My friend Mel and her husband are videographers. They shot our wedding and made this aweseome three minute montage. We have loved reliving our wedding day--seeing this brings back so many wonderful memories of what was definitely my favorite day of 2007!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
It was awesome to wake up in the middle of the night to hear it pouring rain on the roof...we're not used to that in LA!
Just wanted to say "yee-haw" from Texas. :)
We'll be spending the evening with my Dad tonight for an early Christmas celebration.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
The big finale was a Mariah Carey-esque version of "Joy to the World", which is probably my all-time favorite Christmas carol. With Christ's birth, joy burst onto the scene! Heaven's gates opened and God's peace, hope and joy were being offered to the world in the Person of Jesus.
The lyric of the song that stuck with me and continued to ring in my head after we left the church that night was "Let every heart prepare Him room." Isn't that, after all, the reason the Church observes the advent season leading up to Christmas each year? And isn't that also one of the reasons we are focusing more on prayer this month--so that December 25th doesn't sneak up on us without our having reflected on Jesus at all?
Christmas is only about a week away! During the next week as you are praying, ask the Lord to show you if there is anything that needs to be rearranged or purged to make room in your heart for Him.
"The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us." ~Matthew 1:23
God is with us. We have not been left alone. Let every heart prepare Him room ... joy to the world!
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thank you so much!
Update: I just got home from the audition. It went really well. Thank you for your prayers! Now let's pray for some good news. :)
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Hubs put the Santa hat on top of the tree.
My stepdad, John, was a bit of a clothes horse. He worked in sales for most of his working life, and wore neckties a lot. After he passed away four and a half years ago, we decided to make a Christmas tree skirt out of his neckties. Actually, there were enough for us to make two! So my mom has one around her tree, and I have one around mine. It looks really festive and is always a fun way to remember him. My mom can even remember which ones he wore for certain occassions, so she'll sometimes say, "I remember when he wore that one to the Christmas party. He wore that one at our wedding." *warm fuzzies*
One night, we had a dinner party with some friends and I thought it would be fun to make a candle platter. So I placed several pillar candles of varying heights on a serving platter and lit them up! It was beautiful and smelled marvelous.
The only thing is that all those flames so close together get hot, and it ends up looking like this. I think it was worth it, but I'm not sure what it will be like to clean that up. Hopefully it will come right off. I'm optimistic that way:
I grew up decorating gingerbread houses that my mom would construct from shoe boxes and graham crackers. I was so thrilled when our friends Heather and Shiloh (cool names, huh?) brought me a gingerbread house kit. The bread was already made and it came with all the icing and candy, so all I had to do was assemble and decorate. I copied the decorating design on the box and it came out all colorful and cheery. I have it on our living room table, and every so often, I get a whiff of gingerbread. Mmmm.
I hope you all are having a very joyful holiday season so far!
Lots of love,
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16
I love that it is not a throne of terror or fear. Rather God's throne is one of grace--and one we are to approach with confidence, because our God is utterly loving and kind.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
How wonderful that the result of presenting our requests to God is that His peace will guard our hearts and minds.
Prayer changes things. Thomas Merton, then a young man pursuing great success in a career in literature, felt drawn for reasons he did not understand to spend some time in a religious community with men who devoted much of their days to prayer. He wrote that when he left he was struck by the haste and anxiety of "normal" life: "My heart sank within me. I thought: 'What am I getting into? Is this the sort of thing I myself have been living in all these years?'" The thought occurred to him that in some real way these few men devoted to prayer "are doing for their land what no army, no congress, no president could ever do as such: they are winning for it the grace and the protection and the friendship of God."
You don't know how many people have been strengthened because you asked God to encourage them; how many people have been healed because you prayed for their bodies; how many spiritual runaways have come home because you prayed for their souls. None of us may ever know the true effects of our prayers this side of death. But we do know this: History belongs to the intercessors. - from The Life You've Always Wanted, by John Ortberg
Go boldly before God today with your requests. He is listening!
Friday, December 07, 2007
Adoration: Take time to worship and adore God. Praise Him for who He is. Maybe you can tell Him what qualities you love about Him (ie. His love, faithfulness, care). Maybe you can sing a hymn or song of praise. It doesn't really matter how you express your adoration, just that you express it!
Confession: The Bible says that it's God's "kindness that leads us to repentence". Allow God's kindess to draw you inward. See if there is any sin in your heart that you need to confess to God. Confess it, and ask for His forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: Thank God for the ways He has blessed you, for the ways that you see Him at work in your life, for His great love for you.
Supplication: This is just a fancy word for "request". Ask God for the things that you need. Make your requests to God. Do you need a job? Does a loved one need healing? Do you want to find a spouse? God wants you to be authentic with Him. Tell Him what you want.
I have so enjoyed interacting with my readers this month. I have loved praying for you, and I invite you to continue leaving your prayer requests in my comments section (anonymously is fine). I would like to ask you to please pray for my Dad, who is battling cancer. Please pray that God will heal him. Thank you for praying. God is listening!
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
What a powerful passage of Scripture to meditate on. So many morsels to dwell on. Take a few minutes today to sit alone with God. As you sit with Him, meditate on the above passage part by part.
~The LORD your God is with you. How does that truth impact your time with Him? How will it impact your day?
~He is mighty to save. Rest in his power to save.
~He will take great delight in you. Ask Him to show you the ways He takes delight in you, His child. How does your Heavenly Father's delight in you make you feel about yourself? About Him?
~He will quiet you with His love. God is love. Love is His overwhelming character quality. Love defines Him and motivates His every action. Allow His great love to quiet you. If your mind gets distracted, come back to His love. If stress starts to creep in, let His love quiet you. Sit with Him and let Him quiet you with His love.
~He will rejoice over you with singing. So often, we raise our voices to God in song as a way of showing Him our praises. But God also rejoices over you with singing. Take a moment to hear His song, as He rejoices over you, His precious child.
He loves you. His love for you is deeper than you can imagine. God, the great Creator of the universe, cares deeply for you. God loves you.
Monday, December 03, 2007
Last week, Hubs and I were reading a morning devotional about confession. Just the word "confession" is enough to make my stomach churn. Confessing my sins to God, after all, means taking a bit of time to poke around my heart and recognize the sin that is lurking there. Still, only by confessing my sin and asking God for His forgiveness can I receive that forgiveness and know the joy of an unburdened soul.The author of the morning devotional suggested that taking some time to examine our hearts and to confess our sins to God in prayer is an appropriate way to approach the Christmas season. Interestingly, when John the Baptist went out to "prepare the way of the Lord", He did so by calling people to repentence (turning from sin).
As we go into the Christmas season, let's take a moment today to sit with God. Ask Him to show you if there is anything in your heart you need to confess. Then confess it, ask for His forgiveness, and receive it. He will forgive you! By confessing our sins, we are "preparing the way" for God to work in our lives. Why not make some room in your heart today? Let's approach the season together with unburdened hearts that have prepared a way for Him.