Bastian Christmas Letter 2009

Here is the Bastian Christmas Letter 2009: Dear Family & Friends, It’s hard to believe, but it was during Christmas last year that I said to Sara, “by this time next year, we won’t be in Illinois.” And here I am, writing to you from Colorado, looking out my window at prairie, cattle & mountains! It was mostly wishful thinking at the time – but a brush with death in April made the idea of moving to Colorado a firm plan! After a big magic show Easter weekend, I felt some chest pain and went to the ER hoping to be told I was fine. Instead, I had a stent put in my heart! That brush with death (and the lightening strike in May) focused my resolve to make what mattered most matter now! I read on a blog a quote by Andy Stanley that I could not get out of my head, “Everyone ends up somewhere, few end up there on purpose.” So here we are – on purpose, loving our new home, in a new setting, and a fresh start in a new place! Sara and Luke seem to be enjoying our new surroundings. Luke loves his new…

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Baby Manny the Reason for the Season

You gotta love those ad lib moments that become memorable and meaningful! At a family advent event I was speaking at this month, my theme was the name Immanuel and the significance of “God with us.” My ever-present helper, Gus from ChildrensMinistryPodcast.com, suggested that maybe Mary and Joseph nickname Jesus “Baby Manny” – short for Immanuel. I’m not so sure about that – but the kids got a kick out of it. While I doubt “Baby Manny” will catch on as a name for the baby in the manger, isn’t it wonderful to be reminded that the awesome and powerful Creator of the universe desires to have a close and intimate, even familiar, relationship with us? I think the Almighty God, who once said we could call him Abba Father, or “Daddy,” wouldn’t mind his son being called “Baby Manny” if it endeared us to Him more. This Christmas, don’t let the hustle and bustle of the season distract you from the Child who cries for your attention. After all, Baby Manny is the Reason for the Season! He is God with Us! (This is the intro to the Kidology Newsletter this week, read the entire newsletter online)

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Christmas Lights Guy

I rarely post something I got in an e-mail forward, but I loved this: Here is the text of the e-mail: (source unknown) I had to take him down after 2 days. I had more people come screaming up to my house than ever. Great stories. But two things made me take it down. First, the cops advised me that it would cause traffic accidents as they almost wrecked when they drove by. Second, a 55 year old lady grabbed the 75 pound ladder almost killed herself putting it against my house and didn’t realize it was fake until she climbed to the top (she was not happy). By the way, she was one of many people who attempted to do that. My yard couldn’t take it either. I have more than a few tire tracks where people literally drove up my yard. It was fun while it lasted Hope you get a kick out of it too! I thought it was pretty creative, but can totally see why the poor guy had to take it down! It’s something I’d do but my wife would make me take it down long before the police would get a chance too! Merry…

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Keeping Christ in Your Ministry

(Reprinted from the December ’08 Kidology.org Newsletter) Getting Christ Back into Christmas Your Ministry There is a danger in ministry that is easy to miss. During the Christmas season, we often hear the phrase, “keeping Christ in Christmas,” or reminders that He is the “reason for the season.” But these sentiments have as much to do with our ministry all year long as they do with the celebration of Christmas. While it is certainly disappointing how little of Jesus we see in our culture’s celebration of Christmas, and frustrating to see our Savior being systematically squeezed out more and more every year, there is something far more gradual and eternally dangerous than seeing Christ steadily removed from Christmas. And it is happening every month of the year. It is the slow and unintentional removal of Christ from ministry – or at least the removal of a vibrant relationship with Jesus in the midst of Christ-centered ministry. I have no doubt that children’s ministry leaders and volunteers will keep “Christ in Christmas” during this season. I am more concerned about whether we will keep a relationship with Jesus at the center of our life and ministry. Christmas serves as a perfect…

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Vader Did You Know?

OK, I somehow missed this at Christmas, but it is SO GOOD it is worth posting in January… have your Kleenex ready, its a tear jerker… There are so many subtle jokes that only true fans will catch, but even a casual Star Wars fan will still get a laugh out of it! ENJOY!

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