SOAP 12.29.10

December was clearly busy and I grossly neglected my blog.. so here we go today with today’s SOAP.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say:
“Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.
11 They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.
Revelation 12:10-11

This feels like the end of an epic movie! There is true excitement in these words. Sometimes I get a little lost in the book of Revelation and then I get caught up in verses like this. I can imagine the accuser pointing fingers at each one of us, pointing out our flaws to us and to God. But he lost. Hurled down. The voice that says we are not good enough, that we are not worthy of love, that we are not worthy of hope, that we will never amount to anything is ultimately defeated.. destroyed. For all of us who have felt at times defeated or ineffective.. take that.. the accuser is defeated. The salvation, power and kingdom of our God and the authority of Christ has triumphed. Satan defeated by the blood of the Lamb, a life with Christ and owning their story. His power removed as people are healed by Christ and share with others their testimony or story. It is still a bloody war that requires the belief of these verses.

Some of the most powerful influences have been those who have shared their lives to me. Whether in a congregational, personal or literary setting they shared their failure, their growth and how they overcame. It is powerful to hear or read. The same thrill I get in reading the above verses I get in hearing those stories. The enemy defeated and salvation in Christ overcoming. On the flip side, I must always remember their is great power to be harnessed in what God has done in my life. I cannot be afraid to share what God has done, what he is doing and what I expect. Sometimes I shrink back but I must be willing to share and help others harness their testimony.

Lord,
Thank you for what you have done for me. Thank you that you have continually moved in my life before I even knew you. You loved me long before I loved myself or you. Thank you. Help me harness my life and use it to have others come to know you. I love you. Inspire me and give me fresh vision of what you want to do. Amen

Lang Christmas Letter 2010

Merry Christmas Friends and Family –

As start to I write this, it is a Wednesday night and midnight… which should explain most of our year. Lots of late nights and lots of memories! Here are just a few as I recap 2010.

We started 2010 without a permanent living situation, living in someone’s house that we didn’t even know. Two months of itinerant living was getting to us. Then January 15, 2010 after a huge roller coaster ride of financing and house hunting we purchased our first home. We got the keys to our first house and moved in to a house in Camas (if you still need that address, let me know!). It was everything we hoped for including a kitchen that both of us can stand in and plenty of toilets for Matt. Although we have a place we can paint, we find that to be a task perhaps too much to handle so we have only painted a few walls.

In January, I started also working at Grace Church. My job began working part time with some administrative tasks.

In February we added a new member to our family.
The photo shoot was not going well
Griffin the cat who is currently off the wall with crazy cat excitement. Griff is about the same age as Owen and they are siblings. They play and chase each other like crazy.

We pressed through spring and my job began to morph. I began working more with graphic design and the communication aspects of Grace. Matt pressed through with 2 youth services a week.

I got to jet down to California for a conference in May. It was an amazing week for women in ministry leadership. There was so much information but it was a great learning experience.

The summer seemed to come and go so quickly. Owen and I had many walks down by the river and enjoyed the beach on the Columbia River. Matt and I did our best to enjoy the weather but we quickly realized how busy we were getting. Between planning our own middle school summer camp and a local mission trip for high school, we were shocked by the arrival August. We roughed it in Bickelton, WA with our middle schoolers for camp right down to the tents, port-o-potties and 1 mile rock filled drives. Also lots of dust. Our students and leaders had an amazing time. I can’t remember a time that I have seen that many stars. Our high school students spent a week serving a church family, Portland Rescue Mission and Bridgetown Ministries and saw how they can impact their local community.

By the end of the summer my job morphed into working with Communications. I am loving learning Adobe Creative Suite & pulling out the art supplies. It is so much fun to dream, create and develop new process and avenues for people to come to know Christ. I realize it takes longer to really engage in this side of me and it can’t be rushed which has brought me some stress. Producing graphics on a weekly basis can be draining.

In September, school started for our students again and we took a quick break! Matt and I took a vacation and flew down to California to go to Disneyland. We spent 3 days and did marathon Disneyland and California Adventure. Our next vacation will be slightly more relaxing but we had a blast.

In October I returned yet again to California when I drove with my friend, Shannon to Palm Springs. Shannon moved to Palm Springs to help plant a church. It was quite the journey. There was laughing, boredom, a storm and a trailer behind us. It took us much longer than it should have but we made it. Even when we got off the 210 and drove through Rosemead to get the 10 in desperate need of no traffic and a potty break. I don’t think Shannon will ever drive to LA again.
Venti Ice waters and Grande Skinny Vanilla lattes for all.
October also brought a fall event… Rise Together. We had hopes to do an event that would shift ideas of church and reach a large group of young people. Our prayers were answered with 409 students filling the church for Massive Monkees, Phil Urdiales and an iPad giveaway.

November and December generally roll together pretty quickly. We are still doing two youth services a week and getting the opportunity to hang out with some pretty amazing young people. Our house is coming together. We are getting more familiar with the Camas/Vancouver/Portland area. We have mourned the loss of Washington news and political campaigns but have not traveled to the dark side and become Blazer fans. Life is busy and the next year will not disappoint. A trip to Haiti? A half marathon? A week of vacation! Who knows but we are excited to find out.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year!