Monday, December 29, 2008

What a Christmas!

Hello Everyone. Ever had one of those Christmases where it didn't seem or feel like Christmas until the last minute? That is how this Christmas was for us......well...for me.

1) First of all, before I describe our Christmas, I do have to say that the 1st Baptist Christmas Eve service was the highlight of Christmas for me this year. The celebration of our Lord Jesus Christ turned out wonderful. The sanctuary was filled to capacity with many many people from the community! I am so proud of those that participated in the program. Thanks to one and all that sang, played instruments, ran media and sound, lit candles, ushered, etc. I thank God for you and the wonderful job that you did! You were outstanding! I am sure that the Lord was pleased because I know that the message of Jesus Christ was clearly presented. Jesus is the reason for the season! I want to thank Pastor Shaun and Jodi for their hard work and help in the production. A big thank you also goes to Wendy Compton for allowing us to use her choir risers for our chorale group.

2) Christmas for the Garza family seemed like we were playing "catch-up" the whole entire time. Christmas shopping? All late. Christmas cards? Late. We were also singing a made up spoof of "Oh Christmas Tree" called "NO Christmas Tree".

3) Weather and Christmas shopping didn't seem to mix this year. I know. I know. We should have started Christmas shopping in October, right? We were thinking....okay...start in December! We were able to get some shopping done locally in Worland, but of course, we needed to get to Billings or Cody for savings. All I know is, we hit some pretty nasty weather trying to get to Billings, Montana. It was so bad that we were creeping at about 20 mph through a white wall of blowing snow and gusts with cars stopped in the middle of the road in the storm! Sandra and I decided that it wasn't worth the risk, so we turned around and headed back. We then decided that we would go to Cody, Wyoming instead. While in Walmart, the horrible weather hit Cody too. We started to overhear people talking about an 11 car pile-up and a woman losing her life. After we heard about a school bus being involved, and we knew our boy Jacob was coming home from a basketball game on a bus....we knew we had to get out of there! It was a horrible time trying to get home in the blizzard. We should have just stayed home that day.

4) The weekend right before Christmas, we still didn't have our Christmas shopping done, we didn't have a Christmas tree either. We finally made it to Billings. There was snow and ice everywhere, and the people there were driving "nutty"! It was dangerous! No Christmas trees could be found! Christmas shopping was almost done that day, but had to be finished the day before Christmas back in Worland.

5) We finally were able to buy a artificial "Charlie Brown" Christmas tree from True Value in Worland for 40% off. This is the first Christmas we didn't have a real Christmas tree. Oh well.

6) Then it happened...Christmas Eve. God taught me a huge lesson! Such a simple lesson! This is what God showed me..."Jeff. I know you have been stressed. I know that you are behind and trying to finish up all the loose details with Christmas worship and the program. I know that you have been hustling to get Christmas shopping with your family done. So what if you do have or don't have a Christmas tree! Remember me.....Jesus! Remember me....I am Lord. Remember me.....celebrate me!" God really revealed Himself to me in the Christmas Eve worship service that I mentioned earlier. Yes...this was Christmas. Emmanuel..God With Us! After the choir sang the program "A Night to Remember"....and the the congregation raised their lit candles singing "Silent Night", I finally finally had my eyes opened. God taught me a great lesson. He is in control. He takes care of us. All things are possible.

1John 4:4 "You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."

7) We hope that you had a wonderful Christmas. Have a blessed and Happy New Year, 2009! God bless you!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Great Week and Weekend

Hey everyone. I hope you are doing well. What a nice Thanksgiving we had with about 15 people crammed into our house for the turkey dinner. It was wall-to-wall people, but I am thankful to the Lord for the many blessings!
Here are some of my thoughts to start off the new month:

1) Can you believe it's already December?

2) Just a few more practices left for the "A Night to Remember" Christmas Eve Program!

3) Do I start Christmas music for worship at church yet? Maybe one more week....

4) The youth praise band did such a wonderful job leading worship yesterday! They are really learning to serve more and more. I'm sure proud of them!

5) It was nice to spend time with my family over the Thanksgiving break. Boy did we need a break!

6) No snow in Worland yet. I hear the snowy weather will be hitting soon...... later this week!

7) It was good to talk to my mother and brothers in Idaho and California over the holiday.

8) I hope my family from out of state can come to Wyoming some day.

9) The NFL is really heating up again! My fantasy football team got knocked out of first place after many weeks at #1. Wheels Warriors / a.k.a. The Spoiler Kids (Dennis Wheeler) got me this week. This changed my seeding in the playoffs. It may be the end for me this year. Oh well...I guess I deserved it after talking smack. Great fun this year!

10) I got to drive Rusty the Bug again yesterday, after a few days off. Lots of fun! Rusty is sitting right outside ready to go again.....I love the lower gas prices!!! VW's rock!

11) Did you hear Pastor Shaun and I yelling from blocks away enjoying the Sunday night football game??? Shaun and I both agree that football is the best sport!!! Go Cowboys! He won't agree with me about my team though!

12) Jacob is wrapping up basketball season soon. I'm proud of him. He has worked so hard trying to play and suffering from a deep cough at the same time. He says he's ready for the season to be over. He can't wait to hurdle again in track. I don't blame him.

13) Joshua and I made an igloo out of sugar cubes for his Native American project. It took forever! We had fun though....especially sealing the cubes with white cake frosting. It was finger licking good.

14) Caleb is doing well. Everyone better be careful driving the streets and walking on the sidewalks....he turned 16 and got his drivers license!

15) Why does car insurance have to be so expensive?

16) I've gotta lose some weight......have you seen Pastor Shaun?

17) I guess I just have to take Hank the Cowdog for walks. That would help.....but we call our dog Hankenstein....he's a monster! Go figure....walks won't be easy.