He is Risen!

He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Matthew 28:6aIMG_20160326_071058~2We have celebrated this special weekend by watching the sunrise twice.  Saturday from the top of Sandstone Peak which is the tallest mountain in the Santa Monica mountain range.  And then we worshipped this morning on the beach as we listened to the waves crash before us and waited for the sun to peak out over Mugu Rock.  What a way to remember and celebrate Christ’s resurrection from the dead.  He is risen indeed!IMG_20160327_070733~2

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It is indeed, Good Friday

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 2.09.34 PM

And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Then many of the Jews read this title, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. Therefore the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but, ‘He said, “I am the King of the Jews.”’”  Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took His garments and made four parts, to each soldier a part, and also the tunic. Now the tunic was without seam, woven from the top in one piece. They said therefore among themselves, “Let us not tear it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be,” that the Scripture might be fulfilled which says:

“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”

Therefore the soldiers did these things.

Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!” Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!”And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.  John 19:17-30

Celebrating Holy Week

Anticipation, understanding and hope!  One of the things I love most about the church calendar is learning about Christian history and applying it to my life today.  Just like the season of advent, the season of lent is also a time of anticipation.  This year, because we’ve been on the road, Ryan and I have done less to mark the passage of lent.  However, this week we are taking time to read a Holy Week devotional which focuses on the cross.  It’s a beautiful reminder and helps me to focus on what makes Easter and resurrection Sunday so amazingly special.Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.51.53 AMWe are also participating in two different Seder meals.  Tonight will be a Passover Seder at our Camarillo church.  It’s beautiful to hear the Hebrew prayers, learn about and remember the significance of this meal that has been celebrated for so many generations.  If you’re in the area, please join us at 7pm on Mobil Ave.  Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 11.48.14 AMAnd tomorrow we will celebrate Maundy Thursday with a meal at our church in Santa Barbara.  We love being able to celebrate and reflect during this week with our different church families.

These are just some of the ways we are anticipating this Sunday, learning to understand our Christian history and celebrating the hope that is represented with the cross.  The hope of the resurrection!

Holiday Highlights Part 4- Happy New Year

IMG_20151230_204154I always enjoy visiting Chicago.  Not only is it a great city but we get to hang with great people.  Here’s Joel showing off his ice skating moves at the ribbon rink downtown as we walked around taking in the city lights.  It was a chilly yet still enjoyable outing.  Too bad they didn’t have skates that would have fit Ryan otherwise he would have been out there on the ice too!IMG_20151231_195802New Years Eve we ventured out to The Improvised Shakespeare Company‘s New Years Eve Spectacular.  It was full of laughs and good clean fun.  IMG_20151231_223200And last but not least, toasting to the New Year.  Here’s to 2016 and all that it holds.  I know that if Ryan and I laugh a lot, spend more time with people we love and continue living with the hope that sustains us, 2016 will be an amazing year.

Holiday Highlights Part 3

IMG_20151224_210736Mexican train and other games with the family.  Ryan’s mom seemed to win more than anyone else.  She’s got the touch.IMG_20151228_092312-2Another lake walk before the storm.  This was the day that we saw 5 inches of snow and sleet cover Pardeeville.  But that didn’t stop us from going out to have pizza that night.IMG_20151229_090220And the next morning with a covering of winter white.  It missed Christmas but better late than never.shovelsnowHowever snow also requires shoveling and so I helped out wearing these stylish blaze orange coveralls to keep me warm.  This was my first time shoveling snow so both Ryan and his mother were intent on capturing the memory.

Holiday Highlights Part 2

IMG_20151223_091221.jpgA long walk around the big lake in Pardeeville.  We saw lots of geese who haven’t felt the need to leave for the winter.IMG_20151223_124629Christmas cookie decorating with the family.  Many cookies were consumed during the process.  The wreaths were my favorite.IMG_20151224_174049Christmas Eve service in Rio.  It was a beautiful reminder of the reason we celebrate with carols, scripture and of course, candles.  Singing, “Silent night, Holy night, Son of God, loves pure light…”

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas; there wasn’t a sound.
Not a possum was stirring; no-one was around.
We’d left on the table some tucker and beer,
…Hoping that Santa Claus soon would be here;
We children were snuggled up safe in our beds,
While dreams of pavlova danced ’round in our heads;
And Mum in her nightie, and Dad in his shorts,
Had just settled down to watch TV sports.
When outside the house a mad ruckus arose;
Loud squeaking and banging woke us from our doze.
We ran to the screen door, peeked cautiously out,
Snuck onto the deck, then let out a shout.
Guess what had woken us up from our snooze?
But a rusty old Ute pulled by eight mighty kangaroos.
UtewithKangaroosThe cheerful man driving was giggling with glee,
And we both knew at once who this plump bloke must be.
Now, I’m telling the truth it’s all dinki-di,
Those eight kangaroos fairly soared through the sky.
Santa leaned out the window to pull at the reins,
And encouraged the ‘roos, by calling their names.
‘Now, Kylie!
Now, Kirsty!
Now, Shazza and Shane!
On Kipper!
On, Skipper!
On, Bazza and Wayne!
Park up on that water tank. Grab a quick drink,
I’ll scoot down the gum tree. Be back in a wink!’
So up to the tank those eight kangaroos flew,
With the Ute full of toys, and Santa Claus too.
He slid down the gum tree and jumped to the ground,
Then in through the window he sprang with a bound.
AussieChristmas
He had bright sunburned cheeks and a milky white beard.
A jolly old joker was how he appeared.
He wore red stubby shorts and old thongs on his feet,
And a hat of deep crimson as shade from the heat.
His eyes – bright as opals – Oh! How they twinkled!
And, like a goanna, his skin was quite wrinkled!
His shirt was stretched over a round bulging belly
Which shook when he moved, like a plate full of jelly.
A fat stack of prezzies he flung from his back,
And he looked like a swaggie unfastening his pack.
He spoke not a word, but bent down on one knee,
To position our goodies beneath the pine tree.
Surfboard and footy for us two.
And for Dad, tongs to use on the new BBQ.
A mysterious package he left for our Mum,
Then he turned and he winked and he held up his thumb;
He strolled out on deck and his ‘roos came on cue;
Flung his sack in the back and prepared to shoot through.
He bellowed out loud as they swooped past the gates –

“MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, and GOOD ON ‘YA, MATES!”

Adapted by Yvonne Morrison