Thursday, December 27, 2012

Flash Mob, Turkish Style!

Here is a video of the flash mob my son participated in. This Turkish translation of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" fits the melody perfectly and has a great summary of the message.

I'm taking some time off until January 3rd to spend time with my family, to rest, and to reflect and set goals for the coming year.  

May God bless you richly during these last days of 2012.

Happy New Year,

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Most Important Gifts We Can Give

Every year I tell myself I’ll buy Christmas gifts early to avoid the last minute rush, and every year I find myself in the same place: out shopping the week before Christmas! Gift giving is one of my favorite love languages. I take joy in planning and trying to find gifts that will please my family and friends, but I can get so caught up in shopping that I forget the most important gifts of all.

What gifts can I give to Jesus for His birthday?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

How to Have More Joy and Peace This December

December can turn into a treadmill of activities that leave your mind and heart too numbed to hear the words of the angel in Luke: “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” 

The first week of December we had out of town visitors, our weekly English club, and went to a Christmas worship event. I had guests for dinner, and hosted a Women’s Christmas party at my house.  All were wonderful, blessed events, but I breathed a sigh of relief last Sunday and looked forward to a quieter, more restful week.  

Things didn’t turn out like I expected.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Traditions That Work for Overseas Families

“I was born in El Salvador, but I don’t speak Spanish.  I’m supposed to be both American and Salvadoran, but I didn’t grow up in either place. I grew up in Turkey, where I’m a foreigner.” My daughter said this just the other night when we were discussing Christmas.

December can be a bittersweet month for cross-cultural workers and their children.  Back home we know people are decorating their homes, listening to carols, going Christmas shopping, and rehearsing for Christmas choirs and pageants, but here in Izmir-on-the-Aegean, it’s business as usual.  In fact, the weather begins to gray, and early sunsets, combined with spiritual darkness, can make for a dim and gloomy month.

If you’re overseas, maybe you don’t feel much like celebrating.