Saturday, December 20, 2008

All I Need Is A Sunrise

I woke up this morning to the sound of "Da-DEEEEeEEeeEEeee!"  Daniel was awake and ready to go at 7:15.  Unfortunately for me I was wide awake until after 2am last night.  I watched Discovery Channel for a while because I'm 33 and find it interesting.   Plus, I'm obviously still on "road time."  And since Sarah's on Infant Duty, I'm on Toddler Duty.

So I came downstairs with Daniel this morning, made a quick cup of coffee for myself (or 2), took my morning meds with a swig of OJ, got Daniel some oatmeal and OJ, and sat down in the living once he was done.  The Christmas lights were on, it was still dark outside since it was raining, and I played a couple episodes of Sunrise Earth that I have saved on the TV while I read a little.   One hour of HD footage of some of the most magnificent landscapes during sunrise.  No music, no narration, just the sound of the wind, water, morning birds and any other wildlife that may be near.   It's quite the peaceful way to wake up.  

It actually made me miss the road.  Usually we only see loading docks and dressing rooms, but if we plan well, we actually get to see some of this incredible world we live in.  
So I'm getting ready to go out on a little Spring Tour.  We're still looking for dates to fill, and many of you ask me if I'd visit your area.  The answer is "Yes, I'd love to!"  But we kinda need to be officially brought in by a promoter.  So, if you're interested, have your church or school (or a collaborative effort of a few churches/schools!) give my booking agents a call!   It will just be myself and my guitar player, Scotty, we'll have a little Storyteller/Worshipful evening, and I'll bring my camera and take a few pictures of your town!  ;)

Hope to see you!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby Jesus Is In The Car

My absolute favorite Christmas "Special" to watch on TV is called "The Very First Noel".  It hasn't reached the same level of popularity as the Charlie Brown Christmas Special...which was my favorite until I had kids and realized that they called each other "stupid" the whole time.  Kids pick up on that.  Too bad.  I still watch it. 

Anyhow, I bought The Very First Noel, which is a 25 minute, computer animated "Instant Classic" about the 3 wise men's journey to find the Christ child.  The music is superb, the animation is by the same team who did the Curious George Movie.  Good stuff, Biblical storytelling. 

It's my little boy's favorite Movie.  In General.  Christmas or not.  Except he calls it, "Baby Jesus" or "BeeBee Teasis?"  I include the question mark because he's always asking for it to be played.  We limit his TV time, but when it's time, it's Baby Jesus.   It just lends itself to some pretty funny things said around the house, like this morning.  I needed to run some errands.

"Daniel, let's go for a ride!" I offer.
"Beebee Teasis?" he asks expectantly.
"Yes, you can watch Baby Jesus.  Sarah? Is Baby Jesus in the car?" I call out.
"Inside I think!", she shouts from upstairs.
"Daniel, I think Baby Jesus is in the house.  Let's look."  The search begins.
"ah Beebee Teasis go?!?" Daniel asks, about to give up.
"I don't know, buddy, let's check the car, come on buddy, I think Baby Jesus is in the car."

Baby Jesus was in the car.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


The following is taken from Tyndale's "One Year Book of Hymns" where I discovered the old Christmas Carol "All Praise To Thee, Eternal Lord" whose lyrics I used for the verses (minus the old English vernacular) and where i also found "I Am Not Skilled To Understand"

"When God clothed Himself in human flesh that first Christmas, He revealed Himself to us in a new way, bridging the infinite chasm between creature and Creator.  Over the centuries following Christ's ascension, however, the church created a new chasm between God and man.  It shrouded God in mystery, relegating Bible study to the monastery, theology to the memorization of Latin phrases, and hymn singing to the choir loft.  Martin Luther sought to change this, translating the Bible, the catechism, and hymns into German-the language of his people.  This allowed everyone to hear God's Word directly and to express praise in their own tongue. 

This Christmas hymn appeared originally in Latin and has been attributed to Gregory the Great of the sixth century.  Despite Luther's disagreements with the Roman church, he realized that its hymns and traditions contained much of value.  Luther's translation of this Latin hymn illustrates his mission to make seeking and worshiping God an activity of the common person."

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Yes, Tis the season where we commemorate the birth of God In the Flesh, but every year for the rest of my life, when December comes around I will also be celebrating the birth of another child.  Last night, 8 pound 20 inch Nicholas Michael was born into the Shust Family.

Long story short, we left the house at 2:33AM, arrived in the room at 2:55 and Nicholas was crying by 3:18!  His uncle Nick (pictured above), after whom he's named (who also shares the name of my Grandfather killed in WWII) came by at 5am, and we were able to introduce the Nicks to each other.  I sent my Parents a picture they had to unscramble to figure out the name.  

My Dad got it first.  Maybe because it's now the name of his dad, a son and a grandson.  He knows those letters!   

Here are some photos from the day: hope you enjoy them and Thank you for ALL of the Congrats and the well wishes!  They are MOST appreciated!  We feel loved!

The latest Shust Family of Four (all three boasting 2 boys each)

Daniel Nicholas (Patriarch), Daniel Nicholas, Nicholas Michael and Carole Ann (Matriarch)

Sarah introducing my two sons.

Daniel holding his little brother for the first time. Nicko looks scared.

What Philly's known for...besides Cheesesteaks.