Friday, December 31, 2010

Some clues...

I am planning an adventure to where Christian worship might resemble this...


These are pictures taken at a Coptic Church here in Hawaii. Ever heard of that kind of church? I had no idea this Christian denomination even existed until I read a book on the history of the Christian church a few months ago.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Pictures

We were so blessed this year. It has been raining like crazy so on the one dry day we headed out to Ko Olina hoping to find someone who would take our picture for our Christmas card. Just so happens a professional photographer was shooting a wedding while we were there and took this picture for us.



















Bible Study

I just finished this great line by line study on Ruth. It was the perfect accompaniment to Jacob's teaching on Ruth we had in Israel. Radio Free Church : Speakers Jacob Prasch's teachings can be heard here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Evan

Life with Evan

Evan: I am the luckiest kid in the whole neighborhood!
Me: How's that?
Evan: I get ten hours of sleep every night! All the other kids go to bed late and only get six or eight hours of sleep.
Me:............
Evan: My tooth (molar) hurts. I am going to pull it out.
Me: No Evan, yuck, don't do that!

Me and everyone else:......................
Evan testing for his next belt.





He can now spar which he has been waiting most for.

The grandmaster was explaining about a really special promotion one kid was getting-into the Leadership Program. It comes with a special new uniform with the child's name on the back, the grandmaster showed the back of the uniform-it took Evan a moment to figure out it was his name! Not for a moment did he think the grandmaster was talking about him. For two days Evan walked around saying, "I can't believe it!" "I had no idea he was talking about me!"
Here he is getting his new uniform and Leadership manuals.
Congratulations all around! Good work Evan-we are so proud of you!

Nativity Tea

We had such a beautiful and elegant Christmas Tea at church this year. I am so blessed to have been apart of hostessing a table. I love the whole nativity aspect of Christmas, it really is my favorite part of the season. It is also my favorite memory of Christmas. I would go to my grandparents house and "play" with their nativity set.

Erica putting some last minute finishing touches on my grandparents' nativity set. My grandfather, who was from Wales, was stationed in Europe during the 2nd war. He was in charge of supply. He told me how everyone was starving and he traded the nuns food for the Hummels they made. The tea set is my great-grandmothers. The silver is my grandmother's.
This was such a special tea for me, I got to use all my family treasures. Plus Erica helped me with every detail, she did an amazing job-ironing all the linens, carefully setting up, attending to the details, and there was a last minute cancellation so she got to come.

If I were into collecting something it would be nativity sets so I really enjoyed all these beautiful sets everyone put on their tables. Jesus truly was at the center and the focus of our tea this year. It's not about the shopping frenzy, the craziness of the parking lots, braving the weather, making sure we have something for everyone who may drop by, cookie marathons, or putting out a big spread. We guiltlessly released ourselves of that years ago. We send out cards but if they are only a week late we are thankful, if our only cookies come from a neighbor we rejoice, if we forget to plug the lights in it's okay, if the comm is sold out of turkey or ham we go with fish... What we do we try to do in celebration of the Lord-passing out candy canes and tracts saying how they represent our Savior, giving fliers to our church's Christmas play, eating special Christmas Eve bread with little baby Jesus' hidden inside. Putting up a tree which is an evergreen, it does not die or fade away or lose its needles in the winter representing the immortality of the resurrected Christ. Even though our earthly season must come to an end, yet we will live through the grace of our Lord Jesus. The lights in the Christmas tree also have a deeper meaning. Originally the lights used were candles. We put unlit candles on our tree. The candles too were meant to symbolize Christ, specifically his self-giving love and gift of life to us. The candle provides light and warmth as it consumes its own substance, the wax. So, too, did Jesus give of his own substance--his life--so that we might find divine light. And when we have found divine light through Jesus, we too are enabled through the power of the Holy Spirit to give of ourselves to others. After all, Christmas is the feast of love, where we share gifts with each other as Christ shared the gift of life with us. The kids only get three gifts each. The three gifts given by the Magi were gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These three gifts represent the roles of Jesus Christ in his relation to man. Gold, which was the usual offering presented to a king by his subjects, represents his office as king. Frankincense, which was used in worship at the temple, represents both his divine nature and office as most high priest. Myrrh, which is one of the ingredients in the holy anointing oil described in Exodus chapter 30 used to consecrate the things in the temple used to minister unto God, and was also used to anoint the dead, represents his role as the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of man. We keep it very simple but maintaining a focus on Christ and the gift He gives all us everyday.












I love the scriptures on this set.














Sue spoke on Bethlehem and how it is one of the top ten travel destination disappointments. How Jesus came from Ephratah of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). Nativity scenes usually include the Maji who didn't arrive until 18 months later. Traditionally the Maji were not placed in the scene until the week following Christmas to account for their travel time. We were to not include the Maji on our tables.