A Plan for the New Year….

Since switching over to a smart phone, I have enjoyed doing alot of my Scripture reading on my phone through YouVersion.  If you are looking for a way to incorporate more of what God wants to share with you, consider getting this app for your phone. Interesting how cell phone have totally revolutionized how we live huh? Below is from the YouVersion blog.

–Melissa

PS.  Have you written out some of the dreams you want to create….the life you want to create in 2011?  Here is a cool tool I have enjoyed using. Simple but effective. Click here to download:  annualreviewtemplate

bible-app-iconDuring the YouVersion webcast we hosted in November, we shared a God-sized goal: To see users of the Bible App spend at least 1 billion minutes reading the Bible during just the month of January. Now that time is here, and we could really use your help to see this vision fulfilled.

Around New Year’s, many people want a fresh start, often deciding that this will be the year they’re going to read the Bible. We’ve literally been preparing for this moment for months. We’ve brought the Bible App to iPhone, iPad, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, PalmOS-even Facebook. Reading Plans have proven to be a great tool to help both new and seasoned readers walk through the Scriptures, so we’ve added several new ones (like the One Year® Bible NLT), with even more on the way.

We’ve shared simple things everyone can do-rate the Bible App in iTunes, help connect friends with the Bible, and share on Facebook and Twitter. We’ve even added a resource page to YouVersion.com to help people be part of the challenge. Here’s how you can help specifically:

  1. Read as much Scripture in the Bible App as you can during January.
  2. Encourage everyone you influence to do the same.

YouVersion saw some amazing numbers during 2010 (installed on more than 12 million devices, used to engage with Scripture for more than 4 billion minutes). We’re convinced God is up to something even bigger. And we believe that helping other people fall in love with His Word is the most important thing we can all do to be a part.

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The ordinary….

I have been working on the 2011 schedule (from the Community Life side) of home groups, community events, preschool events, and where and how they all converge and tell the same story and carry on the same conversation……dizzying.

Makes me think of all the things left undone……things not done well….things I wanted to do that just didn’t make it off the drafting board.  Yeah, I have a pretty average amount of talent, time and abilities.  Thats ok because Christmas makes me think about the ordinary made something so much more.  It was an ordinary manger scene that witnessed the extraordinary because of God’s great love and power.  I think of my ordinary gifts made extraordinary because of God’s power  and love….. and I’m alright with ordinary.

Yep, I am ok with ordinary.

I am grateful for the other ordinary people I work with…..because I see the extraordinary in them.

Ordinary is pretty good.  Makes for pretty good raw material……and God loves to work with the ordinary. That makes me very happy!

If you are in the area, come and hear the story of the ordinary made surprisingly extraordinary…….Christmas Eve, candlelight service at 5pm, and another worship service at 7pm and on Christmas Day at 9:30am. Concordia Church, 1695 Discovery Falls Drive, Chula Vista, CA 91915.

 

Team Melissa Salomon

Team Melissa Salomon

via Team Melissa Salomon.

This is what I want for Christmas!  Join my team please and let’s make a difference for those who need clean water!

Melissa

Radical and unexpected love…..

A couple of things are rocking my world right now……   I have so much enjoyed the youversion.com reading plan called “rediscovering Christmas”….. but a new short film made by some friends in Panama has given me a fresh perspective on the radical story that is the birth of Christ …..that is the Savior Himself ….. that is His LOVE !

FIRST,   the blog of pastor Pete Wilson who is also reconnecting with God’s story wrote this about the reading plan we , along with many others, are reading……    It really resonated with me so I share it here……

His Wild Pursuit Of Man

by Pete Wilson

I’m so loving the “Rediscovering Christmas” Scripture reading plan. I know several hundred of you committed to reading through this plan over Christmas and I’m praying it’s impacting you like it is impacting me. It’s never too late to join us if you want.

One of the assigned scriptures I read this morning was John 1:14 which says…

“The word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have never seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

What a powerful verse reminding us of the beautiful miracle of Christmas. Reminds me of this quote from Fredrich Beuchner in Secrets in the Dark

Those who believe in God can never in a way be sure of Him again. Once they have seen him in a stable, they can never be sure where he will appear or to what lengths he will go or to what ludicrous depths of self-humiliation he will descend in his wild pursuit of man. If the holiness and awful power and majesty of God were present in this even, this birth of a peasant’s child, then there is no place or time so lowly and earthbound but that holiness can be present there also. And, this means that we are not safe, that there is no place where we can hide from God, no place where we are safe from his power to break in to and recreate the human heart because it is where he seems most helpless that He is most strong and just where we least expect Him that he comes most fully.

Part of the Christmas message is God telling his people, “You can’t predict me. I’ll show up anytime and anywhere. I’ll show up in the midst of the most unlikely circumstances and through the most unlikely people.”

Why?

Because I’m God and you’re not.

Have you seen God show up in any unlikely circumstances or through any unlikely people?

————————————————————————————————————————

Good question huh?

Second, then I watched this short film (I think it is just about 14 minutes…..) It was produced by some friends in Panama.  I was told there was a version with english subtitles but I couldn’t find it.  Watch it anyway….. it poses the question of what if Jesus were born today in Panama…. would he be born in the finest hospital?  Maybe this would be His story…..  What if Jesus were born today in (your city)?  What would His story look like?

Watch it.  It made me think…..am I really looking for God in the unexpected places and ways?  You know, that is God’s M.O.  totally……

–Melissa

Prompts to think about your life……

I have come across this site……prompts to think about life.

If you think this will enrich your life and  your time of reflection….you can sign up to receive these prompts daily here: http://www.reverb10.com/

Below are the prompts for the first week of December.  I have thought about the Dec 1 prompt about the ONE WORD focus.  Last year, it was definitely LAUNCH. I think this year it needs to be VIGOR (which for me is going to be about focusing on health)  Let me know if you decide to do this….we can encourage each other!

DECEMBER 8 – BEAUTIFULLY DIFFERENT

December 8 – Beautifully Different. Think about what makes you different and what you do that lights people up. Reflect on all the things that make you different – you’ll find they’re what make you beautiful. (Author: Karen Walrond)

DECEMBER 7 – COMMUNITY

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011? (Author: Cali Harris)

DECEMBER 6 – MAKE

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it? (Author: Gretchen Rubin)

DECEMBER 5 – LET GO

December 5 – Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why? (Author: Alice Bradley)

DECEMBER 4 – WONDER

December 4 – Wonder. How did you cultivate a sense of wonder in your life this year? (Author: Jeffrey Davis)

DECEMBER 3 – MOMENT

December 3 – Moment. Pick one moment during which you felt most alive this year. Describe it in vivid detail (texture, smells, voices, noises, colors). (Author: Ali Edwards)

DECEMBER 2 – WRITING

December 2 – Writing. What do you do each day that doesn’t contribute to your writing — and can you eliminate it? (Author: Leo Babauta)

DECEMBER 1 – ONE WORD

December 1 – One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Living Nativity – A beautiful telling……

Last night was our Living Nativity program here at Concordia Church and Preschool.  We invited our whole community to be part of this big event.

Watching the children tell the Christmas story about the birth of Christ with such gusto…….it was beautiful!  The evening was dark, the atmosphere of Old Bethlehem was recreated.  The telling of the story began with the procession of two year olds marching in with their bells ready to sing, “Ring those bells.”

Here are photos by the talented Norma Roth and Mike Menegus (thanks you two for giving of your time and talent….you certainly captured the spirit of this evening!)

Mary and Joseph entered “Bethlehem”

…..and the children sang…..and the children sang……and they put everything they had into it…..with such “JOY”!  Yes, that was the lesson……sharing the age old story of Jesus with Joy!  Can’t you just feel it when you look at this photo?

It was a glorious evening…..and then a cloud formed, right above our heads and released its water!  No, no, no!!!!!!    We were supposed to have escaped the rain……and we were just half way through our performance!

We tried to regroup under the eves but with 150plus children and another 600plus adults, that was near impossible so we had to postpone the remainder of the performance.

One class had a private performance for their parents in the classroom and only the two three year old classes didn’t get to perform last night.  We are rescheduling them to share their joy and sing on Sunday, December 19th at 10:30am…..they will absolutely get to tell the Christmas story……

While the evening was cut short……so many people said it was a successful evening!  The sheep, the camel, the cookies and hot chocolate cabana, the petting zoo, the live music, the children and their faces of joy……it was perfect!

The mission….highlighted in MyHometown magazine….

What a fun day it was!  We got to spend a couple of hours with the MyHometown magazine editor sharing the dream of what God gave Concordia……and he wrote a beautiful article about Concordia in the magazine as a business highlight.  Local photog Julia Shaefer took our photos that day too.  I think key to a great photographer is how they make you feel.  She made us feel that we were taking the best photographs of our life!

Click HERE for the article!  Hope you enjoy it.

I was glad the message of love and service in the article on Concordia came through loud and clear.  I think that is what people need to see to believe what you say.