Christmas Cards – my annual tradition!

I love this modern square cut one room for one picture.

If you’ve received a Christmas letter from me any time since 2004, you know how important they are to me. Along with my photo card, last year I expressed my excitement for being able to write an update on a monthly basis when we had reached prefield status and were writing monthly prayer letters.

Well, now that prayer letters actually need to be written, I am not as motivated. I can still make sending my annual Christmas letter fun, though, by picking out a Christmas photo card at Shutterfly.com. It’s one of my favorite activities! Christmas photo cards are one of my favorite things, and Shutterfly has the best collection this year. Even though stamps are more, I am considering picking a square one just to be unique and different. They also have a variety of folded Christmas cards, which I’ve never done before, or even New Year’s cards (I love the ones with the adorable countdowns).

I thought perhaps I would just send a letter this year and include our prayer card, but looking at the selection and thinking about the great photos I’ve taken this year with my fancy camera, I am sure I’ll end up picking some up.

Bloggers receive 50 free cards from Shutterfly.com: http://bit.ly/sfly2010.

Advent Begins

It shall come to pass in the latter days
that the mountain of the house of the LORD
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be lifted up above the hills;
and all the nations shall flow to it,
and many peoples shall come, and say:
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD,
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways
and that we may walk in his paths.”
For out of Zion shall go the law,
and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
He shall judge between the nations,
and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war anymore.

O house of Jacob,
come, let us walk
in the light of the LORD.
(Isaiah 2:1-5 ESV)

I don’t come from a very liturgical church, but I love liturgy. So this year, I’d like to acknowledge Advent, a season of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Some Christians believe Advent serves as a reminder both of the original waiting that was done by the Hebrews for the birth of their Messiah, as well as the waiting of Christians for Christ’s return today.

If there is any spiritual gift I’d like to have, it’s “expectant waiting.” If I were more of an expectant waiter, I would make a much better prefield missionary!

There is another word for expectant waiting. Hope. May the hope of the Christmas season never cease to shine in your life.

Pintxo: “peen-tcho”

We took some good friends of ours across the bridge to a Spanish tapas restaurant called Pintxo tonight. We enjoyed olives, potato leek soup, Galician white bean soup, bacon wrapped dates with goat cheese, spicy lamb meatballs, a Spanish tortilla, sauteed mushrooms, blood sausage with bread, grilled lime shrimp, pork sliders, vegetable sliders, and chocolate mousse.

The chimichurri sauce always takes me back.

Sigh.

Interested in trying authentic Spanish tapas? Check it out!

Just Ducky

It’s no secret I’m a Duck fan or that this is a great season for the little team in Eugene.

But this post is not about those Ducks. Although I sure am hoping to have a post about them sometime around January 10! (I debated even typing those words, but decided there’s no shame in hoping this late in the season, no matter what happens next week).

This post is about a different kind of duck. The kind that really and truly can make a difference. Because as much as I Love My Ducks, they can’t feed the hungry, save lives, or give a struggling family an income.

But some ducks can.

World Concern’s Global Gift Guide is one of my favorite things about Christmas. In honor of my Alma Mater and its incredible journey this football season, I decided to purchase ducks for a family in need. Who knew duck eggs have twice as much vitamin A and more calcium than chicken eggs?

There’s no shortage of adorable and unique gifts: a piglet, a goat or an entire barnyard will help not just a family, but a community, for many years.

In the education section, you can pay a teacher’s salary or provide 15 desks or a blackboard for a school.

$100 in the Children at Risk section of the catalog will support six children orphaned by AIDS.

You can give a small business loan to a lady entrepreneur with a viable business. Microloans, one of World Concern’s special programs, get multiplied: when a business owner can, she pays back the loan to provide for another local business.

Even kids can get involved with helping at World Concern! With the 44 cent cure, we can prevent or cure intestinal worms for one child for a year.

Finally, you can give the gift of the Gospel by providing Bibles or training for local pastors.

The Global Gift Guide is the most fascinating Christmas gift catalog out there! World Concern has an especially low overhead, and over 94% of your 100% tax deductible donation goes straight help those in need.

Merry Christmas!

While I used to work for World Concern’s parent organization, CRISTA Ministries, they generally have no idea who I am or that I even wrote about them. I just really love their ministry and thought you might too.