Friday, December 19, 2008

It's Christmas - Part Two

Though posted together... these were DAYS apart. :) So read the one below me first!

It took a while… but I am there. I knew eventually that I would miss writing and need to come back to it. I knew eventually that journaling would no longer be enough for me. Something in me needs to share what God shares with me.

It’s been an incredible year for me. Every year I name my year. I pray about it for December and into January. Usually by New Year’s Eve I have it pegged. Last year - 2008 - was the year of Faithfulness, Forgiveness, and Freedom. As He always does, God has lived up to His promise. There have been so many ways that God’s has shown Himself faithful that I cannot even begin to put them into this post. I sometimes really do feel like the Israelites because I can forget God’s faithfulness easily when things aren’t going as I think they should.

Earlier this week I hit a point of desperation with Christmas after going into a local store. It was the music and its lack of Christmas’ true meaning that hurt my spirit… I don’t know a better way to say it.

Well today at lunch I needed to go back into there to look for something I thought I had seen. Would you believe it? The very same song was playing. Now here is the cool - when God teaches you something… He likes to affirm it moment! You ready? 

As I was walking around I heard the rest of this “song.” See somehow I dashed out without hitting the end. So I missed the point when the person in the song tells the other person that they have missed what Christmas is really about! I kid… you not!

So what spiritual lesson did Gina learn in the Dollar Store today? When you are at your most desperate point and things look hopeless (hopeless really does describe my outlook earlier this week), remember that God hasn’t finished the story yet!

God is all about second chapters. He even wrote a second testament to follow the first. He’s about second chances. He’s about happy endings. So if you are entering Christmas in a desperate state my reminder to you is that God is Faithful, Forgiving, and all about Freedom.

Off for now.

Have a Merry Christmas (if I don’t write again for a bit I want to make SURE I said it!)

It's Christmas - Part One

Can I be perfectly honest today? I’m fighting some holiday blahs today.

I went into one of our local stores ready to Christmas shop at lunch and was accosted with some holiday tunes. It wasn’t joy to the world or hark the herald or anything like that. One was all about “give me more stuff” then the next one was that plus ten.
I almost had to run out. Christmas is so much joy. In my heart I have the picture of a young girl, probably 20 years younger than I am today, a young man not much older than her. In their arms they hold a baby that will literally change the entire course of history. This realization is huge. It is Emanuel. He is “God with us.” This event is my entire life’s course. Who I am, what I do all comes back to a pivotal moment of Christ coming here.

This is God folks. He came here and lived the same type of life we live. People lied to Him. People hurt Him. People made Him laugh and sing. He stubbed toes… had colds. He experienced rudeness and all the other human stuff that can so get to us.

So today I am fighting this holiday blah… I want so much to hit pause today. I wanted, no needed, to stop and sit here and grab this perspective back. My joy to the world is not going to come in a box this year. And as much as I love so many of you… it’s not coming from you either. Either my joy is coming from the celebration of that event thousands of years ago… and the horror and triumph that followed it years later… either it is, or it isn’t.
And today I caught myself in the isn’t.
So in case you, like me, needed a little reminder I guess I felt the need to take us all back.

Go back to the quiet…the chill in the air… the lowing of cattle or oinking of pigs… see the star… see Mary and Joseph… see the angels and shepherds.
But most importantly… see the baby. He is God - God with us. Years from this moment He will die a cruel death for me… for You. He will raise from the dead and bring us new life.

But tonight, this night in our memory, He is a baby.

This is the beginning so let us remember.

Emmanuel - God with us

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Israel Pictures

Well I am still not to the point that I can really talk here about the trip! Mostly for time... but I wanted to get some pictures out. Here you go!

Valley of Megido - Site of the final battle on earth

With Biff, the stuffed buffalo husband stand-in... :) We're in the "throne" room of some roman ruins.

A picture is worth a thousand words..

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Blogging from Jerusalem

Man how I wish I had my USB cable. :) I'd be uploading pictures for you all right now.
Well here is an update on where I have been so far.
Nope. That would take to much time and i'm paying by the minute! :)
go to for more on that. (one of the pictures you can see me from behind, looking over the valley of Megiddo).

I will say that so far my two most moving deals have been the Sea of Galilee and the Garden of Gethsemene. Honestly it's all too much to process.
But God is so real here you feel like you are back in time to 2000 years ago.
Today we were at the Western (Wailing) Wall and that was also a stark reminder of the past.
Well I'll blog more properly when I am home.
Miss you all!