Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

We're enjoying our day as a family with a few presents, our traditional Christmas brunch, Handel's Messiah, a Christmas Carol, a visit from our friend, Christine, and later we will join our friends, the Maretzkis, for more Christmas fun and memory making!

We are thanking Jesus for His great rescue today and every day!

...Jesus Christ rescued us from this evil world we're in by offering himself as a sacrifice for our sins. God's plan is that we all experience that rescue. Glory to God forever! Oh, yes! Galatians 1:1

Christmas Blessings!

Thursday, December 24, 2009


We have been thoroughly enjoying this season. Lots of baking, sitting by the Christmas tree, listening to Christmas music, drinking hot chocolate or hot spiced cider or hot cranberry tea while reading our advent book and other favourite Christmas books, watching Christmas movies, and wishing for snow (isn't it crazy that Texas has snow and we do NOT!).

The Lord has been impressing the sweet and powerful message of GOD WITH US on my heart in the past few weeks. It goes along with what He has been teaching me in the last few months about hearing His voice. He is not a god who is made of stone...cold and uninterested. He is not a god who created us but then went to sit in heaven, leaving us to fend for ourselves.

He is our Creator. Lover. Pursuer. Father. Saviour. Redeemer. Friend. Healer. King of Glory. Living Water. Freedom. Strength. Sovereign Lord. Holy One. Shepherd. Teacher. Counselor. Righteousness. Hope. Peace. Life.

I am His child and I know His voice (John 10). He speaks to me.

He is WITH me.

God has been with us from the beginning, as evidenced so many places in Scripture...

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day... Genesis 3:8

That night the Lord appeared to him [Isaac] and said: "I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham." Genesis 26:24

The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks with his friend. Exodus 33:11

The Lord your God has blessed you in all the work of your hands. He has watched over your journey through this vast desert. These forty years the Lord your God has been with you, and you have not lacked anything. Deuteronomy 2:7

Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

Saul was afraid of David, because the Lord was with David but had left Saul. 1 Samuel 18:12

Nathan replied to David, "Whatever you have in mind, do it, for God is with you." 2 Chronicles 17:2

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17

"...And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: "Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city." Acts 18:9-10

And He will be with us until forever...

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Revelation 21:3-4

And what we focus on, especially, during this season...

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.

But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel -- which means, "God with us." Matthew 1:18-23

God came down to us. Jesus, fully God, humbled Himself, put skin on and became a Baby. To save us.
Father, thank You for Your presence in my life. Thank You for Immanuel and for being for me and with me. Thank You for saving me and making me Your daughter. May my life portray Your glory and the Light and Life that only comes from You.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Winter Holiday Concert

Emma has had the joy of being involved in a local strings program for 5 years now. She plays violin, as most of you know. She has done so well in the program and is now in her second year as a first violin. She loves it and feels so privileged to be in this unique public school program, as a home educated student.

Her advanced orchestra performed these beautiful and fun numbers...

Holiday Mix featuring Frosty the Snowman, Chanukah, Silent Night, arranged by Jennifer Spleit

Sakura, Sakura, a traditional Japanese Folk Song arranged by Elliot Del Borgo

Best of the Beatles featuring Got To Get You Into My Life, Michelle, When I'm 64, Get Back by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, arranged by Calvin Custer

In the Hall of the Mountain King by Edward Grieg, arranged by Robert S. Frost

I actually got a little choked up when they played the Holiday Mix for an encore again at the end of the concert and the audience started singing along to Silent Night. It was surprising, since this was not a *Christmas* concert but a *Winter Holiday* concert. Very touching.

Bob was unable to go, but we were glad that our friend, Janine, could accompany us.

Emma, we are very proud of you! We love hearing beautiful music flowing from your room whenever you practice and we are thrilled that you want to bring glory to the Lord in your playing. Keep up the hard work. Love you, sweet girl!


Monday, December 14, 2009

Great Day, part 2

Since many of our church family will be going home or away for the Christmas break, we had our Sanctuary West Christmas party last night, which was the second part to our fabulous day!

A little food...
A little laughter...
A little cookie baking...
A little poker...with occasional cookie winnings...
A little Wii playing/watching...
A lot of sweet memory-making with people we love and are thankful to have in our lives...

I just cannot say enough how much God has blessed us and how much I love my life! Thank You, Father!

Great Day, part 1

Yesterday was a busy and fun day!

First, we were given tickets to the Toronto Raptors game!!! Our friend, Brett, won the tickets from Rona but then had a scheduling conflict and passed them on to us. It was our first time to go to the ACC and to see the Raptors play!

We were in a box/suite sponsored by Rona. Amazing view and free food and drinks! Wow!

The security on the court was baffling! Six security officers per side...

And in case you're wondering who we cheered for...definitely the winning team!

Brett, we're sorry you couldn't use the tickets. Thanks so much for thinking of us! We had a GREAT time!
Part 2 of our great day coming later. Right now we're off to Emma's Christmas concert!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Love Surprises!

While we were playing at the park and on a hike with our friends this afternoon, Bob was setting up our Christmas gift from his parents!

The sun was trying to peek through the clouds...we're expecting our first real snowfall tonight!
When we got back home we told the children that we wanted to have a *family meeting* in the basement. They thought they were in trouble (well, Ben did anyway...check out that look on his face). We waited to see if they would notice something new...
Austin was so busy reading his Star Wars book that just came from the library that he didn't believe Emma's exclamation of "we got a Wii"!!!

We've all been enjoying the fun! And the fact that the nosiest, snoopiest kids on the planet had NO idea that this was coming made the moment even sweeter.
This will definitely be called *recess* on those too-cold-to-go-outside-for-very-long winter days.
Thank you so much, Joe and Jacque!!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Science Centre Fun

We have enjoyed a membership to the Ontario Science Centre for the past two years and went again for more fun yesterday! Emma had just been there with our friends, Vince and Sam, for the Body Worlds exhibit, so we catered to the younger four this time.