This is always a nostalgic time for us - we've been doing this so many years - and have so many memories.
Our staff serves communion from 5-8 pm, to each individual/family. We have stations set up for each of us pastors (and spouse if they have one) and we serve the people as they come in. We have a ton of candles lit in the sanctuary and it's just beautiful, and Christmas music is playing. After we serve communion, we pray a blessing over them for the new year.
Tonight the most touching moment for me was when we served Michele and Marcus. We were praying for them after the took communion and Larry said, "Jesus, thank you for going to the cross and dying for us...that our sins might be forgiven..." and Marcus burst out crying and buried his face in Michele's legs. She knelt down and said, "what's wrong??" He said, "Why? Why did Jesus have to die? Why?" And she explained once again...for our sins, but the good news is, He rose again and is alive!" He accepted that, but His heart is so tender and He's so precious He gets upset every time he hears that Jesus died on the cross. That set me to tears when he started crying over this...he always has the ability to choke me up...so precious is he.
After our staff/family took communion we went to the chinese restaurant as usual. We ate WAY too many crab wontons and crab legs. Right now I'm so stuffed I think I could pop.
I'm really going to need the elliptical after Christmas!
By the way, thank you for praying for me - those who did - for the way I've been feeling. I was really in need of a touch from God. I contacted Pastor Lisa this afternoon to uplift me in prayer as well and she and Pastor Elgin were faithful to do so. I feel so much better from the way I was feeling. This afternoon before I got ready for communion, I went outside and got in the hot tub for a while. I never do that during the day, so you know I had to be feeling poorly. Jeanne and Dollie (intercessors from church) have been so faithful to pray too. I am so thankful.
The next week is a time for me to rest and get ready. I've got the spiritual fight of my life on my hands when January 1 hits and I need to be ready. I can't afford to be sick or under the weather at all in this new year, so I am going to be doing a few things as we begin the new year - such as:
1) Get no less than 7 hours sleep a night (a major thing for me)
2) Take vitamins.
3) Keep working out a priority over the "tyranny of the urgent" in my life
This is just a start on what I want to be 100% faithful to, but I have another list of goals I'm working on for the 2008 year.
By the way, an invitation came from Kenya today. Bill (Dr. Kuert) emailed me today with an invitation for Larry and I to come and do something special for Africa. I'm wildly excited, the only thing is, it seems so far away. I want to go back so bad and it can't be soon enough... Right now I have to get some details together to see about taking a team for the trip and seeing from Bill exactly what our team could do while there... my heart beats every day to go back...to see my dear friends...some days I get out my Kenya tea bags and drink a cup in their honor, other times I get out my dress. Always, my heart is touched with memories and love for them, and they are in my prayers daily. I'm starting to cry as I think of it even now. I never imagined I could love people like I love them. Today especially Gladys has been on my mind - a pastor's wife/presbyter's wife from Kenya. She made me a special pink necklace I so often wear. A great Christmas present for me would be if I could take my whole family and introduce them to everybody...but alas, it will have to wait a while...
For now, I'm going to sleep....tomorrow is Christmas and I need to get up before the kids and make the famous "sweet rolls" and get a few other odds and ends done that I'm just too beat to do tonight.
Merry Christmas to all, with all my love...