Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It's God's gift from start to finish! We don't play the major role. If we did, we'd probably go around bragging that we'd done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.
Ephesians 2:7-10 The Message

Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. This is our second Christmas away from family. Butch's mom came out to spend it with us. We had a great time with her. It made it a little easier being so far away from the rest of the family.

Several times in the past few days I have started to update this blog and as you can see have not gotten very far. I uploaded pictures to make a new slide, but haven't finished it, I started a post but never finished. Oh well. I had to get in the last post of 2007 and wish you all a happy new year with an update on life in Nevada!

Life continues to be busy, but that is the life of a Pastor and his family. We spent a couple of days in Reno after Christmas so that the kids could spend their Christmas money. We didn't really do much shopping this trip. Typical end of the month.

Today the boys started cleaning their room. I say started because they have boxes that have pretty much been packed since we sold our house in 2002. Needless to say, it was time. Spencer has always been the easy one when it comes to his stuff, he's willing to toss and give away. Grady...he's my packrat. He finally came to the realization today that a lot of the stuff he didn't want to part with really has no meaning to him and why did he need to keep packing it around. What an opportunity to talk about our faith, in that we tend to pack around a lot of stuff that we don't need as well, instead of just giving it to God.

As I look forward to the new year, I have been setting some goals for myself. First, I want God to be the center of my life. I'm not saying He isn't right now, but sometimes I lose my focus. I will spend more time practicing my guitar, so that I can be a better musician and better lead worship in our church. I will take better care of myself and my family. We need some life changes as far as eating healthy and exercise. (Pray for us!)

God is good and continues to bless us in our ministry. Many of you sent us gifts this Christmas and we thank you. It is a blessing to know that you are praying for us and care for us. We continue to greet new faces on Sunday morning and meet people during the week. You would think that in a town as small as ours, after two years you would know most everyone. Not so, people keep to themselves. We continue to make efforts to meet people, when we go to lunch, or the post office. A quick trip to the grocery store for milk easily turns into an hour.

We continue to love it here, despite the cold. I don't think it's gotten above 30 degrees for weeks. It snowed all day Saturday, making our mountains look peaceful, blanketed in white. When it's windy, our house always feels cold, despite the wood stove. Gotta love a 1977 mobile home with little or no insulation.

Well, 10 minutes to the New Year. The boys are awake, Becca is sleeping and I have been instructed to wake her in time. I would just as soon be sleeping!

Thank you for praying for us. We appreciate all of you. Maybe tomorrow I'll get that slide show finished and some new pictures up.

God Bless You in the New Year


Monday, December 17, 2007

Pre-Christmas Greetings

It's been a busy few weeks and I apologize for taking so long to give an update. Our Christmas letter is nearly done so I will get that out soon. In the mean time, updates on our family! A couple of weeks ago Becca had her D.A.R.E graduation. She placed first for the essay contest and was very pleased with the effort she put forth. We are very proud of her as well.

Our church Christmas party was this past Friday. It was well attended and everyone had a great time. As White Elephant Gift Exchanges go, there were a couple of "hot" gifts that kept going around and around and around some more. We played as LTCC youth does, limiting the exchange to 3 steals per round, then it's on again for the next round. Much more fun that way!

Sunday was the children's Christmas Play. Two weeks ago I wasn't so sure they'd pull it together, but the kids did great! Some have already asked if we can "do that again next year." Hmmm....let's finish this year first.
Now it's on to VBS prep. I can't wait. I got my kit last week and it is sheer will power keeping me from diving in before the new year. I did peek at it, then put it all back in the box. I think I need to go put it out in the church tomorrow. The temptation to dig in is getting to me! Yes, I love VBS and can't wait.

We are looking forward to having Butch's mom spend Christmas with us. She arrives Saturday and will stay until the following Friday. I guess I better get cleaning. We had a great snowfall last week, but it melted rather quickly. Our family was headed into Fallon that day for dentist appointments and the kids didn't even get to play in it. I got some fun pictures when we stopped for a potty break in Austin. Normally 1 hour away, but that day it took 2. They had at least a foot of snow!

Well, I will get that newsletter done and posted in the next day or two. We'd love to hear from you, whether you comment on here or send us an e-mail.
Serving Him,
The Hallenbeck's