Dec 20, 2012

What Christmas means to me

published: Cordele Dispatch 12/20/12

I love all the sparkle and glitter of the holiday season!  Huge Christmas trees are filled with lights and jeweled ornaments.  Rooms are lit only by the soft glow of candle light.  Nativity scenes feature the Christ Child, the baby Jesus.
I love the meals shared with family and friends.  I enjoy the gift swaps and Christmas programs.  I even enjoy the shopping trips to find the perfect gifts for those special to me.
I also love the feeling in the air at Christmas.  It seems to be the one time of the year that most people act a little nicer, smile more often, and give more easily.  It’s the one time of the year that we place other things on hold and try to focus on the things that matter most in life….our faith and our families.  
One night recently, I was thinking about all of these things.  Although it was early, it was already dark outside.  As I drove into town to attend the annual soup & cornbread supper at our church to raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, I was reminded that I also love the simplicity of the Christmas season in a small town. 
Instead of skyscrapers twinkling in the sky, I see the red & green of the two traffic lights in town.  The street lights boast their own holiday adornment and church buildings are decorated with wreaths and bows.  Homes are decked out in garlands and lights inside and out. 
As I marveled at my own love of small town celebrations, I was reminded of that special night long ago when the Christ child entered this world.  It wasn’t in a place decorated to the hilt in celebration of His arrival.  It was in a small, dark stable filled with the smell of hay and animals.  He was not greeted as royalty, but with the unconditional love of a mother and father. 
On this cold dark night, the reason for the Christmas season had come.  He didn’t expect anything more, for He had come for the lowliest of people.  The most majestic part of the night had been when the multitude of angels descended from heaven and announced the Savior’s birth to a field of shepherds.  Even with our best decorations, I’m sure we could not compete with such a spectacular display.
Jesus Christ had come to earth in the form of a little baby.  He came for you and for me.  It doesn’t matter who we are or what we have.  We are all equally loved by Him.  He wants nothing more than to be loved by us.  "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" John 8:12 (NIV). 
As we celebrate this Christmas, let’s not get distracted by the sights, sounds, and celebrations of the season.  We must remember what Christmas is really about.  Jesus is the reason for the season. 
Just as Mary kissed the face of Jesus that cold, dark night, she also felt his every breath and heard every sound he made.  I believe Mary focused only on her child that Christmas night, not her circumstances, needs, or wants. 
I think that’s a reminder to me of why I love the simplicity of small town living.  Without all the traffic and multitudes of people, it’s easier for me to focus on the true meaning of Christmas.  Because I find more time to sit in silence and seek His will, it’s easier to see and hear him in the little things each day.
Christmas is about the simplicity of a baby in a manger.  He was born in a cold, dark world but He came to bring us light and a love like we have never known.  If we look for Him, we will find Him, though he is no longer a baby in a manger.  He is our Lord and Savior who reigns from His throne in heaven.  This is what Christmas means to me.
Lynn Langford

Dec 7, 2012

Acteens thankful for teachers

I have the privilege of leading our Acteens group at FBC Rochelle.  This mission organization is made up of teenage girls, 7th - 12th grades. 

I shared with you earlier about our first project during the month of October, Care vs. Cardboard.  In November, we decided to show our appreciation and thanks to their school teachers.

A couple of weeks before Thanksgiving, we met at the church and baked some delicious cookies for their grade teachers.  I found a picture of some apple cookies online (so perfect for teachers, no?) and recruited the help of our friend, Toria Brown to create these sweet treats :)

Toria has her own baking business and shares her talents by baking sweet treats for many of our church occasions.  We couldn't have completed this task without her!

rolling out the dough

Thankfully, we have two of everything in our kitchen at the church, so it was easy and convenient for the girls to spread out.

They were so easy to cut out!

apple cookie cutters

Having fun in the flour!

Toria made these cute little mice and acorns for the girls to enjoy. 

She also made cake balls on sticks!  I brought what we needed to make our own cappuccinos for them to enjoy in their spare time while waiting on the cookies to finish baking.

Lots of laughs :)

mixing up the icing

Now the detailed work begins!

Aren't they adorable?!

We packaged them up in clear bags so the cookies could be the main decoration.  I made cute little tags for each one that said: "Thanks to you, I feel like one smart cookie"

Cute....even if I do say so myself!

I'm looking forward to other fun projects with this special group of young ladies :)