Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A merry little Christmas

This Christmas was a beautiful and bittersweet one. It will probably be our last time to see all our family and friends together for a long while and we are going to miss them so much. But we had an amazing Christmas eve and day with some of our favorite people. I'm also especially proud of how our tree turned out this year... bright, colorful, snow covered, and filled with collected ornaments and memories. 

We used my Grandma's Nativity set this year. It looked so beautiful in front of the tree... I wish she could have seen it.

Leading up to Christmas this year, I read through the story of Jesus' birth in Luke. It tells of how the shepherds saw the angels, went to find the baby Jesus, and ran off to tell all the world about it. Which makes sense. You'd probably freak out too if you had hosts of angels announce the birth of the Messiah to you while on your night shift. It's the next part that really stood out to me though this year. In Chapter 2 verse 19 it says...

"But Mary treasured up all these things in her heart and thought of them often."

She took all of it in... her new baby boy, the miracle of His birth, the angels, the gifts, the people traveling to come see Him and worship Him. She let it sink in and then she held those things in her heart and treasured them.

I can't even begin to imagine all that Mary must have felt that night, but I do know what it is to experience blessings. I know the love of family. The joy of friendships you'll have for life. Most importantly though, I know and treasure the very same thing that Mary did... her Savior. Above all else is the treasure of knowing Christ.

And as we move on from the lights and the presents and back on to the packing and boxes, these are the things I'll treasure up in my heart and think of often.

I hope that this Christmas, you experienced the love of family, the joy of friendship, and the ultimate treasure and meaning of it all in knowing Jesus Christ. How will you remember it?

Merry Christmas!


Rene & Jess

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A bit about Lancaster

The church Rene will be working at is located in Lancaster County, PA. It's a gorgeous area about an hour and a half west of Philadelphia. There's a few urban areas and a ridiculous number of the quaintest, picturesque towns where people leave there doors unlocked during the day and actually get to know their neighbors. Though we're not sure what campus he'll be working with quite yet, everything is relatively close together. We're hoping to find a place in Lancaster City, which is a central point between the campuses and also just so happens to be home to the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design (but we'll save my excitement on that subject for another post). 

So we wanted to share a preview of where we're actually heading with you guys until we get there and can share our own photos.

Driving into the county, most everything looks like this... And it's gorgeous...

Then There's a little bit of this...

And  then all of the sudden, it looks like this...

We're excited to experience four real seasons (yee! snow!!) and excited to be city dwellers together. Excited to experience the amish country and tour some dairy farms. But mostly we're excited to be on an adventure together with lots of unknowns and plenty of opportunities to trust in Jesus. 

~ jess

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

the big news

We have News! BIG NEWS!

No. We're not pregnant.

(not yet at least...)

We're moving to Pennsylvania!... Seriously!
God has answered our prayers and provided an opportunity for me to serve at a church called LCBC (Lives Changed By Christ) as a worship leader! We got the news a few weeks ago but wanted to wait until everything was finalized before announcing it to the world (also known as the internet).

LCBC currently has three campuses and will be starting up two more next year. I'll be leading worship for one of the campuses. As of now, it isn't certain which one, but we'll keep you posted. I start in January, but we will be making the move soon after christmas. Meaning we will be home for the holidays (well, most of them) and we are pretty excited about that.

The main campus for LCBC is in Manheim Pennsylvania and we'll likely be living in Lancaster City (about 20 mins south of Manheim).

So there it is! We're extremely excited about everything God has in store for us through these major changes but are also going to cherish as much time as possible with those we love before we leave. We'll be posting news and updates as the transition continues. We also ask for your prayers as we embark on this journey together.

-- René