Countdown To Christmas

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We are rapidly approaching the climax of the Christmas hubbub. Everyone’s agenda is getting more intense — the advertisers are getting more frantic, and the church is pushing back harder with the ‘reason for the season’. As the excitement for the celebration continues to build, I find the imagery, especially the religious stuff, particularly interesting. Christmas is surrounded by all sorts of fanciful, romantic notions.

Have you seen those pictures of a baby Jesus laying in pure, golden hay, and wrapped in gloriously shimmering cloth? That doesn’t seem to be how it’s recorded. And anyone who thinks it was a ‘silent night’ hasn’t been around a baby’s birth. Or a bunch of over-tired, angel-witnessing shepherds for that matter. Okay, I haven’t been with those kind of shepherds either, but I speculate that they weren’t as reserved as the familiar carol would have us believe.

It’s easy and tempting to paint the whole scene with a holy sheen, but telling the story the way it was, is better. The stark reality of the biblical account is gritty, loud and certainly smelly. And it so much more clearly brings home the humble sacrifice that he offered us so many years ago. It’s quite a step down for the King of the universe. And this is the time where all we can do is express our gratitude that he took it — its implications are still being felt today!

A profoundly Merry Christmas to each of you and your families, from all of us at the EFCCM — here and around the world!

New Theme for 2008

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2008 is the 2nd last year of what I like to call the “uh-ohs”. And “2 uh-oh 8” is almost upon us. I thought I’d give you a preview into what I’m thinking for this year’s theme: Fire!

There are lots of reasons why I think it’s a good metaphor. For one reason there are several uses for fire — for light and heat, for clearing and renewal, for refining. There is the way that fire spreads, the way it moves, its unpredictability — it’s both terrifying and poetic.

There are a number of related motivational phrases that fall easily to mind. Fired up! A fire in the belly! On fire for God! You’re fired! Oh wait, that’s something else… :-)

Fire accurately reflects what I want for the coming year. My prayer is that God would light a fire under the EFCCM — to give us impetus and clear direction. I want His fire to spread far and wide, well beyond our control. And I’m going to do all I can to make it happen! I hope you join me!

"A World of Hope" Update

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I’m very excited to announce that we have already received more for a World of Hope than we did for our 2005 and 2006 year-end efforts combined!

As of today, we have received $32,540!

Thank you to all of our generous donors — you are enabling ministry with untold impact around the world!

If you would like to contribute to a World of Hope, it’s not too late. I have put the project list online as a downloadable pdf file:

Click here to get it!

(You don’t need to print it out — just write down the important information and get it in to us).

Any donations made before Dec. 31st 2007 will count towards this year’s contributions. There aren’t that many days left, and they’re going really fast!

BuzZ Online Episode 8!

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Click here to listen to Episode 8 of the BuzZ Online!

Shaun and Söndi (pronounced SHIN-dee) dropped by to talk about the work they’re doing in Budapest, Hungary. They are doing a lot of work with children and youth, especially in an English-teaching context, and it is exciting to hear about the responsiveness they’re seeing.

Please uphold them in prayer as they continue to share the truth with families. There is great spiritual need — many communities have no living church at all — and Shaun and Söndi would like to be used by God to address that.

MEMO Cuba’s Announcements — Part 2

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MEMO Cuba is shipping out-of-service hospital equipment and supplies for the renewal and refurbishing of two hospitals — Remedios and Caiberien. This is a massive undertaking! Material, equipment and supplies come from such diverse places as Kelowna, Edmonton and Thunder Bay. The Cuban people of these communities know this help comes from Canadian Christians through local Cuban churches.

Completion of this project is scheduled for 2009.