Archive for December, 2009

Christmas 2009

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

We celebrated Christmas in NJ with our family.  We had a nice and relaxing time enjoying the company of those we love so much.

Here is a LARGE album of pictures of our Christmas activities.

Gaylord National Harbor ICE exhibit

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

We recently visited the National Harbor ICE exhibit in Maryland which is only one of many holiday attractions at Christmas on the Potomac.  We had a great time despite the 9 degree temperature inside!

The ICE exhibit is only open until January 10, 2010

Discover a world unlike any other as you walk through a winter wonderland made entirely of ice! Explore ten different holiday scenes made from two million pounds of ice, including a life-sized Santa’s

Workshop, a penguin village… and even ice slides that stand more than two stories tall!

ICE! is created by some of the world’s finest sculptors — a team of 40 artisans from Harbin, China — where a spectacular International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival is held every year. Brought to the U.S. exclusively by Gaylord Hotels® and handcrafted over a course of 40 days, this cold event will warm all hearts.

Watch a video preview of ICE!

Click here to see our pictures.

Blizzard of 2009

Saturday, December 19th, 2009

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While Peter is stuck in Miami, I am having a grand time here in VA… and not because he is gone, but because of all the SNOW!  First thing today I dug out our SUV… I am very thankful for the 4-Wheel drive and for the new tires!  Then I went to Dick’s Sporting Goods to get snow boots… I got the LAST pair of women’s snow boots which just happened to be my size! How awesome!  Then I got all bundled up and set out in the storm to snap a few wintry day photos.  Now I am cuddling on the couch with Marty and watching the snow fall outside my window.  So far we have 12 inches and it is still coming down!

Enjoy my snowy day pictures!

FREE 8X10 Canvas print

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

Click HERE to get your FREE 8×10 canvas print from the Canvas People.  It is a $55 value!

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count it ALL joy

Friday, December 11th, 2009

Singing Pots by Mark Altrogge from The Blazing Center

As an art major in college, I was required to take two semesters of ceramics. So the biblical illustration about the Potter and clay is very real to me. But another illustration I heard speaks powerfully to me about the need to rejoice in all things.

A potter was giving a man a tour of his studio. He explained that most of the time after clay has been formed into bottles, cups, or dishes he sets them aside to dry, then puts them into a kiln and “fires” them at very high heat, to harden the clay. After a set period of time, the kiln is turned off. At some point the visitor noticed the artist placed some particular pots into a kiln but did not set the timer. Curious, he asked, “How will you know when they’re done?” To which the potter replied, “When they sing.” When this particular clay reached a certain temperature, it would emit a whistling sound – it would “sing.” When the potter heard the pots “singing” he’d know the fire had finished it’s work and he’d turn off the kiln.

How often does God have to take us around the mountain one more time because we’ve failed to learn the lesson of rejoicing in all things?

I can imagine angels watching as Jesus takes me through some trial. “How will you know when he’s done?” they ask. And I can hear the Lord answer like the potter, “When he sings.”

We can know God has done an incredible work in our lives when we can worship him in the midst of trials, when our mouth is filled praise though our eyes are filled with tears. How that brings glory to God. It’s easy to praise him when everything’s going great. But when we offer a costly sacrifice of praise while suffering, it shows our confidence in his sovereignty, goodness and wisdom. It brings our Father great pleasure when we sing of his goodness when everything about our situation would call his goodness into question. It brings him deep joy when we sing that he’s in control when our circumstances scream there is no one at the wheel.

Without faith it is impossible to please God. Conversely, faith greatly pleases God. And what could please God more than our faith expressed by singing?

I’m not saying that God will end our trials if we start to sing. But worship will lift our eyes from our affliction onto our Savior. Anybody want to be a singing pot?

I am a visual thinker. I remember facts, details, and instructions better if I can see them or paint a mental picture of them. In college I too took a pottery class. I completed the class with a joyful appreciation for the mental picture of God and His children through the analogy of the potter and the clay. The above post by Mark Altrogge reminded me of that great analogy which gives me a glimpse of what it might be like to THE Potter as he deals with this “lump of clay” that is me. How often have I failed to rejoice and worship Him during the molding and firing times of my spiritual journey? How often has The Lord wanted to hear singing from me, but instead heard complaining and bitterness? Sadly, this has happened way to often.