Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Whether you’re reading this with your morning coffee right on Christmas Eve, or whether you’re reading it a little later, given the oft’times business of the day before Christmas, let me say Merry Christmas or, as we say in France…

Joyeux Noël!

 

Youth Christmas in Bordeaux

2016_12_24_bdxMany of you were reading last week’s post while we were driving down to Bordeaux for services there. It was a great weekend!

Saturday night, the youth had put together a Christmas concert that was extremely well done!  A group of youth had also come down from the Paris region to take part and I brought a short devotion on the subject of Jesus as the light of the world.

Looking back at creation, light was the first thing that he created. It banished the darkness and began a process where order came out of disorder. Isaiah, speaking about the coming Messiah said that “out of the darkness the people would see a great light.” Matthew associated that prophecy with Jesus who referred to himself as the light of the world (John 8.12). Jesus is still in the business of “chasing away the darkness” in our lives and bringing order out of our personal chaos.

2016_12_24Following the concert, they served hot chocolate in the church yard and had a place to roast marshmallows (something relatively novel for the French). They were glad to be huddled around a fire-pit!

Sunday morning I shared the pulpit with a fine christian young man from the Melun church, Mathieu Dunys. Pray that God raises up more young people of his calibre… he’s already begun!

 

Canadian Tartan & a Chocolate Lab

seeing-eye dog, guide dog, labrador retriever, chocolate labYou may have seen me wear this Canadian Tartan jacket before. My maternal grandfather wore it as part a curling team uniform years ago. I don’t wear it often, but it feels as Christmasy as it does patriotic. I wore it in Bordeaux.

A blind brother in the church arrived shortly after worship had begun with his seeing-eye dog, a chocolate labrador retriever. Unexpectedly, I found myself emotional.

Here I was wearing my maternal grandfather’s jacket and this man walks in with a chocolate lab…  my paternal grandfather raised labs (yellow, black & chocolate) for as long as I can remember and I grew up surrounded by them. It was like a warm hug from the Lord.

Getting Ready for Christmas

2016_12_24_cookiesThe balance of the week was spent getting ready for Christmas. Liz has balanced her time with some homework help and a TON of baking (peanut butter blossoms, pressed cookies, sugar cookies, a lemon pie and pumpkin pies) not to mention getting things ready for Christmas dinner tomorrow.

Christmas Dinner Factoid: Did you know that Christmas is the only time of year that grocery stores carry whole turkeys in stock?  …it’s possible to get turkey “parts” during the year (breasts, drumsticks, etc.) but not whole birds. So we usually get several and freeze them for other holidays.

Also… cranberry sauce is hard to come by here… and egg-nog!
(all of a sudden I’m getting both hungry and nostalgic!)

 

NEW: Short Term Missions Mondays

In the new year, watch for a series of posts that I’ll publish once or twice each month on the theme of short term missions (STM). My weekly posts relate our personal experience of STM here in France, but since I’m absolutely sold on STM involvement by as many as are able, I want to publish articles of a broader scope periodically. The first post will magically appear on Monday, January 2.

Again…. Joyeux Noël, to you and your family.
God bless you today!

 

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