Sunday, December 4, 2011

Country Christmas 2011

God has blessed my life with amazing people. And quite a few of them just so happen to revolve around Marmon Valley.  This past weekend, I took a group of 5 people from our Bible study here at BG down to Marmon to serve in their Country Christmas program (see the very bottom for a quick shout out/advertisement for the event).

The amazing group that traveled to the Farm
It was quite a lot to ask 5 college students to give up the last free weekend before studying for finals began.  We all had a lot to get done, but everyone managed to free some time in their schedule to come, and I think they were all rewarded generously.

We set out on a nice trail ride
I saw a quote the other day (the website Pinterest will add so much more procrastination time to my life) that said:

"Do you know that nothing you do in this life will ever matter, unless it is about loving God and loving the people he has made?" - Francis Chan, Crazy Love. 

Could you imagine if that is really how we lived our lives?  Living only in the way that matters, loving God in all that you do?  It's like that song by Steven Curtis Chapman, Everything You Do (check out the song here).  It was so cool to see people give up their weekends to go and serve the Lord by showing a ton (we actually had around 1000 people see the show) of people the story of Christ's birth and the Gospel message.

Anyway, I should give you a bit of background about this event I'm talking about.  For visitors that come, they get all bundled up and board either a hay wagon or bleachers pulled by a tractor.  A narrator starts to tell them the story when they arrive at the first scene.The visitors then go from scene to scene where the Christmas story is acted out.  At the manger scene, the Gospel is shared to every visitor (that means at least 1000 people heard the Gospel last weekend <-That is amazing!).  Once done with the tour, the visitors can go on a pony ride (small children, that is), have hot chocolate and cookies, make a craft, go to a petting zoo, and even buy a Christmas tree. It's a super cool event for the whole family!

Beautiful shot of standoff with a llama
So like I began my post, I have been blessed with amazing people!  This weekend, I got to spend some time with a lot of them, sharing life problems, life praises, and some fun times, exploring, enjoying God's beauty, our struggles and triumphs.  It is so encouraging to be a part of the body of Christ.  With people that I can go months without seeing, yet when I see them, we pick up as if we never left.  I hope that the group I took with me enjoyed Marmon as much as I do.  It was great getting to know them more and make some new memories.
Night time on the playground.  Gorgeous stargazing
We had 3 people ride for their very first time!!!
Our fearless bug killer!

Look how pretty he looks!
He was kind of a wide load.... :)

God is so good and I pray that He is blessing you right now.  It's easy to get caught up in the gifts, Santa Claus, the elf on the shelf, budgets, and whatever else the "holiday season" brings, but I pray that the Lord helps you refocus on just what the season represents - that our God sent His Son to become like man to save us all from guaranteed death.  Like my church here is talking about on Sunday "Jesus' birth was an act of war to save mankind." Quite the thought provoking statement, huh?

Here is my shameless plug for Country Christmas:
If you have never experienced a live nativity and have the desire to do so, please check out and visit next weekend with your family!  It's amazing - and way more than just a live nativity.  There are pony rides, a petting zoo, music, Christmas trees, and of course the live reenactment of the Christmas story.  Hundreds of volunteers make it possible and this weekend alone, around 1000 visitors came to see the production.  Such a cool event for the family! Last weekend to see it: December 9 and 10.

I pray that someone blesses your life today!

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