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Two of our friends, Mike & Holly, will be getting married tonite!  They met in our young adult group and now are tying the knot!  I'll be joining a few people in playing a song during the ceremony.  We're doing the dc talk song Godsend.  Should be a fun wedding.

Jordan's in town

Our friend Jordan (if you wanna see some amazing pictures and read about some awesome missionary journies check out his Xanga site) is coming to town for a few days.  He's been traveling the world as a YWAM missionary.  Can't wait to catch up with him!

Trying out Qumana

I'm testing out the blog editor Qumana. I've read some good reviews of it, so I figured it's worth a try.  I usually use either the Blogger for Word plug in or just go log in and post like regular.  Maybe this will help me to not fiddle with my template too much and just stick to blogging.  We'll see.
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Nickel Creek

Got the new Nickel Creek album Why Should the Fire Die? for Christmas and I’m really digging it.  Listening to it right now at work.  It’s really a nice blend of acoustic music.  And it doesn’t seem to get redundant and boring which is easy for acoustic only music to do.

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Merry Christmas!

(a shot of Downtown Dover lit up for the Holidays)

Though its a day late, Merry Christmas! We had a wonderful day of celebrating with friends and family.

First, we woke up and did our thing here. Read the Christmas story, took a moment of silent reflection, said a prayer, ate breakfast, and exchanged gifts. Since it was still pretty early, we decided to go over to my parents place to give them their gift (an outdoor firepit).

Then it was off to worship with our church f
amily. Despite the national controversary of some churches closing on Christmas day, ours was open and it was quite full. We also gathered the night before for a candlelit worship, which had even more people (which is usual). Here's a pic:

Next, we headed to Rachel's family's to have dinner and exchange gifts with them. After stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, etc. we put on a movie (Polar Express) and half of us fell asleep on the couch.

The last stop of the day was my parents house, at which we did more eating and gift exhanging! Here we feasted on lasagna, meatballs, garlic bread, etc. Later in the evening we watched an old family favorite that, for a few years, had been lost (it was originally a tv special that we recorded back in the days of VHS but only this year found on DVD), Claymation Christmas.

Finally, Rachel and I headed home after a long but enjoyable day. Though Christmas is usually busy for us, being able to spend time with family and friends is one of the best parts.

God With Us: Immanuel

The Christmas season brings to the minds of many the birth of Jesus. However, most probably don't think to much past the classic Christmas story (complete with angels, shepherds, wise men, barn animals, etc.). Jesus being born was one of if not the most pivotal point in the history of humanity.

Matthew 1:23 "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"—which means, "God with us."
This birth was unlike any other. At this moment, God came to Earth to be "with us."

But, why? Why would God want to come to be with us?

Perhaps it reveals something about the nature of the relationship between God and humans. This idea blows away, in my opinion, any notion that God is a far off being, sitting back just watching the world spin aimlessly, unconcerned with its inhabitants. The Creator evidently wants to be involved in the creation.

That God himself would want to be with His creation, also gives us a glimpse into the value of mankind in God's eyes. We are important enough to Him that he would take on the form of one of us so that there could be restoration made to the relationship.

And this idea of "God with us" is not applied to the moment of Jesus' birth, but to the entire history and future of mankind. God's desire is to be with us. Indeed, His ultimate intention is for an enternal relationship.

Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God."
May the true message of Christmas, that God has initiated a grand relationship by coming to be "with us", shine through all the celebration, gift giving, and holiday craziness.

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Now this is a snowman!!

Oh, us crazy Christians.

Why does it seem that so many otherwise well intentioned believers act as if the boycotting of certain companies for their various "non-Christian" behavior is the 11th commandment or rather, part of Jesus' sermon on the mount?

The holiday boycotts seem to have kicked into full throttle with the Christmas season now upon us. The American Family Association led the way by calling for a boycott of Target and then put the pressure on Lowe's after the store started calling their Christmas trees "Holiday Trees."

I have to ask, what is the purpose of this? Is there a belief that we can strong arm society into believing what we believe? Is the Kingdom of God advanced by Lowe's calling evergreen trees "Christmas Trees" instead of "Holiday Trees"? And what does all this frivolous boycotting reveal about what truly matters to us? I mean when was the last time you heard of a boycott of the crass commercialism that has too often become Christmas? Hey, as long as they call it Christmas I guess.

There is a time and place for effective boycotting. Say, your local grocer starts carrying porn, perhaps a time to say, "Hey, I don't really want to see this stuff every time I buy milk, so until it's gone, I'll be going down the street."

And if we think about it, why would we expect a secular (owned and operated by a non-religious person or group) to operate in a Christian way? It doesn't really make sense to have that type of expectation. If a church starting saying, "We're not going to call it Christmas this year because we don't want to offend anyone," then we have a problem. But a business that is trying to make as much money as possible is going to want to appeal to AS MANY PEOPLE AS POSSIBLE.

Author John Fischer expresses his thoughts on all this in an article for Moody Magazine and the November 28th Relevant Magazine Podcast touched on the topic as well. So I know that its not just me pondering these things.

Perhaps, maybe, just maybe, we Christians could quite the politicing and the vying for power and influence and just start spreading the love of God and the redeeming message of the Gospel. I believe that these actions will have far greater impact on the world than any boycott ever could.

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A Decade of Love

On this day, 10 years ago, I began a journey in love that has brought me much joy.  I love you Rachel!  I know that the journey has really only just begun.

A New Humanity: Ephesians 2:15

"He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace." - Ephesianns 2:15
As I read this verse from the Apostle Paul, I thought of John Lennon's songs Imagine. This song is loved by many, as its message of peace rings true with those tired of war and unrest in an evil world. However, Lennons dream, in light of Paul's words, falls far short. We all long for a world of peace. Peace in our hearts and peace among others. But, it can't come by our own effort. A world of peace is also God's desire for his creation, and he sent Jesus in order to accomplish this lofty goal. Jesus is the only one capable of creating true peace and only when we come to him can we become a part of the "new humanity" that he is building. Imagine that! A world living at peace with one another and most importantly at peace with God.

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Cola Coffee?

The Coca Cola company has decided to enter the coffee market with their new Coca Cola Blak.

As a coffee addict, er I mean enjoyer of coffee, I'm not too sure about this one. I'll try it though when it comes to America. I doubt it will ever replace that nice hot cup of dark roast though.

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Snow to Slush

Oh how quickly it turns from beautiful snow to wet slush.  Yesterday, a nice dusting of fluffy whiteness.  Today, it’s like someone spilled a giant 7-11 slushy all over the place.  Oh well, that’s winter.

From Terrorist to Christian

Heard this guy on the radio. It is really amazing. He used to be a PLO terrorist, converted to Christianity, and now speaks out against terrorism and hatred. Awesome!