One year goes, another one begins

I couldn’t close the year out without one last blog post. And what better way to close out the year than discussing the highlights of it. I call this year my post graduate year, and I think it went more than well.

Life I believe in the old saying that life is too short. I am extremely grateful that I was able to make it through another 365 days. No I’m not dying, but just waking up every morning and being able to make it back home alive and well is something to praise about. I keep in mind that there are those, too often in my age range it seems, who are no longer walking the Earth. It’s scary how one minute you can be alive and the next you’re breathing your last breath. Enjoy each day you have, and thank God for it.

Employment While not quite having jobs within my field of study, I am happy that I have been employed for pretty much most of the year. Those student loans do not get paid on prayer alone. Can I get a witness? Working as a temporary cafeteria worker for CMCSS, and then a Food Service Tech for the Food & Nutrition Department at Tennova Healthcare has been good for me. I gained knowledge I didn’t have before, and both jobs have furthered my ability to work well with others. Most importantly I have something to add to my resume, which will demonstrate to future employers how much of a hard worker I am. I appreciate being made employee of the month for December in the department at my current workplace. To be honest I think everyone in my department should be rewarded for their dedication. I encourage everyone to always persevere in whatever job you have, even if that job involves mopping floors.

Gospel Choir Though no longer with them, I am grateful that I was able to continue singing with my former college gospel choir, Generations of Disciples(G.O.D.), for as long as I did. As I work now, I reminisce about all those times going from place to place to minister to others through song. Post graduation life has been challenging, but singing with and being prayed for by my brothers and sisters in Christ took away most of my worries. I encourage everyone to always have a group of people to pray for you. Even just having one person praying for you can do a lot. To G.O.D, I miss you, and may the choir continue to go strong.

(Generations of Disciples Gospel Choir. 2015-2016)

Harris Household Holiday Having my family together on Christmas was great. Though my siblings and sister-in-law can get under my skin with the roasting and unwanted advice, I love them anyway and enjoyed them. It’s a plus when we can all just get along and laugh together. My nieces and nephews are growing so fast, and each is special in their own way. Jalen is intelligent and witty, Xavier is quiet and a good brother towards his sisters, Alannah is polite, and Avery is so full of energy for a toddler. Though I am in no rush to be a father, I do look forward to one day having a few kids myself. I imagine my brother Chris and his wife Lindsey are ready to pry out the batteries to the noisy baby walker that I got Avery for Christmas. At least she loves it. In the future, I hope there will be more family get togethers.

Blogging I am very happy and proud of my WordPress blog. I started this thing in September to maintain my writing abilities, and I’m glad I did. The biggest challenge for me was just coming up with a name for my blog. Lord knows how much head scratching will be done when I ponder names for my children. It took me several days of sad attempts before my mother came up with something simple- David Speaks. It’s fitting, because a good portion of the time offline I can come off as quiet. It is moreso because I enjoy hearing others speak. The blog gives me a chance to voice myself 100 percent. I don’t consider my blog to be all that than a bag of chips, but it is something that I definitely take pride in. I don’t worry too much about the likes and comments, even though they are appreciated. But it makes me smile like a mother with her newborn seeing the views and hearing people say that they have read my stuff. Even if nobody reads, at least I put something out there rather than leaving it to float around in my head. Earlier this month, I took my brother Mike’s advice by expanding my blogging with the creation of a Facebook page for my writing. Hopefully I continue to grow as a blogger and a writer in general. From the bloggers who have given me pointers, to those who have given me quotes, I thank you.


What will I be doing this New Year’s Eve? Some people count down the last minutes by turning up at parties, popping bottles in the club, or kissing their significant others. Me, I have my own little tradition. For the last several years, I have spent the last minutes of the year on my knees talking to God. As the clock ticks, I thank Him for being with me through the year and ask that He will continue to guide me through the next one.

Whatever your plans and goals may be for the upcoming year, God bless, and be safe.

Sources:

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Star of Wonder

The second sabbath(Saturday) of this month, my family and I went to Manor House Nursing home in Dover, Tennessee. We visit every second Saturday of the month to minister to the residents by singing hymns and giving small sermons, which my dad calls sermonettes. Usually it’s just me; Mom; Dad; and a fellow Christian named Chris who are there to minister, but this time my brother Mike was there. Always good having an extra voice. With it being the holiday season, we sang all Christmas songs from the hymnal  Among those hymns was one of my favorite carols “We Three Kings”, which is about the wise men of the Nativity being led by an extraordinary star as they travel to Bethlehem to see baby Jesus. If you are not familiar with the song, here is the first stanza and chorus:

“We three kings of Orient are/ Bearing gifts we traverse afar./ Field and fountain, moor and mountain,/ Following yonder star.”

“O star of wonder, star of night,/ Star of royal beauty bright,/ Westward leading, still proceeding, /Guide us to thy perfect light. “(“Christmas Carols – We Three Kings lyrics.”)

A good many of us know this carol, and the story about those wise men, but I’m not sure many know what the bright star in the east truly was.

Before we get to the star, I feel compelled to talk about the wise men. Did you know that the Bible does not mention the number of wise men who came to visit Christ? The wise men are mentioned in the book of Matthew, but no number is given. We assume that it was a trio of wise men because there were three gifts- gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

Let us discuss how the wise men came upon the star. According to chapter six of Ellen G. White’s “Desire of Ages”, the wise men(magi) were philosophers who “belonged to a large and influential class that included men of noble birth, and comprised much of the wealth and learning of their nation. Among these were many who imposed on the credulity of the people. Others were upright men who studied the indications of Providence in nature, and who were honored for their integrity and wisdom. Of this character were the wise men who came to Jesus.” – (DA 59.2) One night when the magi were studying the sky to understand what their future held, they came upon the bright star. Puzzled by what they saw, they decided to research Hebrew Scripture. (DA 59.3)

“In their own land were treasured prophetic writings that predicted the coming of a divine teacher. Balaam belonged to the magicians, though at one time a prophet of God; by the Holy Spirit he had foretold the prosperity of Israel and the appearing of the Messiah; and his prophecies had been handed down by tradition from century to century. But in the Old Testament the Saviour’s advent was more clearly revealed. The magi learned with joy that His coming was near, and that the whole world was to be filled with a knowledge of the glory of the Lord.”– (DA 59.3)

Scripture records that the star was moving, leading the wise men to their destination. Throughout history, people have used star constellations such as the Big Dipper to find their way around, but this appeared to be a single star shining bright, physically moving across the sky. It couldn’t have been a shooting star because a shooting star is actually a meteoroid flying through Earth’s atmosphere until it burns away. (NASA) What were the wise men seeing?

“The wise men had seen a mysterious light in the heavens upon that night when the glory of God flooded the hills of Bethlehem. As the light faded, a luminous star appeared, and lingered in the sky. It was not a fixed star nor a planet, and the phenomenon excited the keenest interest. That star was a distant company of shining angels, but of this the wise men were ignorant.”- (DA 60.1)

Angels. In scripture, the angels in Heaven are referred to as stars symbolically. 

“The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.”-Revelation 1:20

However, this star was an actual group of angels together. White’s writings don’t give an exact number of how many angels were there to be the star in the East. Regarding how many angels there are in general, Revelation 5:11 says that there are “ten thousand times ten thousands and thousands upon thousands”. Also, keep in mind that Revelation 12:4 says that a third of stars, which are angels, were cast out of Heaven along with Satan. 

You have to wonder what the astronomers of today would make of the glorious star if they saw it shining bright in the sky. Could their advanced satellites and telescopes make out all those heavenly hosts, or would their mortal eyes be perceived to think it was just a star or distant planet. More than likely astronomers and the average person standing in their back yard would mistake the phenomenon for a sign of extraterrestrial life.


In my opinion, if people today could behold a host of heavenly beings shining bright in the night sky for the world to see, maybe it would be all the more proof that there is a God in heaven, that no matter how uneasy and chaotic this world made seem, you have someone to guide you, just as those wise men were being guided to the son of God all those years ago.

Sources:

Estate, Inc. Ellen G. White. “The Desire of Ages”. EGW Writings. N.p., 2016. Web. 19 Dec. 2016.

NASA. NASA, n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

“Revelation 1 KJV.” Revelation 1 KJV. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

“Revelation 12 KJV.” Revelation 12 KJV. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

“Revelation 5 KJV.” Revelation 5 KJV. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

“Christmas Carols – We Three Kings lyrics.” Christmas Carols – We Three Kings lyrics | LyricsMode.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Dec. 2016.

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My Christmas, how I love you

I had another blog post that was nearing ready to be published, but it decided to play Houdini on me and disappear. Maybe it was a sign for me to post about something else, or that I should stick to blogging on my phone, rather than my laptop. With this being the holiday season, I found it more appropriate to talk about why I’m in love with it. Since the time I was a kid, Christmas has been one of my favorite times of the year for several reasons. 

Family This Christmas should be a memorable one for the Harris clan, because everyone is coming home to visit with their spouses and children. I love having my parents, brothers, and sister under the same roof. Everyone is grown now, but having us together brings me back to the times when we were a family of six living together. Playing video games with my brothers, being roomies with my sister before growing distant in separate rooms, Mom running a daycare in our home, and Dad being in and out of the house in army uniform. I appreciate those days because I remember not having a care in the world. I think it’s safe to say that we all crave for days without worrying about paying rent on time, paying off student loans, worrying if your significant other is being faithful, how you’re going to survive work, or fearing that you will lose your child whenever they leave the house. 

I’m ecstatic to have the family together this month. This Christmas marks the first time that I will see my youngest niece, Avery, for the first time. If my sparkling personality doesn’t win her over, then maybe my resemblance to her dad/my brother will. 

Friends As I mentioned before, I consider myself a loner. I like and respect people, but I value my alone time just as much to relax and reflect. If I call you my close friend then you must be special, like my best friend Bianca. She and I have been friends for two years ever since I first made her laugh on Snapchat. I don’t remember what I did, but I’m fairly certain her reaction was along the lines of “You crazy fool”. Since that time I have come to appreciate her because she cares to hear what I have to say, even if it’s just me acting a fool or talking about my trivial thoughts. The morning after I lost my pet Oreo to death, I was in my bed crying, not even wanting to get up for church. My eyes were aching and pink. The back of my head was throbbing, and my throat was sore from all the wailing I had done. Bianca wasn’t there in person to comfort me, but just having her on the phone was enough to calm me down; pull myself out of bed; and go to God’s house. In the hopefully not so distant future, I hope to visit her in her hometown and spend a couple of days with her to get to know her more. She’s an amazing friend.

Gifts It’s not the receiving I enjoy, but moreso the giving. It’s always fun, if not challenging, looking for something to get loved ones. This year I am spoiling my nieces and nephews who are all coming to visit. I look forward to seeing the looks on their faces when they open their gifts, because out of all four of them, I rarely see three of them due to long distance and a busy schedule. What better time to see them all than on Christmas.

Decorations The day or so after Thanksgiving, my family breaks out the Christmas ornaments; lights; figurines; and tree. The only downside to this is having to remove every statue, picture, book, and magazine from the furniture to make way for the decorations. Maybe this year if I wasn’t texting, it might’ve taken me at least 30 minutes instead of an hour. The time was totally worth it to behold a new tree dressed with old and new ornaments; wrapped in white lights, a multicolored light up star on top; and artificial snow, which I vacuum up from the floor every Tuesday and Friday. 

Traditions One tradition my family has been doing for years is on Christmas Eve, when we drive around neighborhoods to see all the houses dressed with Christmas lights. Seeing the city aglow like many stars in the sky can make even the roughest neighborhoods look extravagant. To all the parents, driving around light gazing with your children, who are anxious about opening up their gifts the next morning, is a good way to put them to sleep. Funny, 24 years old and I still doze off when riding in a car for a long time.

Christ I am very well aware that Christ was not born on December 25. As far as I know there is no known date of his actual date of birth. And I’m aware of the pagan origin and aspect of the holiday, but regardless of all that, Christmas reminds me of Christ. In my opinion the first Christmas miracle was about a child being born of a virgin woman. If that isn’t a miracle in itself, I don’t know what is. 

I’m in love with Christmas because of family & friends, beautiful decorations, gift giving, traditions, and the birth of the son of God. I ask you, why are you in love with Christmas?