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Saturday, December 13, 2008

hot cocoa and Jesus

Today our family handed out hot chocolate at Anna's Christmas parade. We had lots of neat interactions with people. Several great conversations. There were many encounters today with people that we've met before. It is interesting to me how God continually crosses our paths with other particular individuals. And gradually strangers become friends.

Tonight I was getting ready to go to a Christmas program, and thinking back on the day. I suddenly realized just how awesome God was today. We had precisely enough hot chocolate for every person who came through the line. With none left over. We had no clue how many people to expect, but apparently God had it all planned out ahead of time.

I don't know why that surprises me. He does that kind of thing all the time on mission trips. Like last winter in Juarez when I was in charge of handing out miscellaneous items from a huge box to children who came by. As I reached in, I invariably pulled out the exact right item. A sweater, coat, hat, mittens....all in the appropriate sizes for whoever was standing in front of me. It just surprises me to see it in church planting. Don't know why.

Can't wait to see what God does tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

gift giving lessons from Abby

My two year old has been at it again. Showing me God's heart through her tiny life.

We celebrated my birthday a few days early with some friends on Tuesday night. Shawn made my favorite cake and a couple of friends brought gifts. Well, Abby saw my excitement about opening presents. (Yes, I'm really still just a kid about birthdays even though I try really hard to be cool and nonchalant about the whole thing) This afternoon she located a crumpled up piece of pink tissue and took off on a gift-giving spree.

First she wrapped up my favorite earrings and brought them to me. Jumping up and down with excitement and yelling, "Happy birthday." Then she brought me the nativity set, then a porcelain Santa, and the list goes on. With each delivery, she became more animated and more excited about me opening the gift. It was a fun game. She enjoyed giving, and I knew I would love what was in the package because it was already mine.

Then I started thinking about her little game and realized that maybe it had some God applications. You see, everything that I bring to God already belongs to him anyway. I am not bringing God anything new, or different that He has already received throughout the ages past. And yet, I'm pretty sure that when I am excited about sharing with God and bringing Him offerings that He enjoys it even more than I enjoyed the gift game with Abby.

The delight in Abby's game came from how much I love her and the beauty of seeing her learning how to love me. I think that's the delight that God feels as He loves us and watches us learning how to love Him.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Monday Morning Updates

Another awesome day at The Crossroads. I am loving the people that we are meeting. It is so cool to watch them begin to really plug in and begin to actively participate. I was in children's this week, so I don't have any first hand comments to make about the services.

I heard a lot of positive stuff about the sermon and the music. I heard that Shawn made everybody laugh with his reference to "Taladega Nights", and that the worship set flowed really well. Pray for Shawn. His voice is still really hoarse, and he is finally caving and going to the doctor.

We have lots of events coming up soon. I am excited to see how God is going to move in Anna. I just can't hardly wait!