Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Velunk az Isten

God with us

At Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus as he entered the human world in a humble setting but with a powerful purpose: to save us. The One True God put himself among us to understand us, to take on our punishment for sin even though he was faultless, to die in our place, and to beat the power of sin and death once for all by rising from death.

And he is victorious today and with us . The events that were determined before the creation of the world and that played out in Bethlehem and Jerusalem are relevant to us today, because--wonder of wonders--God is still with us. He will not abandon us in the midst of our busy lives or shortcomings. Jesus still offers himself as the savior and advocate for you and for me.

Who would make a better advocate than one who has been there and understands? This part of God's character and love is always so special to me; perhaps it is even more significant as I feel separation from many whom I love. Immanuel. Amazing. So, merry Christmas! Celebrate during this festive season and all year through, whether you feel close to God or drifting. Take heart: our God is with us.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Here's to You

You are amazing. Really.

This is a shout out to my dear friends in the States who have been my encouragers, examples, sounding boards, prayer warriors, hosts, package-senders, YouTube-posters, partners in this life and ministry. Daily little moments on the street, in the classroom, or at home will spark countless memories of YOU and your kindness to me. I miss you but am thankful for our friendship that spans the ocean.

This gratitude overwhelms me so often, but I've not expressed it enough. So, today's entry is just for you. THANKS!

Love always,

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Summary

The goal of "20 Days of Gratitude" worked in that it got a few friends and I to be very intentional about giving thanks. I did fail to publish my thoughts each day, but I was thankful nonetheless. Here's a quick summary of the last few days of gratitude:

Day 18: Immanuel--the "with" of God--deserves my awe and certainly my thanks. In Jesus, we can have eternal life. "And this is eternal life: that they may know the one true God and Jesus Christ, whom you sent." John 17:3 As I study the book of Isaiah and the prophecies leading up to the birth of Jesus here on earth, I am again amazed by the God who really knows me and lets me know him.

Day 19: Looking forward with anticipation builds excitement and joy. Kristen and I have been planning our long weekend together for a month now. Today, I just enjoyed the possibility and the looking forward.

Day 20: Skype and webcams made this holiday far from family not so far after all! What a great invention. I'm also thankful for the Langs, Yaikos, McLemores, Custers, and Olsens for sharing Thanksgiving (and all their adorable kids) with me.