Monday, December 17, 2012

December in Bozeman!

What a busy first half of the month…

Kirkwood hosted a Christmas concert December 6 put on by Amanda Lorentzen, an up and coming artist.  The following evening was the youth lock-in, which included food, games, movies and more fun all night long.  Bless those who stayed all night with our youth pastor.  I had to coach a basketball tournament the following day. 

One of my favorite parts of the last couple months was the opportunity I had to coach the Heritage Christian 5th-8th Grade Girls’ Basketball team.  They completed their season this past week.  The girls’ finished one of the season ending tournaments in 2nd place, competing against all the other schools’ purely 7th-8th grade teams.  It was such a blessing coaching a group of girls who improved so much throughout the season and learned to play as a team.  Most importantly they honored Christ in how they competed, how they responded to adversity and in how they encouraged one another.  The other coach and I were so proud of how they played.  

TEAM VERSE: "Don't you realize that in a race
everyone runs but only one gets the prize? So run to
win! All athletes are disciplined in their training.
They do it for a prize  that will fade away,
but we do it for an eternal prize."
-1 Cor. 9:24-25

Heritage Christian Basketball
Gallatin Gateway Tournament
Runner-up Team

End of year team party.

During the season I had the chance to do weekly devotions with the girls.  The one that stood out the most to me was when we talked about the fact that athletes spend over 95 percent of their time training and less than five percent competing.  However, when we look at our spiritual life, we often spend very little of our time training.  We spend about 99 percent of our time living and less than one percent in intentional time with Him.  It really caused me to stop and evaluate if there are better ways that I can spend my time each week.  There are so many lessons from sports that can be applied to life and to our walk with the Lord.  And just as in sports where we are competing against an opponent, in life there is a spiritual battle that many of us do not take seriously enough, as evidenced by how little we work to grow daily in our relationship with Him.

The month has also been full of opportunities to substitute teach at Heritage Christian Academy.  I so enjoy spending time with the kids during Bible, math, science and other activities.  However, each time I substitute, it gives me a greater appreciation for full time teachers and also the sense of humor the Lord gives us.  Everything between having to fish the marker out of the fish tank (no pun intended) when a girl dropped it in during prayer requests and the egg that splattered on the floor during a science experiment was quite a good time!

The Kirkwood singles Christmas party was earlier this month, complete with a white elephant gift exchange quite unlike any other I had been a part of in the past, finger foods, games and a lot of laughter.  Kirkwood also hosted a Christmas event for kids of the community that included cupcake decorating, the Veggie Tales movie “It’s a Meaningful Life” and the candy cane story to share the Gospel.

Veggie Tales movie at Kirkwood Christmas Celebration

Cupcake decorating

Misty telling the Candy Cane story

Sunday night the 16th we had the Kirkwood Christmas Celebration.  It was such a sweet time of fellowship with the body of Christ that attends KBC.  We had dinner, worship and took communion.  In preparation for the event people volunteered to decorate each of the dinner tables and come up with goodies, and I of course, got to do the kids table.  What a blast!  I am so grateful for my church family here in Montana and it has also been a time to reflect on how grateful I am for my church family in Nashville at Judson who God is using to allow me to be out here - sending my love to all of you!

Kids table for Christmas dinner

Lane girls :)

Wyatt kiddos! :)

Kids lighting advent candle

KBC Christmas worship time

I also got to enjoy a sweet time with Pastor James and Misty and the family celebrating Christmas before we all hit the road this coming week.  Baby Levi is getting bigger each day (and cuter if that's even possible) and the girls are so sweet.  We had a great time together eating at Outback, opening some presents and watching a movie!
Chillin' :)

Baby Levi!

PJ Christmas pic with the Wyatt girls

I have a few more days in Bozeman before heading to Utah and then to Slovenia.  I will finish up with a Christmas party for the kids who attend Wednesday nights at church and celebrating Christmas with my Montana sister Saralyn, her husband and kiddos who are such a big blessing in my life ... In the midst of everything going on, the greatest joy comes from being able to celebrate the birth of our Savior! May our eyes remain focused on Him through this season.

"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord." Luke 2:10-11

Prayer requests:
-Pastor James and Misty are traveling (by car) to Tennessee (and back) with the four kids including Baby Levi.  They leave the 18th to head to TN so please pray for safe travels and their sanity to still be in check when they return, and of course that they will have a sweet time with family while they are there!
- TeamKid Christmas party at church December 19th.
-I am road tripping to Utah December 20th with a good friend and her family who will be staying to ski for a few days and then I will be spending Christmas there with my uncle as well as my mom who is flying in town and her side of the family.  Please pray for safe travels and also for the opportunity to share the love of Christ with all I am with during that time.
-On December 27th I leave straight from Utah to head to Slovenia (Europe) on a mission trip and will be there until returning to Bozeman January 6.  My teammates and I will have the chance to ski the alps and share the Gospel – what could be better?!  Please pray for the team I am traveling with and check out for other opportunities to serve with the International Sports Federation.