Have You Seen? {December 24, 2017}

Welcome to Have You Seen? We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading.

Resource of the week: Adventure4kids

Engagingly crafted videos of a family exploring Colorado and beyond. Family-friendly content that is great for kids of all cultures and for those seeking an experience of American family life and adventure.

For parents, it is a safe form of entertainment for their kids that encourages engagement with the world around them and models healthy family interactions, which can be hard to find on the internet. In terms of teachers, the videos are great authentic materials for ELLs that give language learning a meaningful and intrinsically motivating element as well as displaying elements of US culture. Check out Adventure4kids.tv

Last Week’s Theme: Peace

The Gift of Peace by M’Lynn Taylor—”I don’t know where you are in your overseas journey … coming or going, or somewhere in between, but I want you to experience the gift of peace in a tangible way that will leave an impression on your heart. If you’re homesick, peace will comfort you. If you’re celebrating with family for the first time in years, peace will cheer you! If you’re just plain stuck in the middle of a hard time, peace will sit with you and assure you of blessings to come.”

Your Host Culture in 1977 {Book Club} by Amy Young—”I am grateful we are reading this book together because it is helping me to see Sarah, and now Isaiah, in a different light. Like many of you, I am no stranger to Isaiah, but since the book of Isaiah is mostly prophecy, I do not have the strongest sense of him as a person. This is a bit embarrassing to admit as someone who values cultural context, but I also hadn’t ever gotten out a map and looked at it while thinking of the social, historical, and cultural context.”

He Knows My Name by Julie Breuninger—”It was also a poignant reminder that as my dad and I navigate through this valley of shadows of fading memory, God is here with us and He is our peace. My heavenly Father will always know my name and my father’s name. We are not promised life without difficulties, but we are promised God’s peace.”

I Couldn’t Do This Without You by Danielle Wheeler—”Goers get the glory, but senders are the saints. Without them, kingdom work across the world would deflate. They are the helium in our balloons, the gas in our engines, the ___________ (insert your own ‘cheesy, but oh, so true’ metaphor here). Goers know there would be no going without the sending.”

From Around the Web

Know anyone in or near Costa Rica? Tell them about Azmera’s retreat in Costa Rica! Connect in person with others who get your life and need personal refreshment.

Sick For Advent, Take Two

The Story Isn’t Finished

English Is Hard: When Your “Yes” Isn’t “Yes, and Your “No” Isn’t “No”

9 Ways to Make the Most of Christmas Abroad

Finally, Joy Belongs to Us 

And Now for Next Week

The theme is ….

It was the prophet Isaiah who used the term “Immanuel” in his prophecy. God with us.

We are not alone. Not at Christmas time. Not in seasons of waiting or celebration. Not when we sin and cause hot messes for those around us.

Immanuel. God with us.

He does not say he is the “get out of jail free” God or the “Hide and seek” God or the “Simon Says” God. No. He is the “God with us” God.

He promises his presence. As his image bearers and those who have voted for presence with our lives, this word holds a special place for us.

“God wants to always be with us, wherever we may be – in our sin, suffering and death. We are no longer alone; God is with us.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer

It it our final word for 2017. Together, this week we will soak in the richness of all that presences entails.

Join us in the comments all week and link your own blog post at The Grove. Share on Instagram with #VelvetAshesPresence and share how you are present in your world, how God is present to you, and where you have seen presence recently.

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