Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Service

We took the kids to our church's Christmas Eve service earlier today. It was full of singing, with special videos and live artistic renderings, all in worship of the Baby born in Bethlehem. Our pastor, Jeff, shared his talents with us again, this time in sand art. Our kids were enthralled as he created images of a baby in a manger, the solar system, the earth, a baby in utero, Jesus on the cross....each image flowing from another. When the video of that session is available, I will post it here. Until then, enjoy watching Jeff's artistic blessing from last year's Christmas Eve service.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Mommy Do You Know?
We've been listening to a lot of Christmas music these past few weeks, and every night we gather to tell part of the Christmas story. My children are becoming very familiar with the different scenes: Joseph's dream, the Annunciation (Mary and Gabriel), Jesus' birth, the shepherds, the magi, etc. It's very fun to hear them discussing such things among themselves as we drive around town or have dinner at the table.

With such discussion come many questions: "How far did the wise men have to go?" "Did Mary ride a donkey to Bethlehem?" "Why was Zachariah so scared?" "What's myrrh? what's frankincense?" (no questions about gold, you notice)...

The question I've been fearing has yet to arise: "Why would Joseph want to divorce Mary?" I'm just not feeling up to explaining pre-marital pregnancy and the social consequences of such to an 8 year old. Call me coward. I'm just grateful he hasn't connected those dots yet.

It was my 4-year-old who blindsided me last week after a Christmas song ended. From the back seat of the van I hear, "Mommy, what's a virgin?"

Yes, laugh. If it hasn't already happened to you, it will. I'd love to hear from you--how would YOU respond? What do you think I answered?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Logos Software Turns a Page

If you enjoy studying your Bible, but don't have the expensive software or seminary training, consider a new resource: Bible Study Magazine.

Produced by Logos, a Bible study software company, Bible Study Magazine will enhance your study of God’s word in a variety of ways, suggesting methods of Bible study and offering tips on Bible study tools. It includes advice and encouragement from pastors, teachers and scholars on Bible study. Interesting and challenging content about the Bible and the ancient biblical world will take your study to a completely new level.

In thier first issue, they explore how apologist Josh McDowell defends the Bible; how the Great Isaiah Scroll (one of the Dead Sea Scrolls) provides insight into how we got the Bible; how to choose a Bible translation; and the beginnings of an ongoing study of Hebrews (continued in future issues). Precepts teacher Kay Arthur is featured in the upcoming Jan/Feb 2009 issue.

Click here to subscribe to Bible Study Magazine!

The first issue was released this month, and currently they are running a 50% sale for annual subscriptions. Click the panel above to investigate further.

I love the software, but many of its vast resources I have yet to open and read through. I prefer flipping pages, however, so I'm thinking about subscribing to the magazine for the sheer convenience and the current events and interviews included.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winter South Louisiana?!

My mother's house this morning

Mike the Tiger looking majestic (as usual)

Baton Rouge version of a snowman

All of this beautiful weather bypassed us here in the North Texas area. We got the 20-degree temps, but no moisture. I'm happy for my family, though. Too often I'm the one calling to say "it's snowing (nah nah nah nah nah)" -- now it's their turn :).

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holiday Cheer

Two nights ago our oldest son spent the night with his grandparents. He'd had Friday off school so we took advantage of the extra time and he ended up with a full day plus some, gaining an early Christmas present along the way. Grandpa presented him with a new BB gun! They also created a huge slingshot, and Nate collected ammo from their yard by raking a bucketful of acorns. He brought all of his loot home late yesterday.

While he was gone Friday, John and I took the two little ones on a holiday lights tour. Maggie was full of "ooohs" and "aaahs," though Jack was less enthused. Not upset, just not excited. We changed his attitude with a stop at Ben & Jerry's where we all enjoyed some cold yummy stuff. Next stop: Yankee Candle Store, where we must have opened and smelled every flavor available. The kids charmed the bored clerk there, too. Next stop: Kirkland's; then Starbucks; then a few more lights on the way home.

I spent Saturday morning with Sandi, accompanying her to a Christmas Tea at Gainesville Bible Church, during which she spoke on "What God Really Wants for Christmas." Her book table was a rousing success--she shoulda brought more of her Coffee Cup Bible Studies! We had a great visit driving an hour each way together. Not often we get that sort of girl-time without my kids interrupting!

I spent the afternoon at a candy-making party with some of my MOPS girlfriends. Fun, fun! We candy coated anything we could think of: pretzels, pecans, cake balls, cherries, hershey kisses... Favorite recipe: peppermint bark. Crush a bagful of peppermints into fragments/powder, spread onto a cookie sheet and pour almond bark over it, then freeze. Wow...

Cutest creation: tiny chocolate mice --coat a cherry with chocolate, press onto the flat side of a hershey kiss. Attach thin almond slices to the crease between the cherry and kiss (ears), and two tiny circle-shaped candies for eyes (your choice of candy). Adorable looking, and great treats for those who like cherries.

This morning we made it to church on time and visited a new SS class. The teacher told us to turn to Jeremiah 3. He proceeded to review, briefly, where they'd stopped last time, then worked his way verse-by-verse through the chapter. I was shocked. Expositional teaching. Inside I started the happy dance. I've been missing this sort of teaching since we left our old church. Our pastor here is great, but he doesn't teach expositionally, and I've felt the difference. This morning was a breath of fresh air. We may have found our new SS class!

After church, home for lunch. Kids out to play, Dad off to visit a sick teacher-friend, Mommy planted in front of the Cowboys-Steelers game. Still there :)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Oh, the pressure!

After much nudging, encouragement, "you're crazy not to" looks, and yes--downright harrassment--I'm finally on Facebook.

The first three comments on my wall were variations on the theme "hahahahaha, you finally caved!" I gotta be more selective about my "friends."