Tommorrow is Christmas Eve. It's one of my most favorite parts. Mum's side--aka Benjamin Clan--goes to her parent's house. There will be lots of food, laughter, and teasing. And a beautiful big christmas tree. (i love christmas trees) At some point, Lori and the boys will call from VA and we'll put them on speakerphone. And all talk at once. Yet understand each other. Haha. We'll talk about Christ's birth and such, and one of the guys will pray a looooong but good prayer while we all try not to think of the food.
This year we have even more reason to be grateful: Grandma is alive and well enough to have us over, despite the ravages of chemotherapy. Thank God, I'M NOT SICK! So I can go, with the rest of my family. :) Many times I've prayed that she'd be well enough to see us. I'm so glad she has God to rely on. Indeed, I don't know how anybody can go through cancer and not utterly despair without Christ to rest in....off track. Meant to talk about Christmas. I love it. The tree, the lights, the smells, the giving of presents, and the snow. Yes, snow. Even though we don't have it here in FL, it's still cool. ((I had a white christmas in New York once))
Christmas is hope because it commemorates the birth of my Savior. What cause for rejoicing!! Christ, the Messiah, Immanuel-GOD with us!!! If Christ hadn't come to earth, He wouldn't have lived a sinless life. Fully human yet fully God. If He hadn't lived a sinless life, He wouldn't have taken my sins to the cross; or risen again. And if he hadn't died for my sins, I would not be here right now. The place I'd be wouldn't be a better one. But He did come. His crimson blood has removed the stain of my sin! Washing me clean, whiter than new-falling snow. What joy, what peace, what hope, and what a love this truth is.

Merry. Christmas. (white or no)


use your imagination and pretend this is a good title

You'd think my blog was almost as popular as joe's. oh wait that spot is permenantly taken. Oh well. Popular blogs have to be entertaining...and i don't want to put forth that effort.
Storytime. Mum said she was "gladish" the other day. I just about fell off my chair. She just laughed at my saddish disbelief. When I informed her that it's bad form to talk like your teenager, she said it was worse form to correct your mother. dang.
about knicknames. you're not allowed to give them to yourself around here, mr. penn hick. which i'll have to call you for now cause the sczebels don't know you, and they're the nick-namers. hoser is a canadain term for we're not sure what. that one just flies around.

i have to finish christmas shopping while the sun is shining, so I'll leave ya'll to talk to yourselves. (just so you know, i'm laughing at all of you)



something like movie reviews

Narnia...saw the movie today. It was pretty good. I liked. Jadis' blonde hair threw me off, I always imagined it 'raven black'. And her looks more inhuman. The kids were good. (not just saying that 'cause they have lovely UK accents either). Lucy was great. Of course. She's the best. Susan was more undermining (not right word) of Peter than I remembered. Peter was more indecisive/unsure of himself. Oh but his sword! Don't think I'll get a sword for christmas. oh well. Aslan didn't get enough screen time. But he was alright--especially compared to the BBC puppet. Nobody could ever really capture the wonderfulness of Aslan. It'd always be slightly dissapointing. Or so I think. Maybe that's only if you've been reading the books since you were 7, with a billion-watt imagination. The parallel to Christ as our redemptive sacrifice was un-missable. CS Lewis is amazing.

Now to completly change subjects. The new P&P... dangerous waters here. I saw it with 2 girl friends, Wesley & Abby.
Abby said it best: "I've never had so much fun hating a movie in my life!" I laughed more in that movie than I have in ages. I concur. I'm a hopeless un-romantic. Maybe there's something wrong with me. The part of my brain that's supposed to like mush is disconnected. (Yet I LOVE the AE version). Can't stand Keira. Nasty of me, I know, but she's annoying. She seemed really mean. Elizabeth wasn't mean, she laughed and smiled and joked. Some say Kiera was the perfect Elizabeth Bennet. Guess nobody read the book. She wasn't. Julia E. was oh-so-better. Didn't cry, except from laughter. Then, I rarely cry in movies. I did like the cinemaphotography. And the music. ((the part where Kiera spins on the swing? People hated it. Said it made them sick. We loved it. Great way to show passage of time.)) Bingley acted like a stupid oaf. "come back anytime you're not feeling well" I looked at Abby. I saw the suppressed laughter on her face and might possibly have cracked up...
And the ending!! Oh my lanta!! The 1st "mrs darcy" was ok. Cheese but sweet. The 2nd was just stupid. I was trying SO HARD not to laugh out loud, but by the 4th time I lost it. We sat there laughing. Really hard. Out loud. Trying to be quietish. I thought I'd die I was laughing so hard.
We then went to Wesley's house to watch the real P&P. haha. Funny story. Went by Publix to get some food first. Abby and Wes are both tall, like 5'8 and5'6. My short hobbitness at 5'2(and a half) can't keep up. So I have this little skipping to catch up. Then we get home, and the movie starts with Elizebeth on a walk. She breaks into a run. They're like "you think you're not Elizebeth!". It was pretty funny...you had to be there. Beks would've loved it. She's the one who convinced me I was Elizabeth. I used to fiercly deny it.
Short story: I think the AE version is the best, the book is better.

hi andrew. dell is a pretty cool kid. comment when you want. we have canadian hosers and fl pomegranates here...

~dams is outs.


into the west

Friday night we had our Christmas Event, basically a big show where we poke fun at everything and everyone. There were a lot of jokes and such. But the second half was a play-like musical thingy (what is it with metro&music?) about the Port of M. At the end, the narrator talked about a new ship getting ready to set sail, and her name was Grace. He said something that really affected me: "People ask me 'how far west will she go; where will she land.' Well, I don't know. I tell them that she is sailing westward, following the Son". (not exact quote). I wanted to cry. The next song was based on "west side story". They had the west side vs. east side and all. At the end, the west side went over and said their good-byes. They went to exit the stage, but dropped thier bags, looked back and ran over to hug the east side one last time. I was crying. it felt stupid, but I couldn't keep it in. The reality that I am really leaving (I haven't been admitting to myself that it's hard because I didn't expect it) couldn't be put off. I'm leaving. For real. As in there is no coming back. Here isn't home and never will be. Haven't been letting myself really think about it. It's uncomfortable. I'm not used to being this emotional. Or wearing it on my sleeve. Don't think I like it.
It's not that I'll never talk to my east-side friends again. But it's not home. Honestly it hasn't felt like home in a long time. Which feels extremely weird. I'll have to build new relationships and reach out. They, and my fellow west-siders will take first priority. Which is all good. It's about sharing the gospel, saving people from hell. Not friends. Sharing the light of this glorious news should be first priority anyway. It's a not just a privilege but a command.
I'm fully committed to planting our new church. It's going to be an amazing adventure. I can't believe God's letting me be a part of it!! I look forward to serving alongside some of the most wonderful people i know. Incredible...I'm glad, I know this is what it is for me right now. But that doesn't mean it's easy. Or always fun, or that I'm always happy. It's a paradox, feeling like your heart's being torn out of you and yet being joyful in the knowledge that it's God's will. Once we get this long good-bye over with, I will stop being surprised that I haven't run out of tears and be able to focus on Christ and His new church.
There are other things I've tossed around in my head but not fully realized. For me, this isn't just about one plant. For now that's my focus and goal. But like somebody said, I'm heading west and don't know how far God's going to lead me. I could keep going west and end up in Israel, or stop at the Gulf Coast. I have no idea. But I know the adventure of a lifetime is beginning. Scary thought indeed!! I feel so unprepared, immature...just not ready! He knows all this. He will shape me like clay into what He wants. It doesn't matter how ready or not I think I am, or what I have to lay down and give up. He knows I'm ready for just what He's planned. Wow.
**This got really long, so if you made it this far, you should get a prize. Like a free trip to Narnia or somewhere, but I'm not licensed to give those away. :)
Thanks to all of ya'll who have encouraged and/or prayed for me. God's so good! And faithful. Amazed.