Saturday, January 30, 2010

We've moved!!

We have permanently moved our blog, come join us in our journey to Africa & beyond at:

See you there!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's not over! Rediscovering Christmas pt. III

Hello wonderful friends...
Did you know that Christmas ISN'T OVER? Well, I didn't. Not until early this year when I learned lots about the liturgical calendar & seasons of the church.

Remember the song "The 12 Days of Christmas"?

It's real.
There are 12 days.
And they start on Christmas day.
Not end.

"What??!?" you say?
It is true.

Part of rediscovering Christmas for Joel & I has been realizing that there is a whole Christmas season in the church, starting on December 25th and ending on January 6th.
January 6th is Epiphany - a holiday I had never even heard of before.
It is the day that we celebrate the three kings showing up to worship Jesus. They were the first Gentiles to worship Him, thus revealing Him as Savior for all of mankind.

That's me.

So happy 9th day of Christmas.

One more quick thing...
That slightly annoying song about the 12 days? It potentially has roots in the 16th century & is a mnemonic for 12 of the important tenets of the Christian faith.

Joel & I plan to teach our children each of those tenets.
And thus, our Christmas season will end on January 6th.

Joy to the world, the Lord has COME.
Merry Christmas, dear friends!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Rediscovering Christmas pt. II

Joel and I have talked quite a bit this holiday season about our traditions and our family. We both want the Christmas season to be filled with lots of wonderful memories for our future kids. One of the most beautiful things I have discovered as I have grown in my faith is that there is a wonderful season called Advent. Now for many of you this is a well-known part of the Church and Christmas, but it has only been a few years since I have even known what this is!

Joel and I have decided to make the Advent season an integral part of the way that we will celebrate.
Combining the wonderful memory of the nativity scene that I grew up with & this beautiful waiting, here is what it will look like in our house in years to come:

These are beautiful Fontanini nativity figures, which I picked specifically because....

There are enough to fill a 25 day Advent calendar (these cute stockings found at Hop Skip Jump). Now usually Advent calendars are filled with candy, a Scripture, etc. Ours will be filled with small 5" figurines.
Each day leading up to the wonderful day of Christmas we will pull out a new person/animal to slowly create our beautiful nativity scene. It will grow every day until....

Jesus comes.

Rediscover Christmas is rediscovering Christ!

Happy Advent friends, lets rejoice in the coming of our dearest friend, the lover of our hearts, the Savior of the world.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rediscovering Christmas

Growing up, Christmas was always such a special time of year. My mom is an incredible decorator, and I remember her spending hours, days, preparing the house. One of my favorite memories was our nativity scene, which would often take up the whole fireplace (Kenya is hot during Christmas) with a lovely story of Christ's birth. Christmas Eve our wonderful community of friends would come for the yearly hors d' oeuvres party, followed by my dad reading the Christmas story from Luke by candlelight & getting to open one small present. Then off to bed, trying to sleep until Christmas morning. We would sit on the stairs just waiting to hear the call that all was ready....glorious memories.

And now my husband and I are slowly making our own traditions. And, like most things we do, we are carefully asking ourselves why we do what we do & whether or not that is how we want to do them. We don't have any kids yet, but we both want our children to love this time of year and have special memories.

So we are dreaming of some great Christmas traditions to pass down. More to come on those in the days ahead, but what about you? What special Christmas traditions did you have? Are there any you are creating?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Manhattan Declaration

I read something today that stirred my heart. If you have not heard about it, I would like to introduce you to my new friend, the Manhattan declaration.

The Manhattan Declaration

Why I am so taken by this document:
  • It looks like Christians daring to take an uncompromising stand on Biblical truth. The Church is called to make a difference in the world, even as we are in it. I think that living in agreement with this document looks like Christ and looks like love. It is not a push-over, teddy-bear edict with no substance. This is real. It covers three central themes, the value of human life, marriage, and religious liberty.
  • It is coherent. It is well-written and thorough. I applaud those who invested in the drafting of this document.
  • It is unifying and not divisive. This document represents Christ-loving leaders from the evangelical, Catholic and orthodox churches cooperating to take a decidedly Biblical and Christ-reminiscent stand against the humanistic policies of the American political scene. It is a beautiful product of true Christian synergy and "inter-faith" cooperation without compromise or dilution of the vitality of Christ and his message.
  • It is courageous. This document proclaims boldly, "We will render to Caesar what is Caesar's, but we will not render to Caesar what is God's." That simple, bold statement sounds through the valleys of my heart like a summons to stand firm.
  • It is a commitment. If you sign this document, there is no 'unsigning' it. You are publicly committing and declaring your stance. We must pro
There is a time to walk softly and a time to ruffle feathers. My heart is encouraged to see this beautiful sign of life in the Church as she stirs herself to an uncompromising and public stand for what she believes. So many battle metaphors are rattling through my head, but this is less a revolutionary call to fight and more a call to stand unflinchingly.

Melissa and I have both signed it. I hope you take fifteen minutes to read this and ponder it in your heart. This document reminds us that we are called to live our lives for something far greater than ourselves. Link to download the full document here.