Christmas Peppers


Christmas Peppers, originally uploaded by papalars.

Hey folks. I've been negligent on this blog this month and I have a few days to correct my pattern before the close of this year. The foto above is one I created to send Christmas greetings to my flickr friends, many of whom speak Spanish. Since I know English speakers know what I'm talking about I didn't bother to translate the greeting. By the way, I'm known as "papalars" on the web for my fotos [this is Spanish for photos…remember my series "Friday Fotos?"].

I just wanted to send Christmas greetings on these pages as well, to my faithful blog readers, to those who have supported us with love and prayer this last year. Once again, you are crucial to our lives and the growth of the Kingdom among focus friends. Thanks for your vital partnership with us, for your friendship and prayers.

This year begins with a flurry of travels again for our family. Actually numero 3 just left this morning for Japan to be with some old friends from Barcelona, one who lives in Japan currently and another visiting from Barcelona. Mom kept asking how he was going to find his friend's house outside of Toyko without knowledge of Japanese. He loved making her worry. This is one of those MK things. Our kids all love the independence and seemingly effortless ability to find their way in new places around the world. They are much further along than we were at their ages! Numero 1 leaves shortly for a short-term job opportunity in Vegas. He gets to use his Spanish to interpret for a crew that will install furnishings for a company that takes new hotels from finished construction to first occupancy. His goal is to pay off college debt before he takes a 2 year stint in Latin America serving with Covenant Merge Ministries. I will begin January with some travels to California, then Chicago for the Midwinter where I will be giving a workshop on the issues related to our ministry to Covenant leaders and pastors. Later in the first part of '08, travels will take me back to Europe and then the Middle East. Hopefully Carol will be able to join me for part of that trip.

I got an important book for Christmas and would like to recommend it to you. It looks very relevant to our work in Europe but also to the broader issues related to Islam and Christianity for our globe in this century. I hope to share some reflections as I dive in on these pages. The book is called: God's Continent: Christianity, Islam, and Europe's Religious Crisis, by Philip Jenkins. Jenkins is the author of a another book you may have heard about, The Next Christendom, which features the growth of Christianity outside of Western societies and how the center of gravity has changed. So, keep posted for thoughts and ideas, reflections and Kingdom observations on these pages. I think this will be a very important read.

I wanted to send Christmas greetings before this day passed. May God grant you your deeply held, heart desires for this coming year. May you also know his presence and goodness in your life….the stuff that will not tarnish in a few days after the glow of Christmas wears off.

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