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Showing posts from December, 2012

A Crooked Watch

This morning I had the pleasure of sharing an early morning meal with an old friend. It was so early in fact, that the sun wasn't even up. Thankfully, my watches hands glow in the dark. I was fairly confident I had plenty of time to get dressed and out the door for my 6:30 appointment. However, I had a bit of a freak out moment right before I left. I checked my watch and it read 7:00! How had an entire hour passed while I tied my shoes?

The problem wasn't the time, but the way I was holding my watch. The hands looked like 7:00, but it was actually 5:55, which looks remarkably like 7:00 when you only see the hands and a few dots for the hours. Once I properly aligned my wrist, everything was right with the world. I was able to show up early for breakfast and enjoyed a great time catching up with a long time brother in Christ.
Perspective is so important in life. I find myself getting overly concerned with things when I'm not lined up properly. Just as my wrist needed to be …

Wind-Up Wednesday: "How to Talk to Girls"

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Wind-Up Wednesday: How to Talk to Girls
All you ever needed to know about getting a girl...


Santa vs. Jesus... in School?

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After my daughter's last day of preschool, she informed me that she was a little afraid heading into Christmas. When I asked her why, she responded by saying she was scared she would be on the naughty list and that Santa was watching her all the time to see if she was good. I was a little surprised to hear this. She went on to tell me that her teacher told her that Santa was real and would be keeping an eye on her.

I'm not writing this to judge how you do the whole Santa thing in your home, but we have already told all our kids that Santa is just pretend, like Dora or the Backyardigans. Yes, he was a person a long time ago, but not like in the movies. They've taken this information in stride and we haven't had any real problems with it. But now I had a dilemma. I had the uncomfortable task of telling my child that her teacher was wrong, a thing I don't like to do.

This brings up the larger issue of the true meaning of Christmas and how it is taught. It bothers me …

Sunday Singables: "In the First Light"

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Each Sunday of Advent I'll be featuring a different Christmas song we use in our worship. Hopefully, you'll be introduced to some new and engaging songs that will bring freshness to your personal and corporate worship. (12.2 - O Sing a Song of Bethlehem / 12.9 - Christ the Lord is Born Today / 12.16 - When He Comes / 12.23 - In the First Light)

"In the First Light" written by Bob Kauflin (1988), arranged by Todd Agnew, released on Do You See What I See (2006)


Why I recommend this song for worship-

This is another wonderful Christmas song which emphasizes the importance of Christ's life, death, and resurrection. As it examines Christ's first coming, it points us forward to His return, blending In the First Light with Do You See What I See? in a wonderful way. We performed this song in both our Christmas concert and morning worship service. While the melody may be difficult at first for congregational singing, the message is worth the effort. It also gives you th…

Family Gifts: O Holy Night

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Each Christmas our family puts together a little compilation video of the events from the past year. Some years there is a ton of footage to sort through. In the past few days I think I've sorted through over 300 short little videos to find the best for our little video.

One thing I love about doing this is remembering how much I love my family and the rich heritage we have. So many of our traditions, from Hanukkah to singing crazy Happy Birthday songs, are inherited from our family. I am so grateful for these gifts even as I'm grateful for the ones who gave them.

One of the most precious gifts I've been given from my family is my love and talent for music. My father is the especially talented one in the group. Last week my mom sent me an old recording of him singing "O Holy Night" from our days back at Grace Community Church in California. I have to say, of all the singers that attempt to sing this song, I love my dad's voice the best. Take a listen, and I …

Wind-Up Wednesday: "Hallelujah" and FIF

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Wind-Up Wednesday: "Hallelujah" from The Voiceand a FIF Christmas

This past week I've enjoyed the many tributes to those who lost their lives in the tragic CT shooting. The one from The Voice this past week is one of my favorites:


As Christmas is quickly approaching, here is my favorite Christmas morning song. We play this every year to get the kids out of bed. I hope you enjoy it, and Merry Christmas!




Sunday Singables: "When He Comes"

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Each Sunday of Advent I'll be featuring a different Christmas song we use in our worship. Hopefully, you'll be introduced to some new and engaging songs that will bring freshness to your personal and corporate worship. (12.2 - O Sing a Song of Bethlehem / 12.9 - Christ the Lord is Born Today / 12.16 - When He Comes / 12.23 - In the First Light)

"When He Comes" by Joshua Huff (2012)

(this is a live recording, performed at our annual Christmas concert by my wife Moriah and myself in December, 2012)
Why I recommend this song for worship-

I love the Christmas season. Each year we celebrate one of the most significant events in recorded history, but it isn't the most significant. In fact, it is really Christ's life, death, and resurrection which bring importance to His birth. What I've tried to do with this song is capture the complete scope of Christ's coming. It begins with looking forward from the perspective of an Old Testament saint, longing for Messiah t…

When Children Die

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"A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more."
-Jeremiah 31:15 quoted in Matthew 2:18
This is a troubling passage; troubling not because it is hard to understand, but troubling because of the story it's attached to. This passage finds its fulfillment in the slaughter of little baby boys, killed by a tyrant king who felt his rule was threatened. He was trying to kill Christ, who was recently born, but failed in that attempt as God provided a way of escape.
We could just as easily speak these words today, after another tragic slaughter of young children. It didn't happen a long time ago or very far away. This was very near, in our own country. This morning, in a Connecticut elementary school, a son went into his mother's kindergarten class while she was teaching and killed everyone in the room, leaving 27 dead, 20 of them children. (story here)
As I heard this news …

Wind-Up Wednesday: Hanukkah Fun!

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It is the fifth day of Hanukkah, so I thought I'd post a couple fun videos from my favorite Jewish a capella group, the Maccabeats. I posted one of these last week, but it's worth another look. Enjoy!



Sunday Singables: "Christ the Lord is Born Today"

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Each Sunday of Advent I'll be featuring a different Christmas song we use in our worship. Hopefully, you'll be introduced to some new and engaging songs that will bring freshness to your personal and corporate worship. (12.2 - O Sing a Song of Bethlehem / 12.9 - Christ the Lord is Born Today / 12.16 - When He Comes / 12.23 - In the First Light)

"Christ the Lord is Born Today" by Mark Altrogge, released on Sovereign Grace's album Savior (2006)


Why I recommend this song for worship-

Christmas is a time of celebration and thanksgiving, but what do we celebrate? Is it simply a huge birthday celebration for Jesus? What we really celebrate is the reason why Jesus was born, to become a Savior for all who are in Him. This song celebrates exactly that. It refers us back to the Old Testament prophecies of Christ's coming as well as the New Testament truths of what Christ accomplished after His birth. The melody behind these great lyrics is joyful and uplifting. It really…

On the first night of Hanukkah...

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Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah. Are you excited? Did you even know it was happening? For most people, Hanukkah is just another holiday celebrated in December. It really doesn't have anything to do with Christmas, but because it is close to that day it usually gets lumped together with all the "Happy Holidays" holidays. Maybe you didn't know this, but I am ethnically Jewish and have a wonderful heritage from my mother of celebrating some of the Jewish holidays. Hanukkah is one of these. We don't do much, but we do light our menorah and tell the story to our kids so they'll remember part of their heritage as well.

I could blog all about the amazing things done by the Maccabees and how they defeated the mighty Greek invaders and how God miraculously provided oil in the temple lamps after that battle for eight nights. However, I think I'll let these guys do it...


A Song and a Sunrise

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This morning I couldn't sleep. I guess there was just too much on my mind. So, I decided to get my workout in early. On my way back from that I had a chance to see the sunrise. It was beautiful and reminded me of so many of the Psalms that speak of the beauty of God's creation. Here is one of my favorites, Psalm 19, with a little music I put together and the Psalm itself for you to read. I hope you are encouraged.




Psalm 19 The Law of the Lord Is Perfect 1To the choirmaster. A Psalm ofDavid.
 The heavens declare the glory of God,and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.2 Day to day pours out speech,and night to night reveals knowledge.3 There is no speech, nor are there words,whose voice is not heard.4  Their measuring line goes out through all the earth,and their words to the end of the world.In them he has set a tent for the sun,5  which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber,and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.6 Its rising is from the end of the heav…

Wind-up Wednesday: Malkovich "Night Before Christmas"

Maybe you're familiar with the children's story 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. No one reads it quite like John Malkovich.


Bells, Angels, and Mistletoe

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We are finally into December! That means less than a month until Christmas. In our house, December means decorating everything with lights, garland, and bells. Bells mean a lot in our house. Yes, I know that angels get their wings whenever a bell rings, but we have other meanings in the Huff house. We have one attached to our mistletoe at the front door. Whoever rings that can expect a Christmas kiss (either romantic or a loud belly-blowing one). We have bells on our stairway, bells on the mantle, and bells on the tree. The more I hear these little bells ring I think of a song we'll be doing in our Christmas concert this year, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. I've put the song to a little video if you'd like to check it out.

Bells ringing in peace is not something we often think about. However, I think it is very appropriate. In the old days, the town herald would ring a bell to signal an important announcement. We have bells rung to celebrate a marriage or a great vict…

Sunday Singables: "O Sing a Song of Bethlehem"

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Each Sunday of Advent I'll be featuring a different Christmas song we use in our worship. Hopefully, you'll be introduced to some new and engaging songs that will bring freshness to your personal and corporate worship. (12.2 - O Sing a Song of Bethlehem / 12.9 - Christ the Lord is Born Today / 12.16 - When He Comes / 12.23 - In the First Light)

"O Sing a Song of Bethlehem" text by Louis Benson, melody by Lucy Broadwood and Ralph Vaughan Williams

Alternative arrangement and lyrics- "How Suddenly a Baby Cries" by Keith and Kristyn Getty, released on Joy: An Irish Christmas, 2011


(this is the Getty's arrangement which gets pretty upbeat at about 1:40 into the song)
You can find this original hymn in most of the hymnals at church. It is number 167 in ours. I like both arrangements of this tune as each emphasize different elements.

Why I recommend this song for worship-

The hymn text of this song traces the life of Christ from the cradle through the cross. I rea…