{4Js} Winter Fun

kandihamble-novbdays-1There was once a December day where many three generations gathered to celebrate two special boys, J2 and J4. They were both born Thanksgiving weekend, but with everyone traveling this year the party was a weekend later. kandihamble-novbdays-2There were balloons to punch and books to read and snow in the yard begging to be rolled up into snowmen. kandihamble-novbdays-3J4 had fun watching the snowman building from the comfort of the living room while he strummed a guitar. kandihamble-novbdays-4Then our two boys armed with their sweet tooth blew out flames and dug in to their gooey confections of brownies and muffins and cupcakes with frosting. kandihamble-novbdays-5Right before the party ended, gifts were opened and played with and packed up to go home. kandihamble-novbdays-6It was a splendid day celebrating these two little boys so greatly loved.

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{Concerts} Michael W. Smith and Amy Grant

Ever since I’ve had a job, Michael W. Smith’s Christmas concert has been a Christmas tradition for me. I missed a couple years due to working on Saturdays, but last year I was able to make it, and convinced my friend Joyce to go with me! Usually I get front row tickets, but this year we were waaaaaaaaaay back in the back. But it was still so much fun and the night did not disappoint!selah_candace_rose_MWSCM_1 The orchestra and singers were amazing! I always love when one of the ladies sing All Is Well. I’d never seen Amy Grant in concert, so that was neat!selah_candace_rose_MWSCM_2 It was a fabulous night!selah_candace_rose_MWSCM_3

Where is Your Sting?

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?
1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Throughout the evening, we completed stations that show how Jesus’ brokenness on the cross has provided our healing, how the stone in front of the tomb hid life, how we can celebrate because of Jesus’ victory over death, and how we are called to spread this light to the rest of the world. As the evening came to a close, we finished with a time of worship and community communion.

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Here is a list of the stations we had with links to the verses we used to create and guide the evening.

Beauty in Brokenness
Mark 15:37-41

Stone Rolled Away
Mark 15:46-47; 16:1-3

From Darkness to Light
Mark 16:15-16

Celebration Station
Mark 16:9-14

Victorious
1 Corinthians 15:54-55

Forsaken

A mother could forsake her child, a husband could forsake his wife, a grown child could forsake his sickly parents, but God will not forsake his children.  Because Jesus took upon himself our sin. Jesus was forsaken because of sin.  This Is Real Love

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
   he was crushed for our iniquities;
the punishment that brought us peace was on him,
   and by his wounds we are healed.   ~ Isaiah 53:5

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Oh My God – song by Jars of Clay

Oh my God, look around this place
Your fingers reach around the bone
You set the break and set the tone
Flights of grace, and future falls
In present pain
All fools say, “Oh my God”

Oh my God, Why are we so afraid?
We make it worse when we don’t bleed
There is no cure for our disease
Turn a phrase, and rise again
Or fake your death and only tell your closest friend
Oh my God.

Oh my God, can I complain?
You take away my firm belief
and graft my soul upon your grief
Weddings, boats and alibis
All drift away, and a mother cries

Liars and fools; sons and failures
Thieves will always say
Lost and found; ailing wanderers
Healers always say
Whores and angels; men with problems
Leavers always say
Broken hearted; separated
Orphans always say
War creators; racial haters
Preachers always say
Distant fathers; fallen warriors
Givers always say
Pilgrim saints; lonely widows
Users always say
Fearful mothers; watchful doubters
Saviors always say

Sometimes I cannot forgive
And these days, mercy cuts so deep
If the world was how it should be,
maybe I could get some sleep
While I lay, I dream we’re better,
Scales were gone and faces light
When we wake, we hate our brother
We still move to hurt each other

Sometimes I can close my eyes,
And all the fear that keeps me silent
falls below my heavy breathing,
What makes me so badly bent?
We all have a chance to murder
We all feel the need for wonder
We still want to be reminded
that the pain is worth the thunder

Sometimes when I lose my grip,
I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat
all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children
– this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers
– this is our greatest offense

Oh my God
Oh my God
Oh my God

OCC Processing Center

Ah, Operation Christmas Child! Have I mentioned yet how much I LOVE THEM?!?

I eat, sleep, dream, shop OCC all year long and one of the most fun things to do is volunteer at the processing center in December after all the GO Boxes have been collected.

We get all those fun, great gifts ready to go to kids all over the world…and get ideas of more cool gifts to put in our boxes next year!

It’s great seeing all the boxes that will go out and impact the lives of others. Samaritan’s Purse has great videos with more information and ‘Morning Cups of Joy’ here and find them on Facebook. You can also read an amazing story of a shoebox coming full circle on Jon Acuff’s blog, Stuff Christians Like, here.

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Family and Thanksgiving

Katie, Jordan and Judah were able to join us in Minnesota for Thanksgiving this year, which was an absolute blast! Not only were they able to help fill GO boxes, but we got to spend a lot of time together and celebrate Judah’s 2nd birthday! There was also a church clothing swap that Katie got to come to and see people from church and get some cool stuff. Sammie Joy was also very happy to meet them. (Never mind that she was just a few months old!)

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