Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas 2007

As the memories of Christmas 2007 begin to fade...

Do NOT take this picture to mean that I am fading fast. Hmmm, maybe it's a Freudian slip? I'll get back to you on that one!

Sorry I have been slack in my blog again, but the past several weeks have been just too packed with stuff that just got in the way of my bloggin'! Since I have been SO slack in sending out Christmas cards (here after referred to as New Year cards!...and they may even become post-Valentine Day cards!), here is my Christmas letter...(which some of you "may" get a hard copy of..."maybe")...

Dear Everyone,

I will never forget 2007. It was a year filled with firsts:
  • My 50th birthday
  • My 20th anniversary as a staff member
  • My 15th anniversary as pastor
  • My church's first "off-campus" revival at a local farm
  • My church's first Chrismon tree
  • My church's first collegiate World Changers team
  • My first prayer at a ribbon cutting for a new grocery store
  • My first dedication of a tree on Arbor Day for a friend
  • My church's first Thanksgiving lunch for the community with other local churches
  • My first attendance at an International Mission Board commissioning service in Richmond, VA., for Ricky and Niki Cook and family who are serving in Zambia for two years. Ricky and Niki were teenagers when I first arrived in Denmark.

On the sadder side:
  • I officiated or assisted in eighteen funerals, a personal record.
  • In March, my family had to say good-bye to Tom, our Golden Retriever (brother to my Dave), who brought us much joy in his too-short eleven years with us.
  • The Thursday before Christmas I officiated at the funeral for a two and a half month old precious little girl named Samantha, whose parents, grandmother, aunt and uncle are all members of the church. It was very unexpected, sad, and overwhelming, but God was very faithful to the family and me as we got through this horrible week. It really put Christmas in perspective, reminding me that even in the original Christmas story (Matthew 2) there was death and tragedy with the slaughter of the innocents at Herod's command. The real message of Christmas - that the world is very dangerous, often unfair, and tragedy can occur at any minute, BUT it was into this mess that God entered in through Christ to BE WITH US. That truth has never been driven home to me as vividly as it has this week.

Sorry this is late, but December has been filled with "ministerial opportunities" that put me even more behind than usual. I hope you all had a very meaningful Christmas. If you want a new twist on Christmas next year, you might want to check out

It's all about having a more spiritual (and biblical) Christmas. Did you know that it is estimated that this year we will spend 480 BILLION on Christmas retail shopping; three billion on our pets' presents alone! Over a thousand churches are attempting to reign in our tendency to "over-participate" in the consumerism of Christmas by joining the "advent conspiracy" this year. Their approach is simple: WORSHIP MORE, SPEND LESS, GIVE MORE (in relational gifts to those you know and more money to the poor in the money you save from shopping less), and LOVE ALL. I have found their approach innovative, challenging, and even a bit uncomfortable. Then again, that first Christmas was anything but comfortable for anyone, yet in it the greatest gift given to man was being born.

Go to my blog: for more updates (oops, you're already at my blog aren't you!?), though, at times, they may be slow in coming! Sorry this is so late, but that's typical, isn't it! Happy Christ's Birthday and Happy New Year!

In Him,
Back to my blog: Thank you all for your patience. I do hope and pray you all have a significant 2008.

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