Friday, December 21, 2007

What does Love at Christmas look like?




If I speak in the tongues of Christmas materialism and greed but have not love, I am only a tinny Christmas song or an out-of-tune choir.

If I have the gift of knowing what Aunt Agatha will give me this year and can even understand last year's present, and if I have the faith that I won't get yet more socks and ties this year but have not love, I am nothing.

If I clear out the house and give everything to charity and my credit cards are snapped in half but have not love, what can I possibly gain?

Love is patient when the fourth store you've tried doesn't have a bottle garden.

Love is kind and lets the couple with only a few items go in front of you and your bulging shopping cart.

Love does not envy your friend who gets mega-presents from everybody.

Love does not boast about the expensive bike, the PlayStation 3, the TV, VCR, and computer your dad gave you.

Love does not attempt to out-buy, out-wrap, and out-give the rest of the family just to impress.

Love doesn't cut Aunt Flo off your Christmas card list because she forgot you last year.

Love is not self-seeking and leaves a copy of your Christmas list in every room of the house.

Love is not easily angered when the young girl at the checkout takes forever because she is just temporary staff.

Love doesn't keep remembering how many times your mom forgets you don't like Brussels sprouts.

Love does not delight in the commercial bandwagon but rejoices with the truth of a baby born in the stable.

Love always protects the family from Christmas hype.

Love always trusts that the hiding places for presents will remain secret for another year.

Love always hopes that this year more neighbors will drop in to your open house coffee morning.

Love always perseveres until the cards are written, the presents all bought, the shopping done, and the Christmas cake iced.

Toys may break, socks wear thin, but love never fails.

Where there is the feeling of the presents to guess their contents, and Mom going on about being good so Father Christmas will come, and searching through the cupboards to find your hidden presents, they will all stop.

For we think we know what we are getting, and we hope we know what we are getting, but when Christmas Day arrives, all will be revealed.

When I was a child, I talked with big wide-open eyes about Christmas, I thought that Christmas was all about me, I reasoned that Jesus should have been born more often. When I became an adult, I forgot the joy, wonder, and excitement of this special time.

Now we just hear about the angels, shepherds, and wise men; then we shall see them all the time. Now I know as much as the Bible says about the first Christmas; then I shall know just how many wise men there were and where they came from.

Now three things remain to be done:
- To have faith that the baby born in a stable is the Son of God.
- To hope that the true message of Christmas will not get discarded with the wrapping paper and unwanted gifts.
- And the most important, to have a love for others like the one that God has for us.

Copyright 2001 Claire Jordan (caleb@eurobell.co.uk).
Permission is granted to send this to others, but not for commercial purposes.
(Minor edits by GCFL.net)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

This Christmas, There’s Room in the Inn for Mary and Joseph


Travelodge, a British hotel chain, is promising a free night’s stay to couples named Mary and Joseph.

"The 'gift' of a free night's stay is to make up for the hotel industry not having any rooms left on Christmas Eve over 2,000 years ago when the original 'Mary and Joseph' had to settle for the night in a stable," the company says on its Web site.

The offer is good at any of the chain’s 322 hotels in the United Kingdom. Any couple able to show proof of identity will receive one free night in a family room. The offer is good from Christmas Eve to Jan. 5.

"We've had a lot of interest," hotel spokeswoman Shakila Ahmed told CNN. "I think people like the fact that it resonates with the Nativity story at a time when the actual meaning of Christmas often becomes forgotten in festive overkill."

from Focus on the Family

Monday, December 17, 2007

Enjoy the season!


We hope you are having a wonderful preclude to Christmas . . . shopping, baking, wrapping, parties. But in the midst of all the hubbub and fun be sure to s-l-o-w d-o-w-n and take some time to reflect on the reason we do all of that, in celebration of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the Messiah's birth. It's a huge birthday party and EVERYBODY gets presents!!!! Don't forget to give Jesus a present though, your heart, your time, your focus ... practice HIS Presence with you this season and take it into the new year with you. Do something for somebody else, somebody you don't even know!!! Start a new tradition and be sure to continue some of the old ones. Some of our tradtions is to give an ornament to each of the grandkids so that one day when they grow up and get married and leave home, they will have their own Christmas memories to take with them on their own Christmas tree. Why not add your favorite Christmas tradtion in the comments area, I'd love to hear them, really!!!!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

We are celebrating Jesus's birth!

Jesus is the Gift Ten Ways to Share the Heart of Jesus Is The Gift this Christmas For God so loved the world that He gave…. JOHN 3:16 NIV 1. Give the Gift of Encouragement. Instead of writing letters to Santa, have children write letters to someone who needs encouragement this Christmas. For example, soldiers, nursing home residents, or hospital patients. 2. Give the Gift of Hope. Adopt a needy family in your church or community. Bless them with Christmas presents or a special dinner. 3. Give the Gift of Joy. Find simple ways to bring a smile to someone’s face during the Christmas season. For example, pay for the car behind you at a drive-through. 4. Give the Gift of Kindness. Offer your time or energy to someone in need. Hang lights for an elderly neighbor or wrap presents for an overwhelmed new mom. 5. Give the Gift of Words. Speak words of affirmation and affection to your friends and family. Take time to write a special note in your Christmas cards. 6. Give the Gift of Faith. Read the Christmas story with your family. Talk about what Christ’s birth means for your lives today. 7. Give the Gift of Peace. In the midst of the hustle and bustle of the season, set aside one “silent night” to be at home. Light a fire, curl up with a cup of hot chocolate, and take a few moments to rest. 8. Give the Gift of Hospitality. Invite someone to your home who may not have family close by or host an open house for your neighbors. 9. Give the Gift of Time. Help nursing home residents write Christmas letters, offer to baby-sit so busy parents can go on a date, or spend a few hours at a shelter. 10. Give the Gift of Love. Whatever you do, ask God to help you reflect His heart and share the love that inspired Him to send us the very best gift of all. www.JesusistheGift.com

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Bella- the movie


Small picture but huge on impact. I saw Bella today and it was very emotional and touching. Had to drive a ways to see it because it is not in many movie theaters but it was so worth the drive. The story line is how two peoples crises affect one another and what true love looks like. It is not a romance film but it definitely is about love. I don't think you will regret going to see it. I give it a 5 star rating.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

More Montana Pictures!

This was what the house looked like when Rob arrived.

This was how much they accomplished in 28 days!

Rob and Gregg, a.k.a. Statler and Waldorf: the grummy old men that sat in the balcony on the Muppets.
Montana Mountains

Sunrise from the new house

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rob comes home tonight!


Rob has been in Montana for a month helping his best buddy, Gregg Scott, from YWAM build his house! They have worked hard from a foundation with no slab to the point of being able to dry in the house. I know Rob is grateful to have had this incredible opportunity to serve his friend in such beauty. But we both are ready for him to be home as well. More pixs to come, Blogger is having issues with uploading pixs at the moment.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Triplets Turn Two Today!


videoI got to be at their party last Sunday with lots of other friends and family. You can tell they got into their chocolate cupcakes,only the second in their lives, the first being on their first bday. Pacifers went by the wayside on Tuesday and they are actually doing pretty well without them! Aren't they adorable kids? Am I partial? Not at all!

Friday, September 28, 2007

Love this quote . . .


"Brokeness and wounding do not occur in order to break human dignity but to open the heart so God can act." Martin Marty

Monday, September 24, 2007

Olivia Caroline Sept 11,2007 - 7lb 8oz, 20 inches

Welcome to our world, Olivia!
Aimee and her girls
Sisters!
Jenni came with the triplets and we all went to the zoo,(well, Aimee and Olivia stayed home)lots of fun and lots of strollers.
Grandpa, Woogie and Miss Olivia

Friday, September 21, 2007

Spelling Bee?????


Ok, tonight I decided to rent a little movie and relax and I chose Akeelah and the Bee, you know the spelling bee movie that's been out for a while and everybody was talking about. It was one of those I've always wanted to rent but you know, it just didn't sound THAT exciting, come on, a spelling bee movie????
Well, forget that, it was fabulous, now I don't want to build it up too much but it definitely is worth the rental fee. The message is great and you'll need a few tissues. It is one of those underdog movies (no, not like the DOG underdog, but like Rocky, you know, the boxer? Remember how you stood up at the end of the movie and cheered? Well, maybe you DIDN'T do that in the Rocky movie but I'm sure there is some movie out there that you did that for and you'll be cheering at the end of this one too. If you like The Rookie or Rudy or even Facing the Giants, you'll enjoy this one. Leave me a comment if you've seen it or watch it and tell me what YOU think!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Peyton Elisabeth is here!






Our newest granddaughter, Peyton Elisabeth Angell arrived on Tuesday, August 28 at 11:50pm weighing 7lb 12oz and was 19 inches long. She is adorable, quiet,and has the cutest chubby cheeks. Mother and Baby are doing fine! Kynleigh and Kaelyn are loving having a new sister as you can see by the pictures. We are blessed to have this 9th addition to our grandchildren.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How to creatively handle a crisis



I chose this picture because sometimes crisis can feel like the life is being squeezed out of us and our very lifeblood is pouring out just like these rocks look like they were formed by some intense pressure. However, Jesus reminded me that the way to life and the Kingdom of God is by the narrow way, thus a little pressure is someties good for us, in a round about way. Makes us more pliable in God's hands.

God used Psalm 84 to whisper encouragment to my heart: "When you walk through the Valley of Weeping, it will become a place of resfreshing springs where pools of blessing collect after the rains. No good thing will I withold from those who walk uprightly."
Doesn't this picture personify this verse? Intense pressure forms incredible beauty.

"Crises can be holy beginnings if we allow them. If we listen, we'll hear God calling from the tumult, as God spoke to Job from a whirlwind . . . Hope lies in braving the chaos and waiting calmly, with trust in the God who loves us. For if, like Dorothy (of Oz in the cyclone), we wait, we may find that God delivers us somewhere amazing - into a place vibrant with color and startling encounters with the soul.

In all those dark moments, O God, grant that I may understand that it is You who are painfully parting the fibers of my being in order to penetrate to the very marrow of my substance . . . quote by Teilhard de Chardin

"In the midst of pain and crisis, God is drawing us to wholeness.

"While a crisis is a summons into transformation, we must also recognize that it's an advent into an entanglement of feelings. Part of living a crisis creatively is identifying and understanding the feelings that come with it. Otherwise, we don't have a crisis, it has us."

excerpts from When the Heart Waits pp. 91-93

Frequently when I spent time with God in the morning, I will copy excerpts into my journal that speak to me. This morning, these are some that I found worthy of my journal. I find that God has me in a place where I need His personal Word to me daily, in order to rest in the shadow of His Almighty Presence. Today His Word spoke most deeply to that place inside that needs Him.

Psalm 16:7-11 (not in that order though b/c He spoke first and then I found my response to Him there also)

I will make know to you the path of life. In My Presence is fullness of joy; In My right hand there are pleasures forever.

My heart is glad and my flesh also will REST in HOPE.
I will bless You Lord b/c you have counseled me; indeed my mind instructs me in the night. I have set You continually before me; b/c You are at my right hand, I will NOT be shaken. You will not abandon me.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

the waiting season



As I find myself in this "waiting" season of life, Ephesians 1:9-12 expresses the desire of my heart. Will you pray this passage for me and Rob ..........

…ask God to fill us with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding…in order that we may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that we may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully give thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.

Ahhhh . . . I feel better already.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

When the Heart Waits


I highly recommend When the Heart Waits by Sue Monk Kidd (Secret Life of Bees) It is helping me see that during this season of waiting there is a lot
the Lord is wanting to transform in me.

I'm seeing so much of my security is wrapped up in external,
temporary things (like having a job) that I'm not really trusting God and
thus I'm anxious. I never have considered myself a worrier, I've just
never been one! But now I'm starting to see some of my real self and that God
has me in a growth season to transform this in me. That excites me even
though it is painful. But there is something about pain with a purpose
that makes it so worthwhile and easier to embrace somehow.

Anyway I'm excited to see that God has something good for me during this
season of "active waiting".

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

De' ja` vue


Ok this is sort of weird but I was just reviewing my other blog (http://ears-wide-open.blogspot.com/) [which is where I am posting the book I've written]. It has been a while since I've blogged there so as I was getting ready to add another post from my book, I read the last entry and I thought, "This is EXACTLY what I am going through now . . . again!" Even though I've know that, I didn't know how similar the feelings are now to what they were then in 1994. Guess that is why I journal, because I'm not that good at remembering exactly how I felt.

Here's what caught my eye: "Over the last few months, I feel like You (God) have pulled out many of my props, those “things” I trusted in to see us through. I know you want me to trust in You alone, not in our circumstances, believing that Your unfailing love will not forsake me or my household. Thank you for the lessons I am learning through all this. Replace my fear with trust in Your unfailing love. No matter what happens, I pray I will be able to praise You.

Prayer Point
Waiting on God, especially when He is silent, can be a very tough experience and yet, it can be a very rewarding time as well. To learn to trust Him we have to have those times when nothing seems to be happening. That is when we learn to exercise our faith. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen.” Hebrews 11:1
Share your fears with God, fear of things that might happen or that might not happen. Then ask Him to show you that He is sufficient, no matter what."


So my own book is ministering to me all over again. I love that! I hope some of you will journey over to that blog and maybe something you read will minister to where you are as well. Let me know if it does by leaving a comment. Thanks.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Destin again!

How blessed we are to have the use of Rob's dads condo in Destin. Makes going there more than once a year, totally affordable. Isn't God good?
Here's a snapshot of our trip.

Eli

Tegan




Ali





Buried in the Sand

Friday, June 29, 2007

Long Time, No Blog


I feel so bad that I've abandoned my blog for the past few months but lots has been happening.

1. As of May 31, Rob is no longer with Heart for Africa. For several reasons, no one reason in particular, he felt it was best to resign. It is with sadness in our hearts that we are leaving but with peace and hope for whatever God has next for us pioneers! He told me it will be "Simply the Best with a capital B" !
so we are now in the praying and waiting mode. This is a bigger step of faith than we have ever taken (isn't that just like God to push us forward in our growth and dependence on Him?). If you know of the perfect job, let us know, we're open

2. My job with Heart for AFrica and HOW took a new direction and a more business-savvy person was needed so I stepped aside.



3. We have been blessed with several wonderful "free" beach trips.
*Sunset Beach, NC thanks to Pat and Jerry McInnes in May. We met Jenni and the triplets as well as Pat and Jer and had a great time. I took 400 pixs of Eli, Ali, Tegan and made an online photobook for Rob of the trip for his June 19th bday.


*June 1-10 to Destin, Fl with Aimee, Justin and the girls. So fun!


*July1-7 Bach to Destin with Jenni, Scott and the triplets.











4. Two new granddaughters in the cooker! Aimee and Melissa are both pregnant, due 6 days apart in September and both are having girls again! That makes 10 grandchildren (and only ONE boy, Eli!).




5. On April 25, our dear friend, Chip Kinnebrew, died due to a cycling accident. It is a terrible tragedy. He was cycling along the Tour de Georgia route down an extremely steep hill from the highest point in Georgia, Brasstown Bald, and went off the road and hit a rock wall. He suffered a cardiac arrest on the scene, had punctured lungs, broken neck and back vertabrae but eventually was revived. He was put on life support but never came out of the deep coma he was in. Once life support was removed, he died two hours later. We all feel God went ahead and took him home on that mountain. He will be missed by many. Please pray for his wife Ann and their four girls, Abby 25, Gwen 22, Alison 18, Kelsey 14.












6. I just returned from leading a Christian Women's Retreat in Wisconsin for several pastor's wives. My longtime friend, Debbie Millman, invited me to come. Our theme was Escape into the Arms of Love. We had a refreshing time away with God and enjoyed hearing His personal word to us individually in our hearts. Wisconsin is a beautiful state, lush, green fields and mountains, and the weather was cool so it was a wonderful experience for me. If you would like to book me for a retreat for your friends, I'd be glad to talk to you about it. Leave a comment!














7. It is raining now which is a welcome sight here in Georgia since we are in drought condtions so I have to go listen to the rain, one of my favorite sounds!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Amazing Grace


Went to see this movie last night and LOVED it! Of course I love movies in England in this time period (18th century) but the story itself is what moved me. To watch the passion and dedication of William Wiberforce to persevere through years of rejection because he so strongly believed that God made all men in His image and all men have worth was inspiring. This peek into history is well worth the time and money to see this movie. Check out the trailer and more info at the official movie site at www.amazinggracemovie.com.