December 21st, 2002

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Things I forgot to mention

Thursday's Christmas dinner with Community Group was delicious. Dawn came an hour early to cook; we had beef tenderloin, mushrooms, garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, and country bread, with a Shiraz to drink and homemade cinammon cookies (courtesy Nate's mom) for dessert. My kitchen was confused, because it had never before beheld the preparation of such a feast— or even much in the way of a meal's cooking, beyond the microwave and toaster oven.

Listening to Patrick Stewart's one-man version of Dickens' A Christmas Carol on audio tape. It's a wonderful Christmas tradition of mine; particularly enjoying his enunciation of the bells' "Kalangalang!"

God be with travelers this day.
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    relaxed relaxed
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By faith

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country— a heavenly one. Therefor God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

—Hebrews 11:13-16


I love the roll call of faith in Hebrews 11. It's like a glimpse into the answers in the back of the book: not only what God accomplished in the lives of so many, but why. Reading through it is encouraging to me when I am pressed by both questions; I need to be assured that I am "surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses" (Hebrews 12:1).

Until today, I'd nearly forgotten what a day off feels like. It feels good.

Still have all my Christmas shopping to do. I'll probably do most of it on Tuesday before I fly away. Waiting until the last minute has its risks, but I'm honestly not willing to part with any of the other precious minutes before my trip. I need them.

As with Christmas morning as a child, some things are worth waiting for. Hebrews reminds me of this as well. May I grow in appreciation and love for all that I have recieved, and in hope and patience for what is yet to come.

These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised. God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

—Hebrews 11:39-40
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    mellow mellow