Thursday, December 29, 2011

21)Gintare Varankeviciute: Mulling Over

I started this year on the roof-top of a building that i called home; wearing shoes that definitely did not work well with the multitude of snow (wet and cold) and a bunch of people-family-friends-whom I miss dearly (thank you...). what a grand day it was! we had an inside picnic, great food, tons of laughter and giggles and more of 'happenings' that can only be put under the category named "good for the heart and soul". what a start! a little bit on the wet side, but packed with goodness!

crazy tree in the background =P

I took a GRE test. And I went a tiny bit crazy; plus, I invited a couple of my friends into the lovely craziness =P thank you guys for your love and patience =) I survived the test.

I wrote a 30 and a few more pages final Capstone project for my Bachelors degree in Teaching English as an International Language. I had a blast!

I got a response from my dream university - Notredame - thank you...but no thank you and try again. Jesus...

'My ducks were scattered'

I sold my car - just enough money to get me across the big pond to the United States of America where I would join YWAM Cornerstone as staff. Packed a suitcase that fell apart - thankfully - not at the airport. Repacked and left.


Had some hiccups on the way, but there is always enough water...'Living water' for any amount of hiccups.

Went across the United States- west to east - flying, busing and some more flying. Left behind my second falling apart suitcase and my pajama pants. Haha.

Finally reached the Big Apple - New York. I love my Korean family. I have the best roommate ever! I cannot get enough of rice and kimchi and found my most favorite spot in New York - Tompkins Square Park in East Village. The Subway system is like my second home - exaggeration. Home. Jesus...

 haha =)

My dear friend, Zane shared a quote the other day "It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while He is at the end of our journey, He is also at every stopping place." Elisabeth Elliot

Immanuel - God IS with us - the name given to Christ as the Deliverer of Judah prophesied by Isaiah. And Joseph named Him Jesus 'God Saves' and is now dwelling in and amongst us...Immanuel in Lithuania. Immanuel in Latvia, Liepaja. Immanuel in Beacon. Immanuel in California. Immanuel in the airport. Immanuel on the bus ride. Immanuel in Haiti. Immanuel in Pune, India. Immanuel in Iowa. Immanuel in Amsterdam. Immanuel in Flushing. Immanuel...Immanuel...Immanuel

Immanuel in the coming year of 2012

Gintare Varankeviciute is a Lithuanian YWAM missionary in NYC.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

20)DearOliveJuice: Flume

Josiah's one of my favorite musician friends (no offense to the rest of you), he just put together this video recently, but had a lot of trouble cuz his computer was down.  Anyways, enjoy the song, and if you didn't see it last year, you should also check out his christmas thoughts here:  Those Who Mourn.  :)

Josiah Hejny, aka DearOliveJuice, is an Indie Musician based near Grass Valley, CA, and also a worship leader in Reno, NV.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

19)Greta and Tadas on Piano!

Greta and Tadas are a sibling duo from Mažeikiai, Lithuania.

18)Kate M.: Photography


2)Waking up to first snow


4)Talinn, Estonia

5)'The true light, which enlightens everyone,was coming into the world.

6)Riga, Latvija (2010)

7)Talinn, Estonia

8)Celebrations- 'Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased'

9)'In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it'



12)'Fear not-for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people...'

13)Giruliai, Lithuania

14)Riga, LV (2010)

15)Trier, Deutschland

16)An Italian Christmas

17)Riga, LV (2010)

18)'and behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went
before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was...'

19)Germany (2011)

20)Riga, LV (2010)

21)'...For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life...'

My sister's got the skills.  And the advantage of living in Europe.  :)

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

16)Adam Sams and Jeremy Ezell: Christmas EP!!!

This is one of the more exciting projects I've been able to highlight so far!!!  CLICK THE LINK, enjoy the tunes, and consider giving a couple bucks to support Nightlight.  (and because bandcamp only gives you so many free downloads as an artist)

Adam Sams is a Georgia-based music student who totally rocks.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

15)Jonathan Kusnerek: Light Series

Light Series

  This series of pieces were inspired by the first chapter of John in the Bible. This chapter speaks of the incarnation of Jesus as the Light of the World. I wanted to explore the interaction of darkness and light through this series in a raw, abstract form to limit the distractions of naturalistic imagery. I feel that this was fitting for portraying “God with us”.

This time of year all the gaudy, flashy pomp is everywhere, and it can be really distracting from what Christmas is supposed to be about.  When we take the Christmas story and boil it down to its simplest form, it is light coming into darkness. Light came into the world to save the world; Jesus came to save us. 

Please click on the pieces to view them full-size.
 I.  The Light Shineth in the Darkness

II. The darkness comprehendeth not.

III.  Light made flesh and dwelt among us

IV.  For we were lost in darkness

V.  The Light came to save us

Jonathan Kusnerek is an art student at Pensacola State College, headed for Chicago this next year.  He is a talented musician and artist, a loyal and thoughtful friend.  

Friday, December 16, 2011

14)Lisa Metzler: In the Pain

While emotions run strong at Christmastime, our love and thankfulness run deeper. But so does our grief, should the season find us in a place of pain or suffering.

With the recent loss of my son, Josh, little things like putting up stockings become huge. What do I do with my son's stocking?  I can't let go of it, yet it hurts too much to see it hanging by the hearth with the others. Each Christmas tree ornament and all of his childhood Christmas craft projects bring the same conflicts.

I find I am plumbing my personal depths in search of God's healing. I am dealing with things I never knew were issues before. I am going as deep as I can within myself and crying out from the depths for God's Holy Spirit to bring healing and hope. For those of us who find ourselves in this place during this holiday season, I've found that it's only as we invite Jesus to heal us that He will come. He will never force Himself on us, even though He knows how much we need the comfort and healing He has to offer.

I seems He's trying to teach me to endure pain gracefully. The only way to learn that is to allow myself to walk in the pain. In times past, I would have kept myself busy so that my feelings would not have been able to hit me so deeply. That doesn't work anymore.  If I am to be a real help to others, I cannot hide my pain from myself.

In all of this I find that I have a greater interest in heaven. I long to know what Josh is doing; is he celebrating Christmas? There is a lot of conjecture about heaven, yet I don't find much of what is said substantiated in scripture.  One thing seems clear:  God is the central focus of heaven. When I realize this and think about the fact that I will be face to face with the God of the universe, Christmas trees and cookies do not seem so important.  It helps me maintain perspective.

I know that Josh had a personal relationship with Jesus and that Josh is in Jesus' presence now. I also know that when Jesus appears Josh will appear with Him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4 assures me that because I am in Christ, when Josh appears with Jesus, I will as well.  Although for now I am intensely aware of the hole in my heart, I have hope.  I encourage all who are hurting this Christmas season to set your eyes on Jesus and everything He has promised. Set your focus firmly on Him, and nothing can take you out of His keeping.   He has come down to us, He is coming, and He will surely come.

With Love in Jesus,


Lisa Metzler is a mom, mentor, volunteer, and a servant of God and others based in Fallbrook, CA.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lucky 13)James Metelak: Keep the Christ

Keep the Christ

In Christmas, defend your right
to brashly bray
Your bumper-sticker beliefs.
Keep the baby in the manger.
Keep everything haloed, saran-wrapped, and safe.
Put on a brief bravado flag-wave of witness
Prove to others you're pious.


Keep the Christ
Out of your culture wars,
He doesn't care.
It's inane and tragic
that we've lost connection, listening,
understanding, to the point
We argue over whether we can speak our minds.
I say Merry Christmas,
if my friend misunderstands, I will apologize;
We will share a simple grace.
Other days, although Christ is just as imminent
I'll just say "have a good day."

Keep the Christ confined to
Keep the bastard "sell your stuff" "love your neighbors"
Jewish rabbi trashing display tables,
Far away from the bulletin board pageant festivals.
He'll probably complain about the music,
Ask uncomfortable questions,
And peep his little bald head into the middle of our horseshit,
Tell us to repent.

My heart aches for the homeless, the lonely,
the hopeless, the fatherless who, once caroled heavily,
Never see us again. But keep singing.

Presents, lights, carols, fire,
Wrappings, trappings, cookies, wires,
Readings, singing, giving, praying,
Sharing, family, hugs, and feasts,
Hospitality, despite our gluttonies,
I think we need more of all these things.
So don't let anyone dissuade you from taking part
If you're not feeling this Jesus thing.

For me, I try
To believe, I try
To keep room in the inn, make the bed, stay up, stoke the coals,
Today, the day
Of His coming,
Of the wrecking,
My re-crucifixion,
My love's coming back,
The day God comes down
And we wait, we hope; we are terrified he might
Meet us, or ask us why we
Haven't changed, stuck in the garden,
Hiding behind hymnbooks and clichés.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

12)Kerstin Danielle: December Photography

1winter- morning frost

2winter- snow from above

3winter- wacky truffles (used the wrong kind of chocolate, they look like spidermonkey food)

4winter- contrast. the snow came in almost horizontally, so only one side of the tree had snow on it.

5winter- scoreboard.

6winter- making gifts (this is actually from a few months ago. buuut, i'm doing the same thing at the moment)

7winter- christmas tree/luces

8winter- tiny perfection

9winter- lone ranger

10winter- hymns

11winter- cathedral during mass

12winter- masked spikes

13winter- homemade cards

14winter- narnia/Menomonie, WI (my favorite place in the town I attend school...)

15winter- Abba.

  17winter- paris, dec 2010

Kerstin Danielle is a fourth-year at University of Wisconsin Stout, and a passionate photographer, traveller, and servant of others.