Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On the way to church

Enjoying the car ride one wintry Sunday morning on the way to a worship service in Alabama.

... and while we're at it... another ride closer to home:

Merry Christmas 2009

Our dear friends and family, partners for the Gospel.

We want to wish you a merry Christmas. Thanks for all of your support. As we write this, our New Hope church plant in Taipei seems to be going strong and heading in a good direction with three elders and two men training to become pastors. My coworker, Rev. Daniel Cohee has been raising support this fall. He hopes to go out to Taiwan as soon has he raises full support and to serve at New Hope while our family is away in the United States on home assignment.

We were busy in Taiwan almost non-stop this fall, and felt like we were barely hanging on after a long sprint when our Thanksgiving departure date for America arrived. Saorsa broke out with roseola and a high fever three days before we left. The fever broke just in time, but she was very uncomfortable the entire airplane flight. When we arrived we had a tough adjustment with jet lag, and then, one after another, all of our girls and Judy got a five-day flu, so we are even now just hardly coming out of that phase of existence. We have not yet gained enough energy to celebrate our first Christmas in the U.S. after four years.

However we are recovering. We've begun enjoying singing Christmas hymns. We really love the Christmas carols we sing this time of year. Some of our favorites are "Of the Father's Love Begotten" and "How Lovely Shines the Morning Star." To think about the Son of God adding to Himself human nature to be our representative, live a perfect life in our place and also die in our behalf still astounds me. I am reminded of 1 Peter 1:12 sharing that even the ancient and brilliant angels serving before God's throne long to look into these things. Everything God plans and carries out is very good indeed! Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

We have so much to enjoy in this world God created. Today I tried a little experimenting in a divergence from my tried and tested chocolate chip cookie recipe. And according to the family, it succeeded. I made a new recipe today with red and green in the cookies to celebrate Christmas. Yes, cranberries and spinach. Please try it out and enjoy.

Merry Christmas, from the Lintons
Joel, Judy, Faith (9), Charis (7), Ashlyn (6), Saorsa(1)

-- Joel's Cranberry - Spinach Christmas Cookie recipe

preheat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)

1 cup (2 sticks ) butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup honey

mix in
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon - vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon - almond extract
2 tablespoons (100 percent peanuts) peanut-butter

gradually mix in dry ingredients

1/4 cup oatmeal (add more as desired)
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds (add more as desired)
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup coarsely chopped cranberries
1 cup finely chopped spinach

for a slide edge, add 1/4 cup finely chopped dark chocolate

use heaping teaspoons to place cookie dough on greased cookie sheet
cook for 9 minutes or until golden brown


Sèng-tàn-cheh Khoài-lo'k ! Merry Christmas.

Kám-siā, ta'k-ê.

("Bo'k-su, ài ta'k-kang liān-si'p kóng Tâi-gí.")

Sèng-tàn-cheh Khoài-lo'k !
Merry Christmas.

(Some of the church members at New Hope make a Christmas video message to remind me to practice my Taiwanese language and to come back soon.)