Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Nativity

I just finished watching the movie, The Nativity with Steven. I love that movie. What a great thing to stop and pause and watch this time of year. On KSBJ today someone said, "You wouldn't go to someone's Birthday party and bring everyone there a birthday present but them. However, that is what we do at Christmas. We buy everyone a present and neglect presenting our very selves (His greatest gift) to Jesus, the man of honor." A good and true word. I reflected on that, amongst many other things, while watching The Nativity. It really hit me (as I watched the story I have heard and read so many times played out on the big screen), the theme of humility and opposition. Jesus chose a humble girl, a righteous man, a humble manger, and a bunch of humble shepherds all to be a part of this beautiful story. For it is through the unlikely that He shows Himself strong! And not only that, but then I got to thinking about all the opposition that they faced. I grew up thinking that if things didn't work out "perfectly," then you must not be in God's will. But that is so far from the truth. In reality, if you are facing opposition, then most of the time you know that you are in God's will. That is Jesus Himself's story! Now don't get me wrong, sometimes we face opposition due to our own sin. And also, there is a peace that comes with being in God's will. However, His peace usually comes with a sword. Take Mary & Joseph for example...they were considered humble, righteous, highly favored, yet if you really think about it, I'm sure they faced much ridicule, gossip, slander, judgement, etc. They couldn't even find a place in which to birth Jesus in! And they had to flee from their own home town. And all b/c Jesus chose them to carry Him. But that is true of us. We live in a world that doesn't even understand morality, much less the choices we make for the "much more" of God, to live like a George Bailey. But as I previously blogged, if we endure the opposition, we will gain Jesus. And that truly is the greatest gift that we have. I pray and hope that you un-wrap that gift this year my friends. It will require humility, sacrifice, righteousness, and probably some opposition, but it also comes with the "much more" of our Savior. Trust me, it's worth it! :) Nothing good ever comes easy! Merry Christmas!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

It's a Wonderful Life

I love watching Christmas movies this time of year. And now Steven is forced to be a part of it. :) One of the ones that we watched (and he had never seen) was, It's a Wonderful Life. A classic. I've seen it before but this time it really hit home to me and made me cry. What I noticed was that the constant theme of George's life was sacrifice. He was always sacrificing in order to help someone else out. And at times, he would get bitter for it and lose he did at the end of the movie when he was ready to take his own life. I love it when the angel comes down and shows George what life would be like without him in it. People are worse off and it grieves George. And then the angel explains that it's amazing how one man can affect so many peoples lives. Thats so true. We are here for a purpose. And sometimes I don't think that we realize what we do really matters. Our sins don't just affect us, they affect everyone around us. Just as our obedience. There is fruit all around us. Since my fast, I have grieved for the body of Christ to take their stands in the Kingdom of God. I think that it is sadly safe to say that most of us aren't. I felt Jesus grieving over me about that during my fast and I have decided to step up to the plate. Although far from perfect, since that decision I have seen a change and now I grieve for the rest of the body to do the same. So many un-touched lives b/c we are choosing not to be "displays of the Glory of God." I pray that the Church rises up in 2011! I pray we see our wonderful inheritance in Christ, and live for it here on earth so that others may see and want it themselves. Otherwise, eventually we will find ourselves like George Bailey and that's a sad place that too many are in. We'll either be at the end of ourselves, or realize we had no impact. Let's sacrifice instead. Lose ourselves for the sake of the Kingdom, and therefore gain the Kingdom. That is why Jesus came this time of year after all, right?! As one of my favorite Shane & Shane Christmas songs states, "He was born to die!" May we follow suit and die to ourselves, that we may truly live and shine His life to those around us to catch onto!

In conclusion, I wanted to post some pictures of the rest of my fun December thus far since my last post... :)

A true Christmas evening with our friend's, the Park's, over egg nog and chestnuts roasting on an open fire (people really do that what the song states...ha!)

Another Christmas evening out with our friend's, Jarrad & Crystal. What started out as a sushi dinner out and looking at Christmas lights in River Oaks, turned into crashing a Christmas party at a random person's house in River Oask...hillarious! :)

But here's lights really here! :)

Letters to Santa! :)

Steven and I watching Christmas movies as earlier stated (see here the enthusiasm that Steven and Linus have for doing this...ha!)

many days at my friend, Aimee's house as we chat and are entertained by her new puppy, Piper!

YL's last events of 2010...Our All area Red Neck Christmas tradition...

And our annual YL all area Christmas party (Steven was practicing & marking his territory) :)

And the rest of Red Neck Christmas (see if you can find my man's normal background poses in pictures...lovely!) :)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

My December thus far...

*Watching my nephews football games...always with my sidekick, Abi (that is when she doesn't find someone cooler that day!) :)
*Many walks with Jesus as HE constantly delights me! :)

*Several date nights with my man (this one was to Cirque de Solei)

*Christmas jammies!

*Lazy nights watching Hallmark movies with my crew (very few & far between but so cherished!)

*Time with family

*My first, own big Christmas tree! :)

*Young Life!

*Many holidays drinks!

*My new stocking that Steven's mom made me! :)

*Making Gingerbread houses

*One of the best days ever with my YL girls: Rachel, Gabby & Mallory (at church, Korea Gardens Restaurant, & a Korean Market-all in honor of Rachel who is from South Korea!) What yummy food!

*Fun times raiding my nephews closet and relaxing in my parents hot tub while they are away at Disney! :)

*And lastly, watching my man graduate from fire school. He is now a fireman and I am so proud of him! Congrats, Steven! :) I feel better, esp. as my crew and I were recently just evacuated from my apt in the middle of the night due to a fire. :/ All is well now though!

As usual this time of year, it's been busy. But so much fun! I've cherished so many great times with friends, YL friends, family, and Steven that I wish I had more pictures of, but I think that these are enough for now. :) However, mostly I have cherished my sweet times with Jesus. I know that I wanted it to be true before, I thought it was true, it was partly true, and in my head it was true; however, I don't think that I have ever been able to say this from my heart before, but I really mean it now...Jesus truly is my gift this year...and boy do I ever praise Him for that! Hallelujah! :) The story of Mary has come alive to me this season, but in a different way than normal. God recently revealed to me just how hard it must have been for Mary. I think we overlook the fact that people surely must not have believed her that the Holy Spirit put Jesus in her. I'm sure there was ridicule, judgement & gossip and that it hurt her deep. Scripture says that even Joseph had in mind to leave her until an angel visited him and assured him of his mission. In return for Mary's obedience, she got pain. However, she persevered, obeyed and what did she gain...JESUS! Not just for her, but for us. What a picture of what the Christian life is truly all about. If we choose the Kingdom of God vs. the Kingdom of this world, it will be hard. We will be mis-understood. Worldly living is easier. However, in the end, we who pursue the Kingdom of God gain a greater reward (Jesus) and our life has purpose while the rest of the world misses out. I have lived for the world and know first hand how un-fulfilling it in fact is. How purposeless. But now, as I choose to try and live for the Kingdom of God, I have found that it is hard, but it is SO FULFILLING!
"Greetings you who are highly favored!"
"Who me, Jesus?"
"Yes, you, Child."
"I don't feel highly favored. Things are hard."
"But you have gained the greatest gift of all, my Child."
"What is that, Jesus."
"You have gained Me. I am more than enough. And my life looked no less 'rosier.'"
"Enough said, Jesus."
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas friends! :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I'm Thankful For This Thanksgiving...

* Fall Leaves (not here of course, but somewhere in the world!) :)
* That Starbucks is ready for Christmas!
* My babies: Linus, Lucy, Woodstock, Sally & Pooka
* So far I've survived on my own!
* My amazing, handsome, loving, and God-fearing fiance and gift from God, Steven!
* My donors in YL
* My YL kids that have fallen in love with Jesus
* My job and ministry
* Amazing weather today
* I survived my 40 day fast and learned SO MUCH with Jesus!
* Christmas is coming!
* My health, safety, protection & provision
* That Jesus is my all!
* What I'm learning in my counseling classes
* I'm about to get married
* My friends & family
* The Food Network
* Simplicity of children
* Freedom
* In every way...JESUS!
* Jarrad and Crystal
* Christians rising up and living for Jesus!
* Ways I have been taught, healed and grown
* All pumpkin flavors

Happy Thanksgiving, friends! Rejoice in the Lord, always! And enjoy some good food! :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A good day...

It's nice when you just have a good day and didnt think it would be one. I live on the 3rd floor of my apt complex so when it thunderstorms, you can surely hear it. Well last night it was a doozie! I got no sleep. My electricity kept going on and off, therefore setting off my alarm and it truly sounded as if there was a hurricane out there. My dogs were shaking in terror. It wasnt pleasant. Then i had to leave early to drop linus and lucy off at the vet, which i was a bit frightened about. They were only getting their teeth cleaned, but they have to "put them
Under," and that isnt 100% safe for this dog mommy. After a rough night and a fearful attitude, I thought, this is just gonne be an awful day. But i was wrong. After dropping my babies off and saying a prayer, i headed to do my civic duty and go vote. I was told to vote at the high school that i attended. As i was walking up to the door, thats when my day turned around! I smelt it...the heavenly aroma of my teen years...fresh, hot, fattening, huge, cheese rolls that I partook of daily and they are still serving today! Yum! I smiled. Too bad i cant still eat like that! :) Instantly and unecpectedly my heart was full of praise and i just started thanking God for all of my many blessings as i voted. Then i went home to a quiet house to have my qt and do some yl work. Dont get me wrong, i missed my babies and love them, but they are obnoxious yappers. The others aremt. So i had some peace and quiet. Not to mention, that storm that had kept me up had just blown in a cool front so i was thrilled! Isnt that just like Jesus? from ashes! I then got news from our banquet last was a success! Praise Jesus again! In the storm, out of the storm, & for memories of giant cheese rolls! :) Now i am writing after picking my dogs up from a successful teeth cleaning and training a new group of yl leaders. Tonight was their lastnight and they were commissioned to go out. They are a great group. It was beautiful! So many things my heart is thankful for tonight! But i will end with this one...THE RED, CHRISTMAS CUPS & CHRISTMAS FLAVORS ARE OUT AT STARBUCKS!!!! Oh my...I cant take much more! Im in heaven, yall! I enter your courts with praise, Father! :)
Written from my iphone so please excuse any grammatical/spelling errors!

Monday, November 1, 2010

My Halloween

I started off the day yesterday like i do everyday, walking my dogs when we all first wake up. And lo and behold I discovered the most glorious sight ever...tons of hot air balloons were launching right behind my apartment complex and flying directly over my house. So cool! After admiring that a bit, I began getting ready to head to the zoo with Steven. We were seeing about possibly having our wedding reception there but that was a no go. :( Too bad b/c it would have been beautiful! And also one of my favorite places ever! :) However, we found another awesome place and we got a free trip out of the zoo from it and that was fun! It was a pretty day and the animals were just a showing off for us! Afterwards, we found a hotel for our honeymoon night, did church, and then just relaxed for a bit. Later that night we went to my parent's house (where everyone was dressed up) and celebrated with all of the kids and tons of food! It was a good day! Steven and I were dressed as honeymooners in Hawaii! :) Last week I was batman (taken from our YL skit closet) :) for our YL Halloween club and one of my YL kids was me...ha. It was fun! I also dressed up as a fireman for Steven the night that we carved pumpkins. What can I say...I don't necessary like Halloween, but I love fall and all it has to offer! :) Sorry so scattered (but that is me!) :) Enjoy the pics! I'm off to our YL annual Banquet tonight! Pray it goes amazing please!