Radio City Christmas Show Reads The Gospel

We took the kids to the 75th anniversary Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show. WOW, what a show!!!

Yup, it’s the one nicknamed “showplace of the nation,” it’s Art Deco interior declared a landmark in 1978. The hall got it’s name in the late 1920s as the Radio Corporation of America was it’s first tenant. Later RCA came, putting in NBC TV studios, which are still there. They used to show family-friendly movies (only G rated) but when these became less plentiful, the hall went entirely to a stage spectacular. WOW, what a show!!!

During this year’s Christmas spectacular, as he does every year, Santa Claus is the show’s MC. At one point the state floor opens and a small ice pond is raised up and we see an ice dancing couple skating around as the stage turns into NYC’s Central Park. Of course the show has those high kicking Rockettes. By today’s standards, not offensive at all. A family show. I took dance as a kid and my ten year old Delayne took tap last year and I noticed the hip movement was what we’d call “clean”. They did incredible precision. They’re athletes as much as dancers. About half way through the show, my husband turned to me, sighed, and said he was afraid they were going to hurt themselves dancing at that high energy level for an hour and a half. LOL

Now to the end of the show. They read from the Gospel of Luke. I’ve seen the Christmas show twice before (once when my parents took me as a child and once when an aunt came up from Florida at Christmas) and I was wondering if they’d keep this tradition this year, and they DID!!! Accurately, word-for-word from Scripture. No apology.

This last vignette starts out with two little boys in their home, sitting together reading the Bible. So, cute! Tears sprang to my eyes as the older of the two read from Luke to his little brother. Then the curtain falls on them and a voice that resonates, not unlike that of a Charlton Heston continues reading the gospel. Shepherds come out complete with live sheep.

At this point tears were unabashedly rolling down my cheeks. Then the wise men start traveling in a caravan across the stage, complete with donkeys and camels. The curtain falls on the wise men and another curtain opens and you see the nativity scene (okay, it’s not accurate cause He was not an infant when the wise men got to Him).

In this scene they have the baby Jesus and Mary and Joseph raised on a platform in some type of rude/rough middle eastern-type structure (not a cave, not a stable) so they are the highest point on the stage. A star is affixed above them and they have a spot light showering light onto the manger. The three kings come forward with their gifts and their men in waiting start to arrange the trains of their robes, indicating that in the world these men are kings. Then the three bow down low to the ground before the babe. There was a hush all over the auditorium. A holy hush.

They do this show four times a day, Friday, Saturday and Sunday to a full house, 6,000 people, many hearing the gospel for the first time. Many children getting the story of the birth of Jesus for the first time. PTL!!!

Our Hallmark 2007 Bookstore Ornament

We made our annual pilgrimage to the Roosevelt Field Mall on Long Island, which is not in Roosevelt, but more in Garden City. Go Figure.

Every year we get an ornament with the year on it. So this year, obviously we were looking for a 2007 dated decoration. I was delighted to find that Hallmark had a brick two story bookstore that was dated. The ornament itself tickles me. It looks like so many quaint buildings in so many revitalized downtowns in America.

It is so appropriate to out family because this year our 11 year old Alyssa and our 10 year old Delayne got much more involved in reading. PTL And I wrote my first Christian crime fiction novel, which was rejected by Steeple Hill. But I’m not worried, I had another first this year. I did NaNoWriteMo (National Novel Writers Month) and wrote an entire first draft of my second crime fiction novel in November. Well…I cannot tell a lie. I actually finished it a few days ago.

Don’t you love the malls at Christmas? Families have that harried look about them. Small children are overtired. We spent a few hours rushing around, pushing ourselves to get everything on our list and decided we’d really had it. It’s the pushing that gets you. If we’d walked around leisurely, we might not have felt as if we were going to collapse.

Finally, DH and I stopped and got “his ‘n her” Ray Bans for each other to put under the tree, let the kids ride a couple of times on the merry-go-round, got sodas in the food court cause we were near dehydration, and we headed for home-sweet-home.

Making A Christian Author List & Checking It Twice

This year I’m making a list of my favorite Contemporary Christian Fiction authors and checking it twice…and want to send many of these books out to all my wonderful friends who are waaaay more nice than naughty. LOL

I’m a reader…read a lot of Contemporary Christian Fiction and even a few secular authors. And I like to give books for Christmas. In general I like to encourage reading and specifically the reading of wonderful, interesting, intriguing, often funny Contemporary Fiction novels.

So, here are my Christmas picks this year for book giving…

1. At the top of my give away list is Cheryl Wyatt’s “A Soldier’s Promise,” cause she’s such a great gal and a friend of mine. No prejudice there. LOL If you like military themed books with tons of heart, I’d get this book!!! It has a special ops parachute jump in its opening scene that while tinged with humor, will also bring tears to your eyes. I also went bonkers for the cover, a soldier holding a little boy in his arms. Google: Amazon and click to Books and type in Cheryl Wyatt and it will come up. Or go to Steeple Hill, click on January books, Love Inspired, but don’t let the January date fool you, it’s available now for Christmas shipping.

2. Next on my Christmas give away list are two books by CBN news reporter and former Army Ranger Chuck Holton. Okay, by now you’ve guessed that I like military themed suspense novels. Well, actually like would not be a strong enough word. I love military themed suspense novels and thrillers!!! And Chuck Holton will not disappoint you. I read his “Allah’s Fire,” and can recommend it hands down. Based on that read, I’m going to step out and also recommend the second in his Task Force Valor series, “Island Inferno,” which features his group of tough Green Berets with soft hearts who go around the world performing explosives ordinance disposal (they’re the bomb squad). BTW, I’ve ordered “Island Inferno” for myself, having read the first book in the series. Again, go to Amazon, Books and type in Chuck Holton.

3. Margaret Daley writes Christian suspense that grips your heart. Her “Vanished,” had me actually praying for the safe return of the sheriff’s kidnapped young daughter. Her “So Dark The Night,” had my heart in my mouth as the heroine who’s not only lost her eye sight but her memory tries to escape the men who murdered her brother. In “Buried Secrets” she proves what a talented writer she is as action and adventure are added to the romance and suspense mix. Again, go to Amazon, or Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense.

4. I love everything about Gayle Roper and have read a lot of her books. In fact, she co-authored “Allah’s Fire” with Chuck Holton. However, I’m going to recommend her Amherst Mystery Series this Christmas with it wacky, clumsy, lovable amateur sleuth Merrileigh Kramer (Merry). The titles are: “Caught In The Middle” (book #1), “Caught in the Act” (#2), “Caught In A Bind” (#3), and “Caught Red Handed” (#4). Merry cracks up more cars than most demolition derby drivers, finds bodies in trunks, gets bonked over the head, locked in closets, chased by assorted maniacs, and always finds comfort in the arms of her fiance Curt Carlyle, who she marries in book #4, after you guessed it, a disaster. Her beautiful wedding gown gets burned to ashes when her apartment is bombed. But this is so typical of Merry’s escapades. This series can be read by anyone from age 15 to 105, in my opinion. Again, go to Amazon or Steeple Hill Love Inspired Suspense.

5. I’m going to recommend an older book by Terri Blackstock, “Cape Refuge,” which I think is a great way to start reading this prolific author, or to introduce this author to a loved one this Christmas. The book, a gripping suspense novel, opens with the brutal double murder of the beloved pastor and his wife, one spear gun, one murder suspect, and a whole lot going on under the surface, as Morgan Cleary asks herself if her husband really killed her parents. The other books in this series are: “Southern Storm” (#2), “River’s Edge” (#3), and “Breaker’s Reef” (#4). Go to Amazon, or go to Zondervan for these books or others by Terri Blackstock.

6. I’m going to recommend a comic book for girls. Yep, a comic book. My eleven year old daughter read and loved “Serentiy, A New Bad Girl In Town,” about a lonely teen from a broken family who only wants to be accepted, but who lashes out with obnoxious sarcasm at others. By the end of the book, this very needy pre-teen has had an encounter with Jesus. I’ll be ordering the other books in this series for both my daughters. This can be had at Amazon.

7. I’m also recommending a children’s book for any little girl who might feel a little bad cause she’s such a tomboy and not a pretty girly-girl. “Bitsy and the Mystery at Amelia Island,” writen by Vonda Skelton is such a book who clearly understands what it is to be a pre-teen. I recently ordered this book from Amazon for my little tom-boy.

8. I’m going to leave Contemporary Christian Fiction and Christian Children’s Fiction for my next pick. I saw Deborah Norville, former anchor of Today, Inside Edition, and Tonight With Deborah Norville interviewed recently on Daystar’s The Joni Show and immediately ordered her book “Thank You Power,” for one of my dearest friends. I’ve been assured by Amazon that Santa will deliver before Christmas. I understand this gem on gratitude is in bookstores everywhere.