Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this : to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. -James 1:27

Monday, December 22, 2008

My favorite Christmas Carol

I have never really thought about which carol was my favorite until about 3 years ago, when I sang this one while reading the words I was singing. Since then, it has become my favorite. I invite you to turn on your favorite version of this song on your computer as you read the words that speak so truly of the meaning of the season.

Oh Holy Night

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

I also was surprised this morning when the sermon at Austin Stone Community Church used this song as a basis and further explained the greatness of the verse "And in His name all oppression shall cease." (the sermons are available on podcasts or on the website if you are interested). So, all this to say, that truly Jesus is the reason for the season and I continue to have my eyes opened to the wonder, grace, and greatness of what my Savior means and did for me! Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ghetto Thugs...

Bag ......................................................................... $5
Journal .................................................................... $10
Blockbuster rental ..................................................... $5.56
Bible ....................................................................... $25
Ghetto thugs breaking into the car
and stealing all my support letters
and prayer cards .................................................. priceless

Yes, it is true. I was in Houston this weekend and someone broke the window of the car and stole the bag with my prayer cards and thank you/support letters. SO lame. And that is all they got. There was nothing else valuable in the car, and I know this stuff is not valuable to anyone but me. BUT I am sure they were very surprised (and dissapointed) when, instead of a bag to earthly treasures, they found the Bible and all my secrets (in my journal). Hopefully the Lord will use it to change their hearts and draw them closer to Him.

SO... to all my family and friends outside of MBC... there has been a minor delay, but your letters are coming.

Other than that, I had a great visit in Houston.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I like to think I am becoming an amature photographer...

I just got my "fancy camera" back from being cleaned and I was very eager today, while the weather was not too cold, to get out on the streets of Austin and take some photos. I really like taking shots of people, but still feel a bit shy and intrusive blatently taking their photo. So i have this technique of holding the camera at my waist, pointing it at the person I want to photograph, and then pretening like I am looking somewhere else as I blindly snap the shot. Needless to say this is not the most effective method. But i did realize a trick that i can take more "artsy" photos by purposely tilting the camera a bit, which corrects the unintentional tilt that normally happens by making the tilt intentional. Ok... so here is what i got today.
One stop I made was at the Capital.

This is where the legislation meets.

And while I was there, there was a group dressed up singing Christmas carole's so of course I sat on a bench and listened. What a delight.

Now for other sights in Austin...

The Hike and Bike trail is my absolute favorite part of Austin!!

At Mayfield Park

I had fun playing with my fish-eye lense. Unfortunately my photo-shoot got cut short because I had to go to an appointment. But there are many more great sights of Austin to capture and I hope to do that soon.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Wow. December first all ready! I really can't believe that. Time does fly so fast.

Well, I had a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving. Monica and I started the day with a 5 mile run. We did the Turkey trot with about 12,000 other Austinites. It was fun. The day before, Monica invited me to come with her to a friends because we were all tie-dying tshirts for the race. The morning of, we met up together but quickly got seperated as some wanted to run and others wanted to walk. I was the only one that ended up running the whole way (time was 53 min, which included time to stop and visit a family that I knew that was also doing the race).

We had Janece's side of the family over to our house and had all the Thanksgiving works. I was definitely grateful that I was not in charge of all the cooking this year. So, I ate way too much but enjoyed every bite. We even had a little presentation time, where my cousin gave his school speech about is ancestry to us. It was very cool because he was named after his great-uncle who was killed in the line of duty as a soldier (way back when) and so part of the presentation included old war letters that were written home. I guess I have never heard any letters about someone I was somehow connected with. I personally was able to relate and I liked that. I also was able to show the DVD I made about my time in Uganda. It was probably the 20th time that I have watched it, but I still have a huge smile on my face as I see the kids at LCH. I just can't help but grin.

Then Janece and I ventured out on Black Friday and made a full day of shopping. Who knew I could last so long in so many stores (about 8 total). But we successfully found all the decor needed for our bare kitchen walls.

I was trying to document some things in my journal last night and I was amazed at how many formal opportunities the Lord has allowed me to boast in His name already. And there are only more to come. I have never felt like much of a public speaker, but I guess it makes all the difference if you are passionate about what you are speaking on.

This week I am car-less, but I have much preparations to do for my upcoming garage sale. Yep, well it is more like a warehouse sale, but not with my stuff. The Flacks have donated a whole warehouse full of stuff for me to sell so I am very eager to see how much I will be able to add to my support money.

I am still in touch with Glenn over in Uganda and he tells me that everything is going well. The kids are in their final week of school for this school year (their school year begins in Feb and they have 3 terms). So, they are taking exams and eager for their upcoming, long holiday. I think about the kids everyday but don't miss them as much as the last time I was in the states because I know that I will see them again soon. They are so sweet and that will be a great reunion.

Well, nothing more is really happening.