Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Catch-up

Merry Christmas!

I hope you have had a great Christmas. It has been a good day around the Dear house. Christmas gifts were opened (and the girls were very pleased), the ham was eaten... We sang Happy Birthday to Jesus and the girls blew out the candles on a birthday cake. (Donna put three candles on the cake and said they stood for the Trinity. I threatened to pull out my theology books so she changed the explanation to "that is what is prettiest.") Emily quoted John 1:1-4 (thank you AWANA) and Hannah read the Christmas story from Luke. Then we played the rest of the day.

About 11:00 p.m. Emily started throwing up, hence why I am blogging at 4:00 a.m. Probably too much Christmas food.

I haven't put fingers-to-keyboard to blog lately, so I'll try to catch up with the goings on...

This past Sunday was neat. Everyone was definitely in the Christmas mood. We saw two people make professions of faith in and following our services. One in the morning, a lady who was invited to church by her neighbors several months ago. She had been very close to making this decision for a while. Pastor Wally had told me the day before that he thought it might happen Sunday and it did! The other person was an out of town guest, the father of one of the men in our church. He, his wife, and his son asked to see me after the Christmas evening service. About a half hour later, in my study, he asked God to save him. It was one of those times when you feel like all of heaven is looking down and watching!

Walking backward in time... last Saturday was a fun day too. Our church had collected the names of just over 130 children who wouldn't receive anything for Christmas without help. So families in our church 'adopted' these children. We invited them and their parents to spend Saturday with us. We had a carnival for the kids while we helped the parents sneak the gifts to their cars, then we all sat down to a very nice ham dinner with all the fixings. At the dinner we gave gifts to all of the parents. It was an example of the true Christmas spirit. Everyone had a blast, those who were receiving help and those who were helping. I was so proud of our church. All together, we gave over 1,000 gifts that day and fed who-knows how many people.

It hurts my head to try to think further back in time...

The week before we unanimously approved the 2007 church budget. (That always makes the holidays brighter for a pastor.) And we pledged over $113,000 in our second annual capital campaign!

Before that...

Vacation was good. We went to Disney World, so it wasn't exactly restful, but it was good.

By the way, an update for those of you who had been praying for me and my 'ear situation.' (For most of you who didn't know, I have this ear problem when I fly. I've had it about seven or eight years. In the first 15-20 minutes of flight my eustachian tubes blow up like balloons and hurt so bad I almost want to die. It has even caused me to lose consciousness once. I have been to doctors numerous times and tried all kinds of weird remedies to no avail.) I had a little minor surgery a few days before my Disney trip. The doctor gave it a 50-50 chance of working. I got on the plane with fear and trembling. We took off. I waited for the sharp pain to hit. Nothing happened. Nothing at all! It was wonderful! I will probably have to repeat this surgery every two to three years, but I will gladly do so if that is what it takes. Thanks for your prayers!

Well, it's almost 4:30 a.m. Emily hasn't gotten sick again, but I hear her talking in her sleep.

It is supposed to snow this morning. I wonder if it has started yet.

More later...