Sondra works part-time in the school district, doing intervention teaching half-day in the mornings. So, from about 7am to noon I was taking care of the kids. My goodness, it sure was a lot easier when I was young! When Sondra came home, she took over the "grandma" part of taking care of them. It was a busy, busy time with a few moments of drama, but it was so much fun filled with special moments with the girls. Our house looked like a tornado went through it! We will do it again, but not anytime soon....ha ha.
Last Saturday we had a lot going on at the church. One of our ladies (Lynn Peters) had lined up helpers for a Yard Sale on the front lawn of the church, from 6am to 2pm. The money raised will help make several food baskets for some families in our congregation who are hurting financially. These baskets will be given out just before Christmas to show our love and encouragement to the families in need. It will be done in a quiet, low-key way because we do not want to embarrass them or make them feel like "charity cases." We simply want to make them feel special and loved.
Later on Saturday morning, Sondra helped supervise the decorating of the church sanctuary. Every year, we get out the trimming for the walls and tables and live Christmas tree to make the church festive and joyous for the holiday season. It is a little bit of work but well worth the effort.
On Saturday evening, we received an exciting call from our 9-year-old grand-daughter Kylee (our son Jason's daughter) in Shawnee, Oklahoma. She was so cute as she literally exclaimed, "I just became a Christian!" When asked by us, she explained how she had been talking with her dad about Christmas and about Jesus, and it led to a discussion about the purpose of Jesus coming into the world to save us from our sins. She had been thinking about this decision for many months and the time was right for her to receive Jesus Christ into her heart as Lord and Savior! That was a very memorable phone call that we will cherish. We talked at length with Kylee, and we rejoiced with her in her decision -- the best decision anyone can make in life! That made our Christmas right then!
Yesterday (Sunday), I preached on the "heart of Joseph." In the first chapter of Matthew, we read how the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a vision. Through these verses, we see the heart of Joseph revealed as he was told that his bride-to-be (Mary) was with child by the Holy Spirit of God. Through this, we see that Joseph had a.....
.....heart that was teachable (ready to listen to the instruction of God),
.....heart of integrity (considerate and thoughtful as he was seeking God),
.....heart of prayer (intimate communion with God),
.....heart that was sensitive (aware and in tune with God's voice),
.....heart for God's Word (an awareness of Scripture and prophecy), and
.....heart of obedience (taking steps of faith with patience).
And I must mention one more amazing thing that the Lord did last week. A big challenge in our church has been the need for a new air-conditioner/heater unit for the sanctuary wing of our building. The unit went out this past summer and we have not had the funds to repair or purchase a new one. Through prayer and trust in God, a donation of $1800 was given to help us buy a new unit. We are in contact with a heating/air conditioning man connected to our church who can get us a new unit at cost ($1800)! Our God is awesome and provides our needs!