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All I Want For Christmas....

I am sure it is a part of getting older, but it is hard to make out a Christmas Wish List for myself now. makes it nicer (with those wish lists on the side).  And yes, I do have one, mostly with some camping or photography wishes.  Many of those wishes will never come to reality, since I am not sure if I can spring for a 24-70 mm 2.8 Nikon lens or the D800 that would look great in my hands.

(I wrote those two items down so you could have the joy of sticker shock looking them up!  More impact than me just writing down the price!)

But after sending that out, I wanted to write out my Christmas wish list.

  1. $5000 to buy the material to finish up the last floor of the elderly home.  The church is doing such a great job already, that I'd love to come alongside them.
  2. $4000 to get Amy* from Freedom Home set up in a village, having enough of a house where she could live near a great Christian family.
  3. $20 from a pile of people to cover the daily expense of one girl at Freedom Home.
  4. $5000 to cover one month of Freedom Home.  Had a disappointment last week as I received news from someone that they were not going to continue the support the home.  They had committed to helping for 6 months, and I was praying it would be extended to five years.  Our goal is five-years worth of support.  We then believe that we can transition the home to raising their own support.
  5. $15,000 to give toward Don and Beth Minikel, missionary associates that are incredible ministry partners.  They are in the US now, raising support for a March return (Lord willing).
  6. $2500 to help the church in Bubuieci finish their building inside, paint and trim.
  7. $8000 to cover the balance of the Ranger translation project into Romanian.
  8. $4000 apiece to give to six different village churches so they can get into a church building rather than crowding into a living room.
  9. $2500 to help put on a trauma-training conference in Odessa, using Kyle Miller in his strengths.
  10. Ten solid singles or families that are ready to start moving to Russia, serving on a church-planting team, willing to go to the hard places where there are no churches.
  11. A dozen MAs that are ready to learn the language, reach students, and support the work in Russia.
  12. Lots of wisdom.  And God's vision and direction.

Some Christmas wishes.  The first nine are easier than the last three.  But we can dream....


Time Passes On...

Celebrating Nancy's birthday today, another year gone by.  It isn't a major milestone, but once again, I'm reminded of the swiftness of time and the need to savor the moment.  Too often I find myself flying through a day, never stopping to look around and fix the memory of the moment.

Nancy is a fantastic cook, a chef extraordinaire.  She makes incredible meals nearly every day, simple meals of rich flavors.  Yet I must confess, most times I eat the meal too fast, without slowing down the savor the nuances of flavors.

Like life.

I've had a lot of reminders this week.
    Our German Shepherd, Britta died on Wednesday.
    My sister-in-law's mother passed away.
    Another birthday.
    Three daughters that are growing so fast that we need to plan toward college.

I believe the challenge of life is to remember the gift of time that God gives each of us.  Yes, we are eternal beings, created in the image of God, forgiven through the sacrifice of Jesus, and led and guided by the Holy Spirit.  But we are blessed with people around us, friends, family, and yes, even pets! 

Enjoy today.  In a few hours, it will no longer exist.