Advent

Posted On December 10, 2007

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Advent is upon us… well, actually it started last Sunday. I’m a little late, what’s new? But regardless, the focus of this entire season is to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the anticipation of the return of his second coming. How exciting. Advent means “coming” or “arrival”. We are celebrating His light in the midst of the darkness in which we live. Its so much more than just marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is making known the truth about God, our Savior. What a beautiful picture.

This season brings so many emotions for me… joy, celebration, frustration and anxiety. I’m sure you already know the joy and celebration I’m talking about from reading the paragraph above, but the frustration and anxiety… simply put, we have kids.

Kids are innately self-seeking, self-fulfilling, self-absorbed (do I need to go on) beings. From the time of their birth it is their cry that causes us to feed them, the foul smell in their diapers that causes us to change them, and the needs go on. They depend on us for survival, but at the same time, they can dictate our actions. Well, I can attest that after 8 years of having children, this self-feeding mechanism doesn’t end completely. I see it appear every Christmas season. “Mom, I want this.” “Grandma, get me that.” The last few weeks I haven’t heard the end of the wishful-toy-chatter.

(Okay, sidenote: I know as adults, we deal with the same issues… that’s a whole other blog post… I didn’t want anyone to think as adults, we are without blame in the area of selfishness… because I know we’re not!)

Brian and I continue to show them through Scripture the reason why we make such a huge deal about Christmas… one word, Jesus. And we won’t stop! Someday they’ll get it and the wishful-toy-chatter will stop (or die down a little) and I’ll will be filled with joy and celebration. Period.

Here are some wonderful sites for you to share with your families the Scriptures that help us redirect our focus during this time. I pray you and yours find through God’s Word the beautiful depth and riches of this season.

Merry Christmas!

http://www.teachingmom.com/features/advent.html

http://www.marshill.org/advent/

Our Week

Posted On November 24, 2007

Filed under Family, Following Christ

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To recap our life in the last week…

Last Saturday Brian and I headed to Somerset, Kentucky for a wedding. The groom was a guy that was in the youth group when Brian was the youth pastor who became a close friend to Brian over the years. He married a very sweet girl he met while at Cedarville. It took us close to five hours to get there, but the time we got to spend together in the car was worth it. Here are the pictures of the trip down. The scenery was gorgeous. It was a farewell to the beautiful fall colors.

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I truly love the upcoming holidays and the meaning that backs it up. Christ. I love the fact that we have a reason to celebrate and share with our kids about why we do all this “stuff”. It isn’t just for the presents and decorations. Those things are fun, but there’s more to it than that. We are trying to share with our kids about giving… loving… sharing… caring… and in doing so, being Christ to others. Noah is getting to the age where we are able to involve him in some of those tangible ways of being Christ. On Monday, Brian and Noah delivered some our church’s turkey baskets to families in our community. Noah was the “milk and butter guy” during the delivery.

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Then Thursday arrived and we headed to the in-laws. It was a great time of eating and spending time with family. The Wii was the highlight of the evening with the kids. Lots of bowling tournaments and tennis matches. I didn’t get many pictures of the kids because they were too wired to be found or be still for a shot.

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Also… Brian has an article featured on Relevant Magazine you can check out here.

A Video for Your Blogging Enjoyment

Posted On November 5, 2007

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My husband is always wanting my opinion on his “works” either video, writing and even the way he dresses… the latter being the one I am most verbal with (you know I love ya, hon!). But this time he wasn’t sure if this video for our worship gatherings was good or not… I was amazed! I told him it was one of his best works.

My friend Stacy stopped by last week after the video aired in church and asked who did the video in church, “Mark?”. (he’s a very talented video guy at church.) Nope… it was Brian. She thought it was great too.

So here it is… what do you think??

http://www.archive.org/download/brianlife/life3.mov

Thinking about Mandy

Posted On October 29, 2007

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I have been asking Brian lately if he’s been praying for me. God is changing my heart. I can’t explain it. Praise God.

Saturday night our small group went to a homeless shelter to serve dinner or so we thought. Brian explained to me that the routines or needs of the shelter can vary in an instant. So instead of serving dinner, we found ourselves outside passing out Halloween candy, playing with kids on the playground area and one of us dressed up like a monster for the haunted house. There was a Halloween party that night for the kids and we joined in. We were told to “engage” ourselves. A little daunting at first being a literal person… serve food, easy… engage, a little more difficult for me.

As the night went on I felt at home with these families. I had an “engaging” talk with Mandy (name changed) who came here from Illinois by her son’s (3 of them) father who wanted to “start over” with her. She came all that way thinking there would be a new beginning. But I found out that “it all blew up” the night before and he wanted nothing to do with her. She found herself here because she had nothing.

I am learning more and more that reaching the lost is so much more than getting them saved. Salvation is critical, but loving, disciplining and just being outside of our comfort areas is exactly what Christ did. And if I call myself a “Christ follower”, I will do the same. Instead of waiting for the lost to appear for my convenience, I must appear to them where they’re at first.

Here are some links/books I am finding so encouraging.

http://markkelly.wordpress.com/2007/08/08/justice-in-the-burbs/

http://www.unchristian.com/ (more to blog when I receive it from library)

http://www.irresistiblerevolution.org

http://www.outsidejesus.typepad.com/ (more to come with this link)

Please pray for Mandy.