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Archive for December, 2008

Merry Christmas!

May your Christmas be filled by the light of Christ this blessed day.

dehumani72

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3 am

i’m not one who usually has trouble sleeping–i think my problem began when i refused to fight to urge to sleep at 8:30pm yesterday.  it had been a long day and i just couldn’t keep those eyes open.

yesterday was my “first” funeral since i’ve been appointed to my churches.  i had done a funeral for a good friend my second year of seminary but that was a totally unique funeral and situation.  i barely made it through my own grief that day.

today’s funeral was for a local man who had outlived most of his contemporaries, he was 96 (i think).  the family had just lost his sister-in-law a few weeks ago.  i can only imagine how hard that would be, especially this time of year.  i never met the man and it seemed that each person i spoke with would tell me they didn’t know much and give me another person to contact.  i think i heard enough  to make it personal, i hope so anyway.  i hope that it was true and honorable to both him and his family.

onto a lighter note…the other day i had my first try at making caramels.  they turned out to be quite esquisite!  yes, i am bragging!  they were delicious and i wrapped them in wax paper and tied their ends with ribbons and they looked very cute as well.  yesterday, i made a second batch but with all the stuff going on at the house (in-laws were helping the girls make and decorate gingerbread houses at the table and joel was [preparing to make beef jerky) i wasn’t paying quite as close attention as i should have.  i switched the order of 2 key ingredients and while the caramels taste good they have yet to properly set up!  i’m not sure how or if i can wrap these up. 

that’s the other part about it being 3am(ish), we have a houseful and joel is sleeping on the couch tonight (we’re swapping turns) so i can’t really just go into the kitchen and start baking or making another batch of caramels (which might be a good thing).  i’m just sort of bored and lost–hence rambling on to you. 

i can hardly believe that it is the day of Christmas Eve!  i still have presents to wrap and i’m not sure that i’m actually done.  hmm…maybe i could wrap the presents as they are in the basement. 

yeah, at least i can be productive!  good morning and Merry Christmas!

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cbrown20small20blogGet kissed under the mistletoe or in the snow?

Snow

Santa or Rudolph?
Rudolph

Stocking or presents?
presents

Egg nog or hot cider?
hot cider

Angel or star?
star

Decorating the tree or putting lights on the outside?
decorating the tree

Warm cozy fires or sleigh rides?
warm cozy fires

Family time or friend time?
Both!

Expensive presents or presents that come from the heart?
Expensive presents that come from the heart 😉

Snow ball fight or snowman?
snow creatures

Coal or present?
present–i’ve mostly been good this year

Open presents quick or slow?
slow–we play with them as we go and only when we’re done do we move on to the next

Caroling or christmas stories?
THE Christmas Story!

Snowy days or ice days?
does anyone like ice days?  snow days, of course!

Red or Green?

red!

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Christmas confusion

I think I made a huge mistake.  I had several ideas for what I had wanted to do for Christmas services this year.  In a moment of panic, I opted to scrap them fearful that I was setting myself up for failure.

Now I’m looking to our 4th Sunday of Advent and realizing that this will also be our “Christmas sermon.”  Granted, I can do another, fully realized Christmas sermon on the 28th but I also know people are wanting and expecting a Christmas message this coming Sunday.

I totally goofed and opted to do a Come and Go Communion on Christmas Eve.  The ones I have attended have been beautiful and did not eminate a feeling of McCommunion or drive thru spirituality but now that is exactly what I am concerned about.  I was hoping that with a Come and Go Communion more people would be able/willing to participate and quite honestly, I’m looking forward to the time to sit in the darkness and candlelight and be with God.  I realize now that I’ve been pretty selfish.

Wednesday night we’re having a birthday party for Jesus, will be making Chrismons, partaking in cake and punch.  It will be fun I’m sure but it too is less than what I had originally thought.  I know that I should not be too hard on myself, I’m simply frustrated.  Some days feel better than others when it comes to learning how to “balance” ministry and family.  I feel as though I’m not doing very well for either these days and it’s making me a little crazy!  Okay, perhaps a lot crazy since I started out a little crazy!

Suggestions?

the ultimate in Christmas confusion!

the ultimate in Christmas confusion!

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this is actually Merkin's eye but it's pretty much the same as mine  ;)

this is actually Merkin’s eye but it’s pretty much the same as mine 😉

Sophia writes, “This Friday Five is inspired by my husband’s Lasik surgery yesterday….He’d been contemplating it for a while and was pushed over the edge by the fact that we put too much money in our healthcare spending account this year and it would have been gone anyway. (There was only enough for one eye, but the kind people at the eye clinic figured out a way to divvy up the charges between surgery and followup in January=next year’s spending account). So please say a little prayer for his safe recovery and share with us your thoughts on eyes and vision.

1. What color are your beautiful eyes? Did you inherit them from or pass them on to anyone in your family? My eyes are brown with some hazel tendencies.  The strangest thing about them is that in my childhood they were very dark brown.  All three of my girls have my eyes–Valerie is the only one with the same dark brown I had once upon a time.

2. What color eyes would you choose if you could change them?  I’d love for them to be very very dark brown or a striking green.

3. Do you wear glasses or contacts? What kind? Like ’em or hate ’em?  I wear both contacts and eye glasses.  Love them and hate them both.

4. Ever had, or contemplated, laser surgery? Happy with the results?  I’ve gone so far as to have the consulatation.  I’m not a good canidate–big bummer. 

5. Do you like to look people in the eye, or are you more eye-shy?  I generally look people in the eye unless we have large cultural differences and that seems/feels disrespectful.

Bonus question: Share a poem, song, or prayer that relates to eyes and seeing.   I LOVE  Everclear’s version of Brown-Eyed Girl

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aww, thanks!

superior_scribbler_award1

Thanks to Iris, I am honored to recieve this bloggy award.  Iris has a fantabulous blog and I am looking forwad to meeting her in person this spring!  Hooray!  Thanks Iris!

Of course, as with every Bloggy Award, there are A Few Rules. They are:

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we’ll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

And now, for the next Superior Scribblers….

  • Dan at A Payne Hollow Visit, is one of the first blogs that I ever followed.  He is also the only one that I have read continuously over the past several years that I’ve been blogging.  Dan got me hooked!  He’s a modern prophet of Biblical proportions!  Be sure to check him out–he’s a wonderful guy and fantastic writer!
  • Iris at earthensoul has a heart of gold.  i love reading what she has to say and i especially love when she links to some great shoe stores!
  • Rev. Andy B at Enter the Rainbow is someone that I highly respect and learn quite a bit from.  He writes with passion, intelligence, and honesty.
  • Rev. Bryan B. at Bustle in Your Hedgerow writes with honesty and wit.  I’m a new to Bryan’s blog but enjoy reading his point of view.
  • Mandy C is one of my very best friends, but that’s not why I’m nominating her–ok, maybe part of it–but mostly why I think she’s a Superior Scribbler is because her posts constantly remind me to stay attentive and pay attention to social justice issues rather than getting lazy in my rose-colored world.

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Sally writes:
“Imagine a complex, multi-cultural society that annually holds an elaborate winter festival, one that lasts not simply a few days, but several weeks. This great festival celebrates the birth of the Lord and Saviour of the world, the prince of peace, a man who is divine. People mark the festival with great abundance- feasting, drinking and gift giving…..” (Richard Horsley– The Liberation of Christmas)
The passage goes on, recounting the decorations that are hung, and the songs and dances that accompany the festival, how the economy booms and philanthropic acts abound….
But this is not Christmas- this is a Roman festival in celebration of the Emperor….This is the world that Jesus was born into! The world where the early Christians would ask “Who is your Saviour the Emperor or Christ?”
And yet our shops and stores and often our lives are caught up in a world that looks very much like the one of ancient Rome, where we worship at the shrine of consumerism….
Advent on the other hand calls us into the darkness, a time of quiet preparation, a time of waiting, and re-discovering the wonder of the knowledge that God is with us. Advent’s call is to simplicity and not abundance, a time when we wait for glorious light of God to come again…
Christ is with us at this time of advent, in the darkness, and Christ is coming with his light- not the light of the shopping centre, but the light of love and truth and beauty.
What do you long for this advent? What are your hopes and dreams for the future? What is your prayer today?
In the vein of simplicity I ask you to list five advent longings….
  1. I long for an evening of fun and laughter, playing silly games of charades, or DDR, dominoes, whatever with my family.  I know it’s not really Advent related but this time of year is so busy and filled with expectations about things that are not related to the Christian Christmas.  Plus, Joel won’t be home until Saturday and I miss him.  Lately, he’s been stressed to the max and unable to just relax and enjoy life even when he’s here.  So that’s what I long for–an evening filled with fun, family, and laughter.
  2. I long for an Advent with no shopping for presents–only love, time spent with family and friends, and if there needs to be presents then homemade ones crafted with care instead of obligation.
  3. I long for a quiet, candlelit, church service full of prayer and awe.  I hope that is what we’ll have on Christmas Eve during our Come & Go Communion.
  4. I long for an Advent wreath with candles to light before dinner on Sunday evenings.  It could be our centerpiece and we would only have the lights given by the candles that are lit. (yes, I realize that I could make this happen but perhaps I should add that there would be no moaning and groaning about it from the family)
  5. I long for an evening with my closest friends–getting together with both old friends and new friends, those I know because we’re related by blood and those who’ve crossed paths other ways,  and we could give a toast to those friends and loved ones who are no longer with us in the flesh.

My prayer for today:

Holy Lover of Life,

Thank you for this blessed day.  I know I will complain about the cold, I will complain about my children, I will complain about my family, but please forgive me when I do this.  i k,now that you have created this wonderful day as a gift.  A gift not only to me but to all of us.  Thank you for the snow that glistens in the sunshine, sparkles as nature’s glitter upon the ground.

Thank you for the love you have shared with us.  Thank you for the love that you have shown us through the life of Christ.  Thank you for showing us how mixed up we are when  you were born  in a manger rather than a palace. 

Help us, help me to remember that Christmas is not about the wrappings and gifts but about you coming to us int he form of an innocent child, an infant who has no expectations, the one creature who seems to bring out the best in us, a creature that looks out  into the world with awe rather than expectation.  Thank you for all of this and more, through the power and grace of your holy Spirit Amen.

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