Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, Friends!

We’re so grateful for this year.  The highlight was the gift of a summer sabbatical.  Over the three month break, we spent time at HoneyRock in Wisconsin, drove and camped across the country, and slowed way, way down on the beach in Nicaragua.  
We’d love to share some pictures with you. 
June at HoneyRock: sabbatical thoughts :: june
July Road Trip: sabbatical :: july
Augusto en Nicaragua:  sabbatical :: august
Sienna is growing up, devours books, plays soccer, and has a pet rabbit named Trufflehunter.

Isaiah is strong, has been off chemo for over a year, and is gearing up for baseball.
Matthias is learning new words every day and occasionally pauses from his passionate pursuit of large-scale demolition.
May the grace of God and the hope of Resurrection fill your hearts and homes in 2012.
Love, Nathan & Carmen 
At La Vida Education in San Juan de Oriente, Nicaragua

More Than a Little Disturbed

Magi from the east declare, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?  We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

“When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him.”  (Matthew 2)

Why was Jerusalem disturbed?  What had they to lose?

Herod feared for his throne.  But the people?  Why weren’t they celebrating the arrival of the Deliverer long-awaited, the Savior promised by prophets?  Why were they troubled?

Because they had grown comfortable.  And they feared the disturbance of their comfort.

John Chrysostom (4th Century) wrote this:
Although troubled, they nevertheless did not try to understand what was happening.  They did not follow the wise men or even take any particular notice.  To this extent were they both contentious and careless.

Contentious and careless.

They chose annoyance over adoration.  Disdain over devotion.

Don’t disrupt the status quo, Jesus.  We like it as it is.  We prefer bondage to a police state which tells us what to think/buy/feel.  Don’t mess with our comfort, Jesus.

Worship is too high a price to pay for freedom.

Learn to Slow Time this Christmas

There probably isn’t a week in the year that’s more important to make time for God than the week before Christmas.  After all, this is the week we celebrate God coming to “be with us.” 
And yet there probably isn’t a week in the year that’s more difficult to find time for God. 
In her book, One Thousand Gifts, Ann Voscamp puts it this way, “God gives us time.  And who has time for God?  Which makes no sense.”
This Sunday I’ll teach our community how to have more time.  This is not a time management sermon, it’s a spirituality of time sermon.  I’ll talk about the element of time we cannot control (no matter how hard we try) and the one part we can.  I’ll share a Biblical view of the relationship between the significance of time and the significance of things.  And I’ll share several practical ideas for slowing down time in your life this week, one of which we’ll practice together.   
You need to be at Emmaus Church in Lincoln this Sunday.  In fact, you don’t have time to miss it.  

Grandma D

What would be a good day to die
(if you could choose these sorts of things)?

You might die on a Tuesday
Under August’s sun
At summer’s blurry end.

Marching time would kick-up the dust and
We’d remember it was warm
That day when the phone rang –
Sweaty hands –
Light on the floor beneath our feet.
We’d forget the day like words that
Sting then fly away.

Or, you could die on Thanksgiving Morning
Your place already set
At the table near rolls still rising.

Everyone gathered for the feast to come
With grateful hearts
Plates high with hope
We’d cheer for Resurrection
Savor life more slowly this time
Listen to the children playing castles of deliverance
Brides pursued and rescued home and welcomed to the banquet.

Grandma D
9/15/1922 – 11/24/2011