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Archive for December, 2014

Accessible To Even Me

We are just a week away from one of the biggest holidays and celebrations on the American calendar – in fact, on most calendars around the world.  It is a day we celebrate giving.  A day we celebrate hope.  A day we gather with family.

But is it a day we truly celebrate the coming of God to earth?

We have set this day aside on our calendars to create space in our busy lives to stop and remember but I wonder if we – if I – really grasp the significance of it all?

Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth.  The very son of God was born to a lowly family, in a scandalous manner and in deplorable conditions.  He was not born in a palace in plush conditions.  His first bed was a feed trough.

As I have meditated on this fact, I have asked the question, “Why did the son of God come to earth in this way?”  And why was his birth first announced to a bunch of social outcasts like shepherds instead of being proclaimed to the religious leaders of the time?

What I believe is that the son of God came to earth in this manner to let us know that he is accessible.  Regardless of how messed up I am – how sinful and selfish – he is still offering salvation to even me.  I don’t have to achieve some level of holiness in order to “qualify” for his grace.

Nor do you!

Praise God that he has made a way for us to relate!

Thank you Jesus for loving us that much!

Brian

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I try not to use this platform as a tool to promote a program or bring attention to our church in a self-serving manner.  My heart in what you will find in my ramblings here is to always point people to a deeper walk with Jesus.

But today, as we move toward Christmas and the celebration of Jesus’ Advent, my mind turns to the world and its need for a savior.  With all the turmoil in our world – war, drugs, human trafficking, abuse, fear – we see need in every direction.  But at the heart of alleviating the turmoil is Jesus.

People need Jesus.

People will see Jesus in us.

But will the Jesus they see be a true representation of who he is?

This morning, our church will gather at the parking lot of the football stadium and give away food to 200 families.  We do this every month, but today, each family will get more food than normal – a lot more.

But the real beauty of what will happen this morning does not stop at the food that will be given away, the real meaning today will come in the conversations and prayer – the sharing of compassion with the people of our community who have landed on hard times.  Today, our church has the opportunity to be agents of transformation and hope in a very concrete way.

I have to tell you – I can’t wait to see what God is going to do!

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Do the Simple Things First

It is official.  We have moved past Thanksgiving and are now in the midst of the Christmas season.  Many have been in Christmas mode for weeks but I am one of those that does not want to short-change Thanksgiving by rushing past it too quickly.  So I am just now letting my thoughts move to Christmas.

As we begin this season together, let me offer one observation that I believe will make a huge difference in the season for us.  Do the simple things first.

We tend to rush to party planning, gift purchasing, sale catching and calendar juggling right off the bat.  Our minds (and the rest of us) get pulled into a completely different state and it is very easy to lose our focus on the reality that God became human in order to reach out to us and offer us deliverance.  We fall into the rat race and before we look up, we have survived another Christmas and its time to figure out how to pay for it.

Let me offer an age old tip to preventing this kind of Christmas season – do the simple things first.

  • Slow down
  • Spend time with God
  • Read scripture
  • Pray

Jesus said that when we do the simple things first – when we truly seek God and his righteousness – the rest of life will take care of itself.  When our focus is on Jesus as the light of the world and the savior of our lives, all the things that would normally overwhelm us take on new meaning or we realize they make no difference at all – either way, we will approach those things with the right attitude.

This Christmas season, don’t survive it – really live it.  And do that by doing the simple things first.

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