Friday, December 19, 2008

Where have the ornaments gone??

So this is the culprit! I knew somebody was taking the ornaments....

But how can I punish this face :) he starting grinning when I found him up there. They know they are in the wrong... and they are hoping their charming little toddler look will help them out.

Thad decided he would help me out, but I had to explain that a Ninja sword fight was not going to help the situation.
No children were harmed in the making of this picture

Now, if I could just find the ornaments.....

Merry Christmas!!!

it's just too cute a picture...

Well, we made gingerbread houses. Not your traditional style... but we had fun regardless of the interesting creations. When all was said and done, there were more sprinkles on Thad's plate than on his house. Plus I found more under the table later.

This one above is mine, with Santa and his reindeer

mine again..

Here's Thad's creation and you can see his sprinkles on the other side.
We had friends over who joined in the fun and I will make sure we do this next year as it is so fun!!

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Some of you have tried to view our blog and unfortunately could only see a bright red color! We're sorry for that. We do have a lovely background but it can only be read by certain programs and therefore defaults to unreadable red. If it's not fixed now, please tell us. But all should be right again and we thank you for your patience with us as we make our blog look "pretty". Thomas just loves the new look!! :)

Pictures from The Journey

Thomas teaching. He can't live without a whiteboard.

One of our kids taking communion.

Thomas again...rocking his "Matthew's Party" t-shirt and Velcro "old man" shoes.

You should buy this for yourself or someone else for Christmas

From the album "Come Let Us Adore Him".

I cry like once or twice a year, and it usually involves Manchester Untied losing. I admit it though, I cried like a baby listening to this song and eating french fries tonight. Let me explain, because there's some history here. I have been especially overwhelmed by the incarnation this year as I've been doing my quiet times and studying for my times of teaching. I really don't even have words. I mean, I'm rendered speechless when I try to wrap my mind around it.

Last night at The Journey I taught on the first 18 verses of the Gospel of John. They deal so beautifully with what it meant for the Word to become flesh (mankind) so that He could show us the best way that life could be experienced.

Have you ever thought about the world that Jesus was born into? The Roman Empire was in the middle of it's most glorious period (the Pax Romana) and yet the people of Rome and the surrounding world found themselves disillusioned by religion and philosophy, overwhelmed by a rising materialism, and immersed in every sort of debauchery and immorality. Surely they felt their emptiness and yet had no answer for it. For the Jews, they found themselves locked into a religious system of their own creation. Blinded by their own self righteousness and desire to be separate, they had completely lost their mission of being a light to the nations around them (Isaiah 60:1-5).

Jesus steps into this bringing grace and truth. To the gentiles, truth. All of the false idolatry and immorality that failed to satisfy them and stood in stark contrast to the truth presented by Jesus. He demonstrated what it was to live a life of meaning and purpose that wasn't a slave to physical desires, something severely lacking in the Roman world.

For the Jews, He revealed grace. The following of the Jewish Law had become its own religion that differed from its original intent at the time it was given. For most, the law was something to be kept in order to please God and was also a source of pride (something God ins't a big fan of). The problem with law is that it's mostly focused on "do not". The grace that Christ offered freed people from the burden of the law. This freedom allowed people to take the focus off of their own behavior and to focus on reaching out to those around them in need, both spiritually and physically.

I pray that you can really spend some time thinking about the incarnation and that it was directly for people like us. Whether you came out of hedonism and idolatry like the Romans, or self righteousness like the Jews, "the Word became flesh," for us all. That's what makes it a Merry Christmas.

We're Not in Kansas anymore...

We'll I was walking through the foyer and around the tent my boys had set up right in the middle of everything, when I glanced back and saw this sight. I started laughing and wondered how we killed the wicked witch of the east? This is how I found it, no tampering with the set up here! It's funny and of course my boys have no idea what movie scene they created.
But it turned my thoughts towards how I feel sometimes as we continue to live in a foreign land. This is not "Kansas" anymore and I feel lonely at times without much connection to home. I know that lies come from the evil one to discourage us and so I encourage myself in the Lord. But to be honest, we do have days where we feel so out of place. Even as our ministry here is going really well, we tend to doubt at times that we're making a difference. Again, we covet your prayers and encouragement as we daily connect with students or staff and desire to be used to the fullest. As always, the homesick feelings come during holiday time, but we know this will be another wonderful Christmas celebration. As we focus our eyes on the Lord, we are reminded that we are all in a foreign land and not "home" yet. Because Jesus himself was willing to come to this world, we can have hope for our future and the promise of a true home where we'll find true belonging.

Thanks for caring for us and checking in with us! We love to hear from you and think of all of you so often.
Blessings to you this day!

Monday, December 01, 2008

This is kinda regressive Turkey dinner... at least it's how I'm portraying it for you!

20 lb Turkey!!

The before shot... yes those are pears for our place cards... :)
Definitely a wonderful day and lots of yummy fellowship!