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Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Fun, Food and Family

We had a really nice time this past week.  My parents flew in from Tennessee and my brother Nathaniel and his family (the one with the 6 little boys!!!) gathered at my house to spend the holidays together. This was the first year that I officially hosted "Christmas" as my house for my family and it was nice to be able to stay home and have everyone come here!  It is a rare occasion that we ALL can get together (my parents, one set of grandparents and my other brother all live in Tennessee... with extended family spread out in Washington, Oregon, Utah and Northern California) but it was nice to at least have SOME of them here.   I traditionally make candy during the holidays and this year was no exception - Almond Roca, Peanut Butter Balls, Haystacks, Martha Washingtons and Fudge... (I'm eating a piece of Roca as I "speak"... I mean "type") We fixed a big Beef Tenderloin Roast dinner on Christmas Eve (which is also my brother's birthday) and had fresh tamales and the "works" on Christmas.   All in all, everything turned out really nice.  I thank God for placing me into such a great family!  

(I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted....  too busy with other things...  but here are a few I did get...)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Blessings!

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Jesus is the Reason for Every Season!


During this time of year, the saying, "Jesus is the Reason for the Season" is often quoted by Christians in an attempt to defend Christmas as a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I don't want offend those that have oft quoted that BUT I think that .... Jesus is the REASON for EVERY SEASON!! He is the reason for EVERY DAY! Over the years, there has been many discussions and concerns about those that want to "Take Christ out of Christmas" ... making it Xmas or whatever... Let me offer a different line of thought for discussion...

Wikipedia states that:

The Mass is the Eucharistic celebration in the Latin liturgical rites of the Roman Catholic Church. The term is used also of similar celebrations in Old Catholic Churches, in the Anglo-Catholic tradition of Anglicanism, and in some largely High Church Lutheran regions, including the Scandinavian and Baltic countries. For the celebration of the Eucharist in Eastern Churches, including those in full communion with the Holy See, other terms, such as the Divine Liturgy, the Holy Qurbana, and the Badarak, are normally used. Most Western denominations not in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, such as Calvinist Christianity, also usually prefer terms other than Mass.   

The term "Mass" is derived from the late-Latin word missa (dismissal), a word used in the concluding formula of Mass in Latin: "Ite, missa est" ("Go; it is the dismissal").[1]  The Council of Trent reaffirmed traditional Christian teaching that the Mass is the same Sacrifice of Calvary offered in an unbloody manner: "The victim is one and the same: the same now offers through the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross; only the manner of offering is different. And since in this divine sacrifice which is celebrated in the Mass, the same Christ who offered himself once in a bloody manner on the altar of the cross is contained and offered in an unbloody manner... this sacrifice is truly propitiatory" (Doctrina de ss. Missae sacrificio, c. 2, quoted in Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1367). The Council declared that Jesus instituted the Mass at his Last Supper: 

Therefore, a "Mass" is a celebration of Jesus' DEATH on the cross.  So how did the term "ChristMAS" (Christ's Mass) become a celebration of His Birth?  I'm not going to go into all the history of Christmas and all the issues that we could possibly have with it's background.... that I will leave entirely up to you and your own research!   I just thought it might be interesting to contemplate that rather than taking "Christ" out of Christmas, that we could possibly say that we should take the "Mass" out of Christmas and JUST HAVE CHRIST!  Jesus is ALIVE and living in us ...  everyday!

The feelings of nostalgia seem to come alive at this time of year.  American traditions of Norman Rockwell Christmas Pictures ...  Bing Crosby singing "White Christ***"(sorry please don't be offended - I just couldn't resist)... falling snow, twinkling lights & the smell of pine (or homemade candy if you prefer) live in our hearts and memories.  It's a time to get together with those you love...  have fun and laugh lots ... eat and talk long...  play games and sing carols ....  give gifts and lots of LOVE!  AND REMEMBER ....  JESUS IS ALIVE  - LIVING IN US AND HE  IS THE REASON FOR EVERY SEASON!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Photography is More Than Fun -- It's Educational!

Some of the young people in our church have really been getting into photography and had a "photo shoot" this last Saturday with Olivia and Logan.  The pics below were taken by Paige Abeytia (daughter of our Assistant Pastor) and really turned out great!  Not only was it fun for the kids, but they're all learning something in the process.   (We homeschoolers look for the real life learning in everything! None of that sedentary learning for this family!)   IT'S EDUCATIONAL!?!?  --- that's my kind of fun!  lol

  ... and we can never have enough pictures of our kids!!!













**** You can see more shots on Olivia's Blog*****

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Get In That Holiday Mood.....

I really don't like to post "youtube" clips, but I was trying to figure out a way to play this song on my blog and this seemed the best way.....  I listen to this version every year to get in the Holiday mood!  I'm sure many of you have heard it before....  but if you need that good "belly-laugh" again, here it is......  hehe --- haha ---- hoho ----yaaaaaahahhahahahh


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