Just in case you don’t already speak French (there’s always time to learn 🙂 ), “Bonne Année” is the French way to say “Happy New Year” and since the birch leaves surrounding this street lamp reminded me of fireworks… this photo seemed like a logical choice to accompany our New Year’s wishes to you.
Christmas at Church
Although we decided to change things up and have an afternoon service this year, our day started early.
We’d been down to the church both Friday and Saturday, to decorate and get most things set up but (a) there are always last-minute things and (b) Mike had a few people to pick up in order for them to be able to get to church.
Different folks from the church family participated, either with music, a song or a reading and I spoke on the HOPE that we have in Christ.
There were 7 first time visitors there and one who had been there twice before. It was a blessing all ’round.
The mom of the two girls in the picture with Sophie, friends from school, was emotional following the service and said “Your family is a miracle for us.” The proof that small gestures, when offered up to the Lord, make a bigger impact than we sometimes imagine.
Our Christmas Day
This was our first Christmas together with gramma in four years.
The boys tried to stay up all night and crashed around 4:30, which meant we started opening gifts somewhere in the vicinity of 10:30 – a late start for us!
Given the quite warm 12+ degree (celcius) weather and blue sky, we opted for a Christmas Day walk to enjoy the outdoors and make room for the turkey that would soon follow.
The day finished up watching the annual Christmas Day address by Queen Elizabeth and a hallmark movie – an exercise in contrasts, I know. 🙂
Liz is “just this far away” from finishing her latest translation project, the book “Spiritual Disciplines”. The translation is done and in the next day or two she will have finished entering the final edits.
It has involved long days and late nights and though it might not be immediately clear from the photo… this is how she fell asleep earlier this week. She’s incredible.
For someone who loves both France and castles, it’s special to know that there’s a castle here with our name on it.
In the Somme Valley, of the Picardy region, lies a small little village named “Long”… and in the village, a castle.
The Chateau de Long
If you’re familiar with 1st world war history, you’ll remember the battle of the Somme – a place of substantial loss of life.
We couldn’t go in because it was closed for the season and the day was drawing on (we were on our way to visit Liz’s parents in Belgium). So we’ll leave the inside for another visit.
We laughed at the thought, though, that if we lived there, we’d be the “The Longs of Long” (where you can find the church of Long and, of course, Long Castle).
Happy New Year!
I’m going to leave you there for today.
Please do two things for us:
- Pray for some of the follow-up opportunities that will come out of those who visited our church for the first time.
- Remember that, as was the case with us and Mrs. Nulis, your consistent, small words and gestures, dedicated to the Lord and offered at his leading, can have a greater impact than you think… so in the words of Nike… “Just do it!”
God bless you and Happy New Year!