In our world today, we may not have “peace on earth” however we have the GOOD NEWS!!! Merry Christmas to one and all!! One day indeed there will be Peace on Earth!! Sing Halleluiah!
Moving heavy furniture and boxes (see blog below) begs one to take a break! With a tube of Tiger Balm, a reclining chair, and a television remote the one hour break commenced. Channel surfing discovered a one-hour documentary on PBS titled “The First Silent Night” telling the origins of one of the most enduring Christmas hymns of all time – “Silent Night”.
The German carol’s lyrics were written by Father Joseph Mohr in 1816 and then two years later the music was composed for “Stille Nacht” by schoolmaster Franz Xaver Gruber in the Salzburg, Austria region. The film mesmerized with history, emotion, faith, and the beauty of Austria which helped diminish any muscle pain!
The one hour program connected with my faith, love for Jesus and adoration of my favorite Christmas song that it immediately motivated me to set a one year goal of visiting Salzburg for Christmas 2015! In fact, I have the entire itinerary already planned which includes a few days in Wagrain, day trips to Hallein, Vienna, Munich (Germany) and Bolzano (Italy) with several days in Salzburg for all the Noel Festivities!
Visions of a 20 hour flight with children, transportation hassles, bustling crowds, and freezing-below- zero temperatures does not dampen my motivation to achieve this vacation dream! In fact I can already taste the mulled wine and roasted chestnuts with the scent of fresh pine trees in the air! No more “Dreaming” of a White Christmas, because the blanket of pure, white crystal snow will be all around requiring a cup of warm-spiced-nog at the end of a cold, but joyous day!
Although it is still yet Christmas Day, the image of Christmas in Europe next year dances in my head – authentic Tafelspitz, Schnitzel, sweet Apfelstrudel, warm Jägertee, bright artisan Christmas ornaments, festive music, the grand Cathedral, local Advent activities, and even the visit by the Krampusses and Perchten beckons vividly!
However with just one year to reach the goal, this means focus and dedication to earn the funds required for such a jubilant holiday. Now it makes perfect sense why God lead me to WakeUpNow! It will take earning 5-6 figures per month to establish the healthy finances needed to even begin planning the trip. Once the appropriate amount of income is earned, then I can book the entire merry sabbatical utilizing the WUN Vacation Club! Plus I can use WUN Speak to learn German and refresh my Italian, because when in Rome – or this case Salzburg – speak the local language.
The past 7 years has literally been one of the most financially challenging. In addition, the political involvement and watching the removal of “Christ” from America has dampened my spirit to some degree. However “The First Silent Night” reminded me that God is always in control no matter how bleak the circumstances may appear. Plus for the first time in years, I am motivated by a dream – a dream which began with faith and adoration of a hymn which stirs love and peace everywhere!
Perhaps Salzburg is not the location of Christ’s birth, however it is the location of the ‘birth’ of a moving Christmas song describing the most holy night of the year! And the origins of the lyrics and musical composition inspire faith and enhance the beauty of the region.
Now back to reality and my still sore muscles!! Merry Christmas!
A long, chaotic few days and now a cluttered house – boxes and excess furniture everywhere. One would think I just moved in – or worse that a housekeeper needs to be hired and quick! (Well hired help would be nice right about now – where is that Calgon?) However in the midst of the clutter and chaos, there is peace of the spirit – a man is now not homeless!! (See “Reality or Illusion” blog below.)
In the background the sweet sounds of the Christmas Jubilee is filling the home renewing the spirit of the weary. Many are broken in the world, lost in all the confusion, but the Good News is there is REAL hope!! Real GRACE!! Real LOVE!!
The Christmas season should be a reminder for those who BELIEVE to help those in need. Do you know family, friends, or neighbors how are hurting? Perhaps they lost a loved one? Lost their job? Lost their home? Maybe they are suffering from depression or addiction.
Someone within your family or community is indeed hurting and the Christmas season creates even deeper pain for many. We are called to be the “light and salt” in this world. Bring cheer to someone who needs it and pray with them to bring this love and hope this season!!