After getting feedback about the Gift Card Ministry (formerly Scrip), we decided it would be beneficial to highlight this ministry for Christmas. Here’s what it looks like:
Some thoughts on the design:
- I went simple on the design, using the motif of a Christmas tree. The explanatory text continues the image of the tree, making it appear like a larger tree.
- The catch phrase “serve others in Jesus’ Name” is accented in red. This is consistent with the next flier we’ll release in February/March.
- I intentionally focused on gifts people might give, not every card available. It seemed breaking them out by price group was the way to go for listing those options.
- The order form looks very different from the front page, but matches our regular order form. My hope is that when people see the “usual” form, it will be familiar once they get this flier.
- You’ll notice an extra line at the bottom of the order form for gift card wrappers. We’re giving away wrappers with every card valued at $10 or more. We’d lose money on cards that are $5 or less. There are currently only about 5 cards that we sell that are below that threshold.
My mom found an old blanket in the attic just before we came home for Christmas this year. It’s the blue one that Addison is wrapped in in the above picture. It was the blanket that my dad was wrapped in when he was a baby, and the one I was wrapped in when I was a baby. At Christmas, we got the three generations together for a fun picture.
Hope you are having a wonderful Christmas season! I give you, a Lego Christmas:
We’re about to leave for Cleveland for Christmas. It’s about 3 hours later than we had originally planned, but this is why we planned for Tuesday and not Monday evening or Wednesday, when we have a time deadline to arrive in Cleveland. Our normal trip takes 3.5 hours to complete. We expect some snow in Pennsylvania, a few extra stops to manage Addison and at least one feeding along the way. Thankfully, she’s been pretty good in the car the few times we’ve taken her out, so we’re hoping she’ll sleep in the car along the way.
Guesses for how long it’ll take to get there?
One of the Christ family traditions is having Pepperoni Bread on Christmas morning. Mama Christ usually makes it by herself and we all arrive to eat it, but this year we did the baking at our place when Mom came to visit. The baking took place on November 29, Addison’s due date. I’ve just now had time to edit the video and upload it to YouTube. Here it is:
The people have spoken. In a 22-5 landslide win, Addison looking like her Mommy. I suppose that’s a good thing. This week’s poll is about Christmas:
I always enjoy the Cornerstone Remix Christmas party. We generally do a gift exchange and play some games and do a quick devo. We had about 30 youth and friends at the event this year. We played a name game where youth had to give their name along with a motion (Mine was throwing both hands up in the air and kicking one leg out in front while standing on the other leg). We went around the circle and each time someone gave their name, we all repeated the motion and their name, plus the names/motions for all previous youth. Funny stuff!
After the gift exchange, we did a short quiz from eBibleTeacher.com. The quiz asks questions about the Christmas story and makes you figure out what’s actually in the Bible and what isn’t. The best youth score was 16. Darcy got 19 correct to be the top overall scorer. Afterwards, we talked about the importance of going back to the Bible as our only source of truth, not just accepting what the world tells us to be true.
I hate it. With a passion. You’d think it would be as easy as going online, clicking a few times and having everything shipped to us. It never is though.
This year we’ve made a concerted effort to get our Christmas shopping done early. We spent a couple hours this evening getting some stuff that we couldn’t find online for a better price. It also helps that we’re cutting back on Christmas across the board this year. We’re not the only ones, it seems. Get Rich Slowly linked to research that suggests average spending will drop 50% this year. In the end, I don’t feel like our Christmas will be any less fun this year with fewer gifts, and it feels good not having a large number of purchases hanging over my head.
Looks like the beach won out for vacation spots. Not too surprising there.
This past weekend, I picked up a copy of Casting Crowns’ latest CD, a Christmas one. I was listening after importing it into iTunes in my office when Sue complained that it was too early to start listening to Christmas music. Last night, Jim Passage complained about all the Christmas ads on television already. So here’s the question:
Tim Stevens of LeadingSmart.com posted a follow-up note from the recent Christmas Eve service at Granger Community Church. Their Advent/Christmas series was titled “Let It Be Christmas” and looked at some songs by the Beatles and what the Bible has to say on the topic. Their Christmas Eve service is online for viewing. Check Tim’s post for the details.
I watched it yesterday and found it to be quite entertaining. It’s not exactly a traditional Christmas Eve service, but I think I would have enjoyed it live.
I ended up purchasing the entire album from Relient K after I enjoying the two songs I had previously purchased. My favorite track on the album is “I Celebrate the Day.” The last section of lyrics reads:
I celebrate the day
That You were born to die
So I could one day
Pray for You to save my life
Pray for You to save my life
Pray for You to save my life
Tomorrow, we’ll celebrate the birth of Christ. The new-born, cute, cuddly, not crying, laying in a manger, baby. It was the start of a journey that would end with His death on the cross, saving us from our sins and giving us a new birth, a spiritual rebirth, that we might live forever with Him.
So tomorrow, we celebrate the day. Merry Christmas!
Jaime and I drove to Cleveland today to celebrate Christmas with our families. We had planned on leaving early in the morning, but for a number of reasons we didn’t end up leaving until around 12:30. Thankfully, that meant I was in town to come up and fix Kathy’s machine so she could work on financial stuff for the church. When we finally got on the road, we were thankful for the lack of other cars driving, making our trip easy. We’re looking forward to several days with the fam, so posting will probably be sparse. I hope you all have a great Christmas!
That’s right, Ezekiel 4:9 cereal. Sue tells me they make other things as well. I just thought it was funny. We bought a box to try (really to blog about, but we’ll try it anyway) and just had to share. It’s in the organic foods section. I’ll let you know what I think about the taste in another entry once we actually get around to trying it.
It reminds me of the important of being fed spiritually with God’s Word. I hope you will take advantage of one of our three Christmas Eve services (5, 7, 11 p.m.) to be fed in preparation of God’s birth among us. There’s also a communion celebration on Christmas day at 10:30 a.m. where you can actually touch and taste Christ in His holy supper.
UPDATE: My review has now been posted.
Google just released their Zeitgeist 2007 statistics. Basically, it’s a snapshot of what people are looking up online through Google. One interesting piece is the “Who is …” search ranking. Here’s the list:
- who is god
- who is who
- who is lookup
- who is jesus
- who is it
- who is buckethead
- who is calling
- who is keppler
- who is this
- who is satan
People are searching for God and we have an opportunity to share Him with them this Christmas season. Considering inviting a friend to Christmas Eve services this year!
Also interesting to note are the top entries from the “What” and “How” categories. They are: “What is love” and “How to kiss.” I guess that means our “Best Sex Ever” Crossroads series that kicks off in January should be a hit. I’m excited about looking at what the Bible has to say about this topic with our youth. Should be a blast!
Last year at the Remix Christmas Party, Laura brought a large gift bag that had some sort of food item in it. I can’t remember what exactly it was. In an attempt to get people to steal more gifts (it’s a white elephant style gift exchange, so stealing in this context is ok), I made a big deal about the large bag containing a picture frame. Every time I said it was a picture frame, Laura would respond indignantly “It’s not a picture frame!” It was a blast.
|Christmas Party 2007|
This year, our theme for presents were Red/Green items or White items. Laura brought another large item, this time in a box. Again, the gift became popular, possibly because of the excitement generated last year. This year, it actually was a picture frame! There were at least two other picture frames that I saw as well. Fun stuff.
There were 44 youth at the event. I’m not sure where they all came from. I’d guess that at least 10-15 were friends of our youth. I love that they invite their friends to things that we do. Good times!
Word on the street is that there’s going to be a big snow storm late this evening and early tomorrow morning. Not being a big fan of snow, I can’t say I’m happy about this. It was already getting started this morning as I drove to Joshua’s Men at the church. Since neither of us enjoy the snow, Jaime and I decided that it would be a good day to get out the Christmas Decorations.
We also splurged and purchased some new Christmas songs from the iTunes Music Store. The new playlist:
- Angels We Have Heard on High by Chris Tomlin
- Baby It’s Cold Outside by Dean Martin
- In The Bleak Midwinter by Jars of Clay
- O Come All Ye Faithful by Jeremy Camp
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing by Rebecca St. James
- 12 Days of Christmas by Relient K
- Handel’s Messiah (The Hallelujah Chorus) by Relient K
Chris Tomlin needs to come out with a Christmas album, as does David Crowder (who has a single song, Feliz Navidad, that I can’t bring myself to purchase). Relient K has a great take on the songs we purchased, plus several others. They’re always a good listen if you like rock/punk.
And now, for being such a trooper while decorating, I get to sit and watch a little bit of the OU-Missouri football game to see if my Buckeyes back their way into the National Title Game. I’d like to see it happen because I’m a fan, but also because it just looks bad for the BCS. They really need a new system…
I happened across this cool photo of the earth today. When I step back and look at our planet, I realize how small we really are compared to the sheer immensity of it. I’m struck by the beauty of it, even from a distance into space. It helps me to understand how all the small pockets of beauty (and not so beautiful places) fit into the whole and increases my appreciation for it all.
An interesting side-discussion occurred in my Introduction to Theology class today at the Seminary. We were talking about teaching the Christian faith to students and how the catechism is constructed towards this end. Often, confirmation is about memorizing statements about what we believe. We focus on the smaller beauty (or not so beautiful, depending on your feelings towards the catechism…) and miss the larger picture.
Those truths were all drawn from the larger backdrop of Scripture, but we focus only on a key verse here or there rather than the whole. The small things are important, but so is the big picture.
At Cornerstone and Crossroads, we look to teach the close-up details and truth of the Bible, but put them in the context of the larger picture. Our large group teaching time explores the details, while our small group time allows students to dig into the bigger picture as a group as we focus on a story from Scripture that emphasizes the key point we’re teaching. It’s why we believe the 1-Minute Bible is a great resources for students (Email me if your student wants a copy) as it helps them understand the big picture while developing a habit in their lives. It’s why we try to tie our events into the greater picture of the Scriptures, using stories that relate to our activity whenever possible.
I’m thankful for the close-up, detailed descriptions of what we believe that have been developed over the years. But I’m also thankful for simple stories from the Bible that give us the big picture about God.
6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (Luke 2:6-7)
May you see the big picture in the little baby this Christmas!
After a great Thanksgiving celebration on Thursday, Jaime, my mom and I traveled to Chicago to spend yesterday and today with my sister. Her apartment is located downtown, on the 28th floor, looking west and north. The view is amazing. We spent Friday night walking around the city, hitting famous places like The Magnificent Mile (which was crazy busy with holiday shoppers), Macy’s on State Street (9 floors of shopping, a 3-story Christmas tree, a food court and more), and had dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery (I had the Herbed Lemon Chicken with Asparagus).
Today we’re looking forward (well, some of us are…) to going to Daly Plaza to see the Christmas tree. There’s also our 3rd Thanksgiving dinner on tap for later this afternoon. Yum!
UPDATE: Pictures from our recent trip to Chicago are now online. Be sure to check out the bean and the view from my sister’s roof.