Tuesday, 29 December 2009

3...2...1...Ready or not, here I come!

This is a holiness table. There is one, in some shape or form, at the front of each Salvation Army chapel. It is a place we can pray. A place where we can aknowledge our sin, our need of holiness. It is a physical representation that reminds us that the Holy God is in our midst and that the whole of our life and service is lived to honor his holiness.

It is NOT a hiding place. Each Sunday my boys wait for me to make my way to the platform above this very table, my husband to be holding his guitar...and they make their break away to run up to the front and play under the table. It's as if they wait for the very moment in each service when they know we will cannot do anything about their misbehavior. They know we will not make a scene from the pulpit, or cause a distraction by correcting them loudly.

Thankfully I know that the Holiness is not the table itself....

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people." 2 Corinthians 6:16

Monday, 21 December 2009

Our Christmas so far, in pictures

We made sugar cookies. It took a couple of batches to figure out the right dough, but we conquered the making-cookies-outside-of-America battle.
We had candles and decorations.

Bram's school concert was wonderful!
He was dressed as a shepherd (Spanish style)
but insisted that he was San Jose. (St. Joseph)

We had the Spanish 'delicacy' of Serrano Ham.

Our church handed out hundreds of bags of food and gifts to our community.

IT SNOWED!!! Almost felt like home.

We made salt dough ornaments.

We visited the City Council of Madrid's official Nativity scene.
It was a set up the entire city of Bethlehem.

...and there's still more to come!

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Another Year, Another Tree

I love Christmas trees. I just l.o.v.e. Christmas trees. I like tall, full, tastefully decorated trees. I love skinny, Charlie Brown trees. I love gaudy trees. I love trees full of homemade decorations. I love Christmas trees.

In our first appointment we arrived to a very large chapel, and a very small tree. I desperately wanted to get a 12 ft. tree to fill the chapel space, but the church lacked the funds to buy one. So I told my husband,"Fine, I'll just ask God for one." And I did.

About a week before Christmas that year a man called to say he wanted to donate his Christmas tree to The Salvation Army. He said he didn't have room for his tree in his new apartment...his 12ft. tree! I told him we'd be there within the hour to pick it up. The tree was falling apart, but I told my husband that we had to put it up the following Christmas because God had got me that tree. So using green bungee cords to hold the top half to the bottom half, we had a beautiful, big tree for the chapel.

This year, our church again has a large chapel but a tiny tree. So, I reminded my husband about God's power over large Christmas trees. And once again someone has offered to give the church their large tree after Christmas!

I once heard a preacher say "If it matters to you, it matters to Him." Ain't that the truth!

Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16:24