Tuesday, December 8, 2009

This is a little cheesy...but it gets better at the end.

I love our church.  James and I have been going there since before we even got engaged, and some of the people we've had the blessing of sharing life with over the past 5 1/2 years have become closer to my heart than I ever dreamed.  They really are our family.  I'm not saying everyone at our church is perfect or that we never disappoint each other or have conflict.  People are people.  We're sinful and we can't help but disappoint each other sometimes, but for the most part, I know the people that have invested in us at our church really love us and pray for us...and I feel so blessed to be a part of that. 

Our church has been without a pastor for about a year and a half now, and this past Sunday was our new pastor's first Sunday.  We had a luncheon in the gym to celebrate after the service, and during it I was so intrigued watching Hunter interact with his friends.  His friend, Ronnie, was sitting next to him, and as they were playfully sword fighting with their forks and laughing their heads off with each other, I felt giddy as I thought about all of the little boys in Hunter's class that he'll grow and mature with...and of course as soon as I dried the tears from my eyes, and put the weapons away, I pulled out the camera so I'd never forget the moment...

I eventually took Hunter out into the hall because he was growing increasingly resltess and loud by the minute.  Once we got out there, he saw another friend with his siblings in the hall.  They were all so inviting of him and once again my son was running around laughing his head off.  (Believe me, I so wanted to document those moments too, but since having children, high heels and running don't mix so I was having a hard time keeping up...)  Those kids treated him like he was part of their family, because the truth is, he is.  It made my heart so happy. 

This Saturday night we'll be in that same gym for our church's annual Night In Bethlehem.  We set up lots of "shops" in the gym so you feel like you are in the middle of the Jewish culture in Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth. 

Last year, Hunter loved the Abraham's Kickin' Chicken booth, and he obviously enjoyed the bread too...

He did not love the head wrapping or dressing or whatever you call it, but I'm thinking this year he'll see how "so cool" it really is and just go with it...

We also have live animals out front...

Maybe this year we'll splurge for a two-hump camel.  Come on.  You know you can't resist a two-hump camel.

We also have a live nativity in the amphitheater where some very talented members will do a little 10ish minute dialogue as Mary and Joseph...unless you come from 4-5, and then your actors will not be very talented...I tried to get them to let me sing the lines, but they weren't going for that.  Now if you come the second hour, then you'll be in for a real treat because those two are a really convincing Mary and Joseph.  I think her lapse in blogging is actually because she's been preparing for this very night.

Hope to see you there! 

Oh!  I almost forgot.  My friend, Velma (who used to go to church with us but left us to go to church in the Valley...we won't blame her since her husband is the pastor there now), shared these verses on her blog and I completely copied them because I loved the idea so much, so I thought I'd share with y'all...

God made it possible for Mary to be pregnant. Matthew 1:18
An angel talked to Joseph about the birth. Matthew 1:20
The angel said that Mary’s special son will save us from our sins. Matthew 1:21
God had already said that his Son would come in this way. Matthew 1:22–23
Joseph would care for Mary while she was pregnant. Matthew 1:24–25
It was time to register for the population census. Luke 2:1–2
God had promised that Bethlehem would be Jesus’ birthplace. Micah 5:2
Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be registered. Luke 2:3–5
Mary gave birth to baby Jesus in a stable. Luke 2:6–7
An angel surprised some shepherds. Luke 2:8–9
“Good news” was announced about a baby who would be a Savior. Luke 2:10–12
Lots of angels joined in praising God! Luke 2:13–14
The shepherds got excited about finding the baby. Luke 2:15
The shepherds visited the special baby. Luke 2:16–17
Everyone was amazed at the baby boy! Luke 2:18–20
The baby was named Jesus. Luke 2:21
The wise men followed a star, looking for Jesus. Matthew 2:1–2
King Herod got concerned when he heard about Jesus. Matthew 2:3–4
The Old Testament had already told about the town of Jesus’ birth. Matthew 2:5–6
King Herod came up with a plan to find Jesus. Matthew 2:7–8
The wise men again found the guiding star. Matthew 2:9–10
The wise men met Mary and Jesus. Matthew 2:11
God warned the wise men to avoid King Herod. Matthew 2:12
Jesus came so we can become children of God! Galatians 4:4–5
Jesus grew up to die on the cross so we can have never-ending life with God! John 3:16–17

There are 25 so you can read one per night with your kids from December 1st until Christmas.  And if you're thinking it's too late to start, don't!  We just started tonight and read days one through eight in one night.  Then we prayed for all of the families who've sent Christmas cards to us.  I'm not gonna lie.  Stole that idea from Velma too:)  Wonder who'll we'll pray for tomorrow night?  You know you want it to be you, so go ahead and send us that Christmas card...it's the highlight of our day:)

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