International Greetings (Internationale Grüße) (Salutations internationales) (国際的なグリーティング) (Международные приветствия)

  Here’s wishing I could run around the world and visit all our friends with Merry Christmas hugs.  

–Bethany, Kelly, das Andresens und die Grüns: Frohe Weihnachten und Liebe vom Howells!
–A Verres, aVaraks, et à Philippe : Joyeux Noël d’Elizabeth!
–Jennie! メリークリスマスおよび抱擁!
–Al Whitmans: Grazie per l’incoraggiamento me ed il Buon Natale! 

Also to other friends in Germany, France, Italy, Russia, South Africa, England, Canada, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Romania, Panama, Mexico, New Zealand, India, Israel, Jordan…you are not forgotten. We miss you!


Darby is home!

 Thanks to those who have been praying for my friend’s little son.  His brain will be slowly draining the blood for months to come, but the seizures are gone and he is doing well at home.  Below, just about the best picture in the world.


Darby is ready for Christmas!
Darby is ready for Christmas!

“Such harmony is in immortal souls, but whilst this muddy vesture of decay doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.”

  The wind is roaring outside the closed windows. Temperatures were only mildly cold today, but the wind has been ferocious. I’m grateful that much of my day was spent indoors and out of all the bluster.  Three hour rehearsal this morning, Christmas shopping, and home to bake cookies. It’s a recipe I’ve made at least a dozen times, but tonight the baking soda and salt, present and ready though they were, nearly got left out (I must attribute this either to my age or to my hair color). It was clear that the dough did not taste right but I thought perhaps it just needed the chocolate chips. I’m a girl, so naturally any problem can be fixed with chocolate, no? Disaster was averted thanks to my mother’s sensible habit of reading off the ingredient list whether she’s the one baking or not. 

  Tomorrow afternoon is the big Christmas Cantata at the Bible Church and I’m very excited!  Beautiful melodies like “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” and “Savior of the Nations Come” by the choir, and “Sing We Now of Christmas” with handbells and choir.  And from what I heard of the orchestra’s Overture rehearsal, the opening will be amazing.  To my fellow bell ringers from Master’s, I’d like to say a big thanks for spurring me on to always try and handle more bells and not be afraid of the challenge–you might be happy to know that on this piece I have the privilege to be at the low end playing C3-F3 (mostly with mallets of course) and it’s pushing me to work hard.  I love the other bell ringers here and it is a blast to play alongside them. Now I can only pray that I don’t mess up big time tomorrow! 🙂

  Also, I’d ask your prayers for the painter named Rick I mentioned in a previous post; he’s an unbelieving older gentleman to whom I’ve been witnessing at work. I gave him a Bible with passages marked and a ticket to the concert . . . he sounded quite excited to come, so I hope he does and I hope the gospel is firmly impressed upon him again.

The time is long past when I should be asleep. “Look how the floor of heaven is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold…”