Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas

From Kansas City

May it be filled with magic

And Love

And Fun

and the baby born in a manger
Christ the LORD
Emmanuel-God IS with us.

Blessings and Merry Christmas from my family to yours,

Monday, December 19, 2011

My Manger Heart

This is probably the craziest week of the year for most of us.

Families, shopping, Christmas programs, Church, baking and everything else life throws our way.

As I found myself caught up in the chaos this weekend, I found myself pondering once again the question,

"Why a Manger? Why a dirty bed of hay?"

I've known the story of Jesus birth since I was a small child. Chances are you could recite the story just as well.

But over the years I've found myself pondering different aspects of that history changing night.
I'll never forget the first Christmas that I was a mother trying to wrap my head around what Mary went through in that stable. . so young. . .how did she do it. . .looking into my babies face and wondering how she looked at her baby and her Savior . . .was she as terrified as I was that she would do something wrong and break him?

But this year I've found myself think on the manger. ..a feeding trough for dirty stinky animals. Filled with hay. . .Have you ever smelled hay? Let's just say they aren't making a candle in that fragrance.

Yesterday as we watched a "Living Nativity", I found myself again thinking, "of all the places in the world, in Bethlehem, why that dirty, fifthly place?"

The answer that kept coming back to my heart was this, "Why not there? I came to dwell in your heart which was much more fifthly ."

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

Not that I don't know my heart can be black and cold and fifthly.

But, that in my desperate wondering of "Why, Why Why would you let your precious son be laid in such a vile and disgusting place?!", I am reminded once again that He came for the whole world and for me-me and my dirty heart.  That the manger of 2000 Christmas's ago would not be the dirtiest or ugliest place He would dwell. But, the heart of men and women who put their trust in and chose to follow Him.

Emmanuel. God with us.  With us in the cold, dark, dirty reaches of heart- not so we'll stay there in the dark, but so that we can walk in the Light.

Thank You for coming into a world that would only offer you a bed of hay. Thank you for reminding me that I am no better.

Thank you for changing that dirty, vile place of my heart and making it clean as only you can.
Thursday, December 8, 2011

Christmas With A Cause

 Nineteen or so months ago, our precious friends boarded a plane bound for Ghana Africa.
Their plan was to work in the Baptist Medical Center.
God's plan, as always, was so much greater.
The lives they  have touched will probably never be able to be measured until heaven.

One of the discoveries they made upon arrival was that in their little town was an Orphanage.
Because of the difficult economic times, the church run orphanage had seen much neglect.
Instead of blaming denominations, Wendy and Greg rolled up their sleeves and got to work.

They began a chicken farm, for food and income (selling the eggs). Meeting the children's nutritional needs but also to enroll them in the local school.
The schools there all cost money and the children must wear uniforms.
It was happy day when we saw the pictures of 18 children who had never been in school before, dressed in their uniforms and walking to school. God has done miracle after miracle in this place.

Wendy and Greg are back in the States now, but their heart for missions and these precious children has not been moved.

Here's the part where YOU come in.  Wendy's sister Misty is selling OH SO YUMMY cinnamon rolls to continue to raise funds for these kiddos to get an education.
ALL proceeds go to the children!

Here are the details:

NAUGHTY CINNAMON ROLLS: Made with real butter, organic milk, organic evaporated cane juice, top of the line unbleached flour, these rolls make your taste buds stop in their tracks and say, OH. DEAR. ME. Traditional in nature and with a light vanilla glaze, these are sure to be a hit with the entire family! (or buy a pan and deliver to your neighbors!) Your rolls will be presented to you FROZEN with simple baking instructions.  Prices listed below.

NICE CINNAMON ROLLS:  While these rolls might be a tad heavier on the wallet, they will be much lighter on the hips.  Don't let the whole wheat flour and natural alternatives to refined sugar fool you...these rolls are still loaded with great taste while being packed with nutrition. "Bad" fats are replaced with "good" fats and refined sugar is completely taken out (with the exception of the light maple glaze) and replaced with natural sweeteners such as honey, sucanat, and maple syrup. Good, clean, wholesome ingredients.  Who knew cinnamon rolls could actually be nutritious?  For once, you can eat that cinnamon roll and not feel guilty! Your rolls will be presented to you FROZEN with simple baking instructions.  Prices listed below.

PRICE LIST: *glaze is included in all prices

1 pan (7-8 rolls) NAUGHTY Rolls: $6.00 FYI: I say 7-8 because it depends on how thick I cut the rolls.  Sometimes I can squeeze in 8 and other times 7 is all I can get in a pan. 
2 pans (14-16 rolls) NAUGHTY Rolls: $11.00
3 pans (22-24 rolls) NAUGHTY Rolls: $16.00
4 pans or more, contact me for prices.

1 pan (7-8 rolls) NICE Rolls: $8.00
2 pans (14-16 rolls) NICE rolls: $15.00
3 pans (22-24 rolls) NICE rolls: $22.00
4 pans or more, contact me for prices.

Will YOU help?  

Here's the extra bonus.  If you live in the 50 mile radius of Kansas City I will deliver your rolls.

If you don't but still want to help, the first 5 people to become a follower of the blog (and leave a comment telling me they did, I will donate a pan in your name.)

How do you order? Email

What a great way to get your kids involved in keeping the focus on the least of these during this Christmas season.
Praying you'll help!


**Edited to say that you have until next Tuesday to order. Misty has received FIFTY orders already!! How awesome is that??

Monday, December 5, 2011

If you're feeling Blue

May the Magic and Wonder  of the Season surround  you
May you always have a little person in your life that melts  your heart.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Light and Dark

When the news began to unfold in the Penn State child abuse scandal I have to say that at first, I didn't pay a whole lot of attention.

It was far away from me, concerning people I didn't know and frankly I didn't want to think about.

Then as more and more details emerged, I could no longer hide my head in the sand.

What I read and heard angered, saddened and sickened me.

Who could do that for so many years?

Who could basically condone that by covering it up at worst and just ignoring it at best?

I wept. I yelled at the TV. I prayed for the children.

Then the news began coming out of Syracuse.

Not Again.

Not Again.

Of all the many thoughts running through my head, one that I kept coming back to is "Well, they don't have Jesus. The reaction of a Christian institution would be different."

This week I was made aware of story coming of the Christian University that I attended that has made me physically sick to my stomach.

I won't go into all the details-which are to numerous to list here. But the just of the story is that they are re instating to their board of directors a pastor, who back in the 90's when a young girl had come to him that was pregnant because of rape by a much older man who was also a church  member , made HER apologize in front the congregation.  He also had the man apologize for an 'affair' never mentioning to the congregation that this man was the father of the victims child.
Did not call the police. Did not turn this man in.
Years later the victim found the courage to step forward, and long story short the man is now in jail for the rape of a minor.

The Pastor insist he did nothing wrong. Has never apologized to the victim.

And yet a school that is EXTREMELY  focused on what Christians do on the outside: dress, music, movies, alcohol, has re appointed someone who helped a  rapist essentially cover up his crime.

I heard about this through facebook and a petition that is being propelled forward by current students.
They are planning a protest on Dec 12.
I applaud their courage. Make no doubt, it comes at great risk for them. This is an institution that does not like to be questioned and labels put upon those questioning are hard to shake off once applied.

But, all of that is not why I'm writing today.

Why I am writing is to tell you about the deep dark hole I found myself after reading the case.
Then realizing that people I genuinely care about  and have known most of my life, are still supporting this institution by not calling on them to do the right thing and remove this man from the Board.

I was sickened. sad. outraged.

Are we no better?!

No. In many cases we (I) are not.

I found myself in tears and praying for all involved. Sad just so very discouraged and sad.

When the Lord brought these verses to mind:

John 1:1-5

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

The Light shines in the darkness. . .

Darkness has NOT overcome.

I have come back to those words throughout the week.

The Light is here-even when it seems dark. Jesus has not gone anywhere.

Even when we laud our standards and proclaim our righteousness, yet act no better than the world. . .
The Light is here.
Darkness will not overcome.

Maybe for different reasons than mine, you need to hear that today.

Whatever pain or turmoil you're find yourself in today, rest assured that Jesus, the Light of the World is here. People make mistakes. 
Jesus never does.
He was with God in the beginning, He is with Him now. He's never changed.
And He will overcome the darkness.

*I've tried to be very careful not to mention names of the University or people involved. Not out of respect for them, but for those reading who I care about still affiliated with the University and it's church supporters.
Know that this was not written out of any hate. I would urge you to pray about speaking out to those you know in a position to remove this man who covered up such a wrong. Let's show the world that we are a different-not just in words or superficial things but when it matters most.*