it’s certainly part of Christianity as an atmosphere, is it not? And no one succeeded at creating “atmosphere” better than Dickens.
Should we not marvel that even in our increasingly secular age people still sing carols packed with biblical truth every year? ‘Joy to the world,’ indeed. Should we not marvel that in a world of broken homes that big family dinners still take place? That reunions still happen, and that people put aside their differences to share a meal? Should we not marvel that, in a dog-eat-dog world of competition run by the evolutionary motto of ‘survival of the fittest,’ our culture devotes time to running ‘to and fro giving and receiving and caring for the poor?’
Christianity is not generosity, but generosity is part of Christianity. Who knows? Perhaps when caught up in the moment of cultural gratitude, the secular heart may long for Someone to thank.
The Dickens vision of Christmas does not take away from the truth, but complements it. ‘Tis the season for joy and feasting!” – Trevin Wax
3) Christmas Playlist – We start listening to Christmas music in October, but the playlist doesn’t really happen until now. In my car, I have the following albums: 1) Amy Grant’s A Christmas Album (Tennessee Christmas has been a favorite song since our years in Tennessee – still miss it); 2) Tommy Emmanuel’s All I Want for Christmas (we are a guitar family – Nathan Mills); 3) Mannheim Steamroller’s A Fresh Aire Christmas 1988; 4) Straight No Chaser’s Holiday Spirits (we also love a cappella); 5) Twila Paris’ It’s the Thought; 6) Kenny G’s Miracles – The Holiday Album; 7) Casting Crowns’ Peace on Earth; 8) Positively Christmas 2012; 9) Steven Curtis Chapman’s The Music of Christmas; and 10) Sarah MacLachlan’s Wintersong.
Photo Credit: xgiosiax.blogspot.com
I need to add Charlie Brown Christmas to my car play for Christmas. Two singles I love and hear a plenty on the radio through December (and via YouTube videos) are Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You and The Drifters’ White Christmas.
4) Introverts and Extroverts – Jennifer Kahnweiler is a champion for introverts. Author of The Genius of Opposites and The Introverted Leader she is a help to all of us. As an extrovert married to an introvert, and working with many as well, I appreciate her writing so much. We can make such a difference at work and home if we understand each other and make an environment where we can all be effective and comfortable together. Here’s a short piece from her with a very amusing video. Love my introverts!Photo Credit: RedCapeRevolution.com
Bonus: John Platt’s An Introvert’s Guide to Leadership (fast read!)
5) Tacky Light Tour – Every town and city in the US, from Thanksgiving weekend through the New Year have light displays that brighten our winter nights. None can possibly compare with Richmond, Virginia’s Tacky Light Tour. It’s an annual tradition for us. We plan out an itinerary (impossible to take in all the displays in a sane evening) and often squeeze into several vehicles to caravan around the city. “Ooh’s and aah’s”, “selfies”, and “usies” abound as we document the fun of these evenings. Incredible work and creativity go into these displays and we as spectators are wildly grateful. It’s always a temptation to rent a limousine (but…not yet. I still prefer the low luxury version of the Tacky Light Tour. You will not be disappointed. What’s your favorite local equivalent?
Happy (Black) Friday, Everybody! Be safe out there.