Christmas Newsletter, 2011

A blessed Christmas!
www.criscollrj.com (new)
– for online Christmas letter with pictures. We can’t believe that it has been 3 years since we sent a Christmas letter. Quite a few of the old links to our 1990’s web sites are updated on there but not all. Describing more in depth all the changes you might have missed are the 2010/2009 Christmas letters. God has been in the works for our family as always, and we keep trusting as we go, never know what we will see next in this journey.

CHRIS was in his group home for 14 months (Sept. 08 – Nov. 09), and it didn’t quite work out so he has been living with his Mama and Papa since November ’09 (Roger’s parents). Those of you that I have kept notified via blog and Facebook know this, of course, but just reiterating how they have worked wonderfully with him and how much we appreciate their care. Now 21, he also went back to his school of his early childhood, the DD program of our county. He also recently has become eligible for some wonderful aides through our state, two gentlemen and two ladies so /far, and they may have a new residency for him, whenever it seems to be the right time. He also has another company working with him that provides more summer recreation and after school groups. Preparing for graduation this year, and for his adult workshop next fall are other new tasks before us. Learning a new communications program at school this year is keeping him very busy and focused! Additionally, he and Ryan were both recipients of IPad grants (their Christmas gifts!) on which he will receive more therapeutic programs that individuals with autism are using all over the world. He still also has his aide of many years, Vicky, though she is actually leaving soon and will be missed very much!

COLLEEN is a senior in high school this year, so we will be having a dual graduation party! We are busy with paperwork in regard to college and ACT testing this year, and we are excited for the new opportunities she will have, most likely obtaining her Assoc. Degree at in Graphic Arts/Design and then choosing where she will continue. A new chapter. She also worked at a haunted house with her friends this fall and had a good time with that. Last year she sprained her ankle twice but so far this year has not had any mishaps. All these years she has still been involved with her anime group (expanding to individuals all over the NE Ohio area as well as a few from Columbus!), and her love of animals continues. Currently we have still our beloved cat Sophie; plus two betas, Luna and Amethyst; 5 goldfish; 3 tadpoles; and a leopard gecko named Spike.



RYAN is excelling in the fourth grade in his autism class. Continue reading

Jesus commands us to go, and to come

As I listened to Dr. David Jeremiah today, http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio_archives.aspx, as he was preaching about stress and our lives, I was drawn to this parallel.  He was describing how when we are so stressed out in life that we have a rest in our Savior and God and that not only is it a slight offer to come to Jesus, but is a command, the way the Greek “I” is written in the text.  “28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” 

Matthew 11:28-30. 

So as we go about our daily duties, which He does entreat us to do:  “From the fruit of his mouth a man is satisfied with good, and the work of a man’s hand comes back to him.” (Proverbs 12:14), we still need to go to Him for rest and rejuvenation, and for me, be more like Mary and less like Martha from the New Testament stories.

Building a case for us to know that we do need to work, and not be lazy or slothful, are these verses contained in this blog post that I found.  http://strengthenedbygrace.wordpress.com/2010/02/19/proverbs-on-work/  So by no means is God telling us to be lazy and sit around in Matthew 11:28-30.  Perhaps it is a message to rest in Him as we work, to pray through the day, and to meditate on Him always.  It is a lesson to me to try and take more time to read the Word and try to hide it in my heart to think more on as I go through my day.  And just listening more to teaching radio, such as this show by Dr. David Jeremiah, has been a good practice as I drive hours a week now with work and school, to establish better habits to grow in my Christian walk.

And in the words of Keith Green —

 

Jesus commands us to go,
But we go the other way.
So he carries the burden alone,
While his children are busy at play,
Feeling so called to stay.
Oh, how God grieves and believes that the world can’t be saved,
Unless the ones he’s appointed obeys,
His command and his stand for the world,
That he loved more than life.
Oh he died, and he cries out tonight.
Jesus commands us to go,
It should be the exception if we stay.
It’s no wonder we’re moving so slow,
When his church refuses to obey,
Feeling so called to stay.
Oh how God comes, as he starts the great judgment of fire,
So he can gain, his greatest desire.
Cause he knows that the souls of the lost,
They can only be reached, through us,
We’re his hands and his feet.
Jesus commands us to go,
It should be the exception if we stay.
It’s no wonder we’re moving so slow,
When god’s children refuse to obey,
Feeling so called to stay.

 

[ Lyrics from: http://www.lyricsmode.com/lyrics/k/keith_green/jesus_commands_us_to_go.html ]

 

 

Perhaps directly meant as a call to the mission field, but I think it could also be a call to work with all our might what is at our hand, depending on Jesus, in His name, each day.