Christmas Ladies


I was invited several times to join a group of ladies in the mountains for hiking, card games, food, and fellowship. I declined … always having a convenient excuse. This time I committed wholeheartedly to go. Hallelujah !!


For the Beauty of the Earth

Text: Folliot S. Pierpoint
Music: Conrad Kocher; Arr. by W.H. Monk

For the beauty of the earth, 

for the glory of the skies, 
for the love which from our birth 
over and around us lies; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise. 


The drive offered trees de-leafed and blanketed woodlands. Rhododendron and Mountain Laurel leant their leafy greenery to the mountain terrain. Reaching the mountain top we were greeted by the glory of spacious skies and blue ridged mountains in the distance. These same mountains have forever hugged the northern section of our beautiful southern state. Breathtakingly beautiful, the sounds of silence, broken only by the soft drifting leaves as they gracefully floated on the wind, found their resting place; giving up life to make room for future forest flora. Who but You, Dear Lord, could have designed the cycle that knows no beginning and has no end.



For the beauty of each hour 
of the day and of the night, 
hill and vale, and tree and flower, 
sun and moon, and stars of light; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise. 



I marveled as the sun set. The mountain top in the west stood boldly holding the sun’s rays in check as it slid lower towards the horizon. Early morning light seeped into the sky gently pulling all of earth out of repose into the day’s busyness. Blessed are we for the light of day … by the star-shine of night.



For the joy of ear and eye, 
for the heart and mind’s delight, 
for the mystic harmony, 
linking sense to sound and sight; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise. 



We joined, making ready for the birth of our Lord. Ribbons, berries, pinecones, evergreen trees, ornaments reflecting celebrations of the past told their own individual stories. As busy happy hands worked our hearts sang praises for the gift of Your Son. Dear Lord, our joy was magnified by the love and compassion of each other’s stories. Talents emerged, each using our own special gifts to glorify Your Precious Name.



For the joy of human love, 
brother, sister, parent, child, 
friends on earth and friends above, 
for all gentle thoughts and mild; 
Lord of all, to thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise. 



Love blossomed this week; love grew stronger as the day’s confessions, beliefs, hopes, and tearful fears were tenderly revealed; friendship strengthened our own hearts as we began to see the treasures each of us offered to Your Kingdom, Lord.



For Thy church, that evermore 
lifteth holy hands above, 
offering up on every shore 
her pure sacrifice of love; 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise. 



Church-a biblical word for “assembly,” described the ladies gathered on this mountain-top; together our hands worked for the good of all; each one used their own special gifts; in combination our own unique love-inspired actions lifted up Your Name sky-high!



For Thyself, best Gift Divine, 
to the world so freely given, 
for that great, great love of Thine, 
peace on earth, and joy in heaven: 
Lord of all, to Thee we raise 
this our hymn of grateful praise. 



Love, Joy, and Peace reigned as hurts, pains, and sorrows ebbed.

“Blessed be the tie that binds, our hearts in Christian Love.” 




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