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Archive for November, 2006

Text: Psalm 89:1-4

There are those songs.  You know the songs of which I speak. Songs laced with a hypnotic melody that cause them to be forever burned into our memory.  Songs so infectious that they appear to jump from one person to another like a bad cold. A young man on a subway is singing a little tune. An older gentleman sitting near him exits and whistles the tune as he scurries down the sidewalk.  A lady passing by picks up the tune and carries it with her to the waiting elevator and its only occupant – you.  She exits on the third floor and by the fifth floor, your toe is tapping and the humming begins. Despite your best efforts, you can’t stop it.  By the seventh floor, you give up the fight and belt out your off-key rendition of “I Write the Songs”.

The writer of the 89th Psalm understands about infectious songs.  He has a song so infectious he can’t help but sing it.  He has a song that must be released or he’ll burst.  It is a song of God’s amazing love and faithfulness. Your love, God, is my song, and I’ll sing it! I’m forever telling everyone how faithful you are.  I’ll never quit telling the story of your love.” (Psalm 89:1 – the Message)

This Advent season may we be unable to stop ourselves.  May we belt out the beautiful song of God’s lavish love and fidelity.  May our ceaseless humming of this amazing melody pour out onto all who share space with us and go on to infect the entire world this Advent season.

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It was a relaxing Thanksgiving holiday for me this year.  Good times with family and very little pressing agenda.  For those two things, I am thankful.

One of the traditions that I carry on from my childhood days is putting up Christmas the day after Thanksgiving.  Although it was a Christmas_pictures_002little odd to be putting up trees and lights in 70 degree weather. It is abnormally warm here which I love but for those of us who associate cold with Christmas it is slightly unsettling.

It is a great time to put up outside decorations and so I am contemplating how to decorate my new home.  It is my first Christmas here so there is some adjusting of decor and such to make it fit.  I did get a "new" Christmas tree up.  I got my parents tree from them.  It was too big for their family room and with my high ceilings, it made a better fit here.  As you can see, it is a big tree.  But it looks great!!!

I love Christmas.  It is the time of year when the kingdom of God on earth seems most possible.  It may be difficult to see that as we watch footage of people fighting and trampling one another in a quest for a cheap toy but don’t focus there.   More people are thinking about others, gathering with family, giving of self to serve others and seeking joy.  If there is ever a season to believe that the reign of God is possible on earth and in our lives, it is the season where we celebrate Emmanuel – God with us.

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Nephew Cuteness Update

Blake_soccer

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Awkward

So I took this leadership test online to see what leader I am most like and it comes out to be Mother Theresa.  Talk about awkward.  Who wants to say that they are like Mother Theresa?  I mean, we all wish we were like Mother Theresa but who is arrogant enough to say "I’m like Mother Theresa".   It just seems really wrong and arrogant to even go there.  But I’m posting it anyway . . .

On top of that, I took a "What Classic Movie Are You" and it came out to be Schindler’s List.  Now, I really feel bad.  Like I have a lot to live up to or like I’m bragging.

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Friday Five: Thankfulness

Today’s "Friday Five" from the Revgals is to share five things or people that I am thankful for this past year. 

1.  GOD.  Not to be a stereotypical "Rev Gal" but I must rank God as number one.  Without God’s grace, faithfulness, love, forgiveness, patience and presence this past year, I would be nothing.  I know this is a given, perhaps, but it must be stated.  God has hung in there with me when I was hurting, unfaithful, angry, goo-goo-gaa-gaa and a royal pain in the butt. 

2.  PARENTAL UNITS.  I love my parents.  I have great parents. Superb. Excellent. Wonderful. Priceless. "Take-it-to-the-bank-and-back" parents.

3.  BLAKE.  (and his parents who gave him to me.) What fun a nephew is! He teaches me so much and I love watching his innocence.  He gives me a better picture of how God loves us and how he patiently tries to teach us. 🙂

4. MY HOUSE.  I moved into my very first new home in April and I love it.  I wake up with thankfulness to God for the roof over my head and the job that helps to provide it.  The home helps me to pause and remember to thank God, to not take things for granted and to realize at the same time that I could easily lose it all – but not God.

5. MY YOUTH. As in the youth in my youth group. Not my personal youth which gets farther away with each passing day.  This past year I’ve been on many wonderful adventures with my youth – through depression and their grace to me; an amazing mission trip to San Antonio; weekly Bible studies in my home; slumber parties and tp-ing adventures; little love notes; fall retreat memories and God-moments.  I love my youth.  I am so thankful for the amazing group of youth that I get to share life with.

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Winter is A’Comin

As I’m typing this, the cold wind is beating the wall behind me as it wraps itself around my house.  It is a cold, windy and rainy day with threats of our first snow tonight.  Just a dusting but still the first in-your-face truth that winter is a’comin.  I am not a winter fan.  If I were in control of weather (which I clearly am not), I would order snow on December 24th and have it melt on December 26th.  Then the tempature would shoot right back up.  Yes, I know I have the option of moving to warmer climates but my family lives right here and they outweigh 3-4 months of cold weather hands down.

I know I have not been very faithful this past month with the blogging.  I’ve been taking a little break from writing and blogging as I focus on other things.  It is a busy as usual but not as bad as it has been the last couple of years.  I’m spending some amazing time with my youth and enjoying my ministry with them more than I have in awhile.  They haven’t changed.  They have always been and still are awesome! I’m able to enjoy them more when I’m not overwhelmed with administrative responsibilities at the church.

Big news in the last few weeks:

1.  We had our youth fall retreat last weekend at Logan Valley and it was an amazing weekend.  We had such a great time just being together as family and enjoying God’s amazing creation at Logan Valley.  It is simply gorgeous there.  Even more, God did some amazing things in all of us and it was a great spiritual retreat for all of us.

2. My nephew continues to secure his place as the cutest two-year-old in America.:) He is at a fun age and I’m enjoying playing with him and communicating with him.

3. The church that I work for was officially kicked out of the Missouri Baptist Convention for being "bad" Baptists.  Specifically, the MBC passed a resolution last year that all members of the MBC must be singlely-aligned with the MBC/SBC.  My church is not and even if we were, we believe strongly – as Baptists historically have – in local church autonomy.  The MBC works for the churches – we don’t work for them. So, after several years of grieving and conflicts, we are no longer MBC/SBC.  And I’m glad.  I disagree strongly and am saddened by so much that has happened in the SBC and the destructive reputation they have given the Baptist denomination and Christianity in general.  So, farewell to those past relationships.  I pray that God will heal and I know that God will bring great things out of this – which God has already done.

4. A major election with election results that were pleasantly surprising.

Otherwise, I’ve just been taking life one day at a time and enjoying God’s faithfulness through it all.  God is the God of Hope and as Advent approaches there isn’t a better season in the Church to remember this truth.

Peace – Melissa

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