Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Christmas Week begins

Sunday, December  20, 2015
We start the morning at a wedding. Shera is a friend from movie night. We're happy to cheer her on at the celebration of marriage to her friend Dani.
A young wedding guest
 The bride is stunningly beautiful. The groom is nervous and handsome - our wish is that they love and care for each other all their lives. It's the beginning of a new season for both. We pray God's favor and blessings on them.
Dani and Shera
We stay for an hour but have the honor of attending a second event. We wave goodbye to the bride and groom from the doorway and hop in the car. K is under the weather so she stays with the driver while W and I go into St. Paul's.

We prayed for a couple last year who hadn't been able to have kids. This year, Desmond is thriving under the loving care of his mom, dad, and extended family. Thanks be to God for this miracle boy.

He's being baptized. W and I pray over him along with our other grandkids.
Desmond's baptism
The light of Christ at Christmas
Pascall and Yunni invite us to lunch with their family. What a privilege for us!
Oma K and Desmond
Love this family!
The setting is stunning. Here's the view from our table.

Two loving grandmas and an Oma
We need groceries and a baking supplies for the upcoming week, so we stop at a mall. It's late afternoon when we pull into the driveway. W and I write thank-yous to supporters and partners.

It's so strange to be far from home at Christmas. Some of the routines of the season have followed us.

Today is baking day. Our daughter K's helps. W runs to the store for more eggs and butter. We use up bags of flour (they come in half-kilo size), sugar, and other goodies. By party-time Tuesday, we've made Nanaimo bars, peanut-choco cookies, thumbprint cookies, cream-cheese-frosted brownies, and puff-pastries.

I'm always grateful for experience in baking and cooking at full speed. While our kids grew up at home, I taught piano in the afternoons . I learned to put together meals quickly. That comes in handy here when we have friends over.
Our friend Pauline admires desserts. She made the
gingerbread house; someone else brought the middle cakes
We pause the baking to head out for lunch with K's friend. Beth is a doctor, learning Indonesian in Bandung.
Tip-toe: K towers over many locals 

Then it's back to work. I take a mini-art break: it's our tradition to share an ornament each year. Out come the Sharpees and they're done in 15 minutes. Back to the kitchen!
Star ornaments for 2015
Meanwhile, W takes Gypsy to the local hash run. The rain's held off so it's slippery but not treacherous.
Gypsy loves the trails!
Read more:
*If you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness. Isaiah 58:10 ESV

*Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

Then the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:8-11 NKJV

*Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Philippians 4:5 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Jesus, grant us the gentle strength we need to be steadfast in our compassionate conduct toward the suffering people of this world. May our persistent actions shed light on the plight of the hungry and thirsty, so others may see and act on their behalf. Amen.

C.S. Lewis The Problem of PainThe golden apple of selfhood, thrown among the false gods, became an apple of discord because they scrambled for it. They did not know the first rule of the holy game, which is that every player must by all means touch the ball and then immediately pass it on. To be found with it in your hands is a fault: to cling to it, death. 

But when it flies to and fro among the players too swift for eye to follow, and the great master Himself leads the revelry, giving Himself eternally to His creatures in the generation, and back to Himself in the sacrifice, of the Word, then indeed the eternal dance ‘makes heaven drowsy with the harmony’. All pains and pleasures we have known on earth are early initiations in the movements of that dance: but the dance itself is strictly incomparable with the sufferings of this present time. As we draw nearer to its uncreated rhythm, pain and pleasure sink almost out of sight. 

There is joy in the dance, but it does not exist for the sake of joy. It does not even exist for the sake of good, or of love. It is Love Himself, and Good Himself, and therefore happy. It does not exist for us, but we for it.

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