I'm thankful for...

a beautiful home in which we can...

enjoy great food including...

a twist on the main attraction: three types of duck prepared by Ed.

Dinner was complete with party favors...

and coffee with 5 different desserts!

And we worked off our meal with a quick round of DDR (that's Dance Dance Revolution for those of you behind in the times).

All in all, it was a good day. We miss our families very much, but we will see them very soon. So for our first Thanksgiving not in NC, we are still thankful for all of our blessings.

All Quiet on the Northern Front

Yes, that's right. Today, the wonderful appliance guy, Dean, fixed our refrigerator. Gone are the sounds of a dying compressor. Yippee!!!

A guy named Erwin said...

Here's a thought from a guy that gets people's attention:
"You know how most churches are focused on excellence? When your focus is excellence, and your focus is execution—in terms of it having to be executed precisely so it’s efficient—excellence and efficiency actually are enemies of the creative process. People confuse churches that strive for excellence and efficiency for churches that are creative. At Mosaic, when we are talking about creativity, we are talking about beauty. We know that we (Mosaic) don’t always execute with excellence, and we almost never execute with efficiency. The creative process isn’t really an efficient process. This is part of the challenge for our community."

And to that I say: "Hmmm... Thanks for making me think, Erwin."

-Erwin McManus in an online article at RelevantMagazine.com. Article here. His new book Soul Cravings was released today.

Our Jewish Roots

This weekend Holly and I explored two worship services in two Messianic Jewish synagogues. Of course there are dramatic differences between Jewish believers and non-Jewish believers... the language, the songs, and the movement (and dancing). I was most enchanted by the beautiful ceremony Satuday morning when the rabbi and his assistants lead the people in singing a blessing to God, a blessing to the Torah, a blessing as the ark (or cabinet) was opened, a blessing as the curtain (*that was torn) was opened, a blessing as the scrolls were removed, a song and dance to celebrate the Torah... (whew...let me take a breath here)... a blessing upon the reader, a singing/reading of the selected reading and then the reading of the English Bible. (All of this demonstrated the intense love of the law...how beautifully exhausting!!!)

Later that night, we were hanging out with Melanie and Erin (who are in town for a conference) and we stumbled upon this Holocaust memorial across the street from the Irish pubs. Although we were shivering from the cold, we were drawn into this captivating series of quotes, facts, stories, and names. It was an appropriate and humbling end to our weekend Jewish safari. Here are some pictures of the exhibit. (Not ours.)