Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013!

Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
    Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
    righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey” (Zech 9:9).

Those who love God’s laws and justice continue to be dismayed at the ever-increasing injustice that reigns in our land.  But instead of growing fearful and anxious, we have been called to look to Christ the solid rock on which we stand.  He is our King who reigns over all, He who is God and took on flesh to live the just and righteous life we could not and die the death we deserve, in order to set up a Kingdom that has no end, a perfect Kingdom for which He will return to bring consummation!  This is our hope, and in this hope we live every day and every year, looking to our Lord to guide our steps in the way He would have us proclaim that Kingdom as we make it our aim to please Him.

Though in many ways, we have continued in this year without much change—living in the same house, attending the same church, working in many of the same ministries—we have also seen many blessings that are different from last year. To best narrate these blessings, I will use pictures.

In October, we celebrated our nephew Paul’s first birthday.  We have greatly enjoyed watching him develop from a helpless infant to a high-energy toddler who can practically run from place to place.



In early fall, Michael and I got to take a trip—just the two of us—for the first time since our honeymoon.  It was a fairly local trip, and just a few days, but we loved every minute of it!  We went to see the Hershey Factory, bought too much chocolate, and then headed to Lancaster, PA.  There, we enjoyed an excellent production of “Noah” at the Sight and Sound Theater.  We also visited a replica of the Old
Testament Tabernacle, did some window shopping of quilts and other Amish market items, and ate some delicious Amish cooking!

Moving back in time, we received a visit from Rachel’s parents the week of her dad’s birthday, so we relished celebrating with him and enjoyed a couple days of nature outings in the surrounding countryside.


Immediately following a visit from Rachel’s siblings in early July, we found out that her brother Daniel’s wife was expecting her first child!  So Rachel celebrated by trying her hand at quilting.

In the spring, we had to give our dog Hezzy to another owner in PA, because he was too big and energetic for our house, but our dog is much happier now in an environment much more suitable to him (wide-open land, and, as you can see, a pond—and Hezzy loves swimming!).  We sure miss him, though!


In late spring, we visited Mike’s sister and family, including our nephew Ricky, just before they moved from Ithaca, NY (the land of gorges and waterfalls—gorgeous!) to Denver, CO for a permanent job.

Also in the spring, we celebrated the wedding of my cousin Heather and her husband Robert in Indianapolis, IN.

As you can tell, it’s been a very busy year!  As always, God has been faithful and good.  I trust He will continue to take care of us, even in the present unknown circumstances of job loss and needing much wisdom in the give and take of job searches.  We covet your prayers for God’s sustaining grace of patience and hope and peace and joy and trust and wisdom, as no job or a new job can put quite a different spin (for more or less stress) on life.

God is still our guide in the minutest details of life’s twists and turns, even as He was in the details of Christ’s birth, life, death, and resurrection and all the prophecies He fulfilled perfectly.  We take comfort to rest in the arms of our all-sovereign God.

Merry Christmas in the peace our Savior brought through the joy of living for Him, knowing Him, and rejoicing in eternal hope!

With love,
Michael & Rachel