Christmas Eve Blessings


manger closeupFor God so love the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, should not perish but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

I’d like to wish you a blessed Christmas. If you are in driving distance, I hope you will join us for Christmas Eve worship at 10am, 3:30pm or 5:30 pm. We have worked to provide a refreshing moment to experience the gift of Jesus as part of your celebration. The Presence of Christ is specially present when we gather as a spiritual family. The focus of this time will be on the deep love He has for us.

There are many wonderful things to experience at Christmas. With all the possibilities this season brings the best one you could experience is incredible love of Jesus. It is more than a story, a moment or a feeling. It is the core of God’s message to humanity. It is the deep gracious care that renews our souls. In fact it is the absence of this kind of love at the core of our low-grade unhappiness with life.

Continue reading

Peace for Our Turmoil


nativity ballMicah 5:2-5 But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days… 4 And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord… 5 AND HE SHALL BE THEIR PEACE.

“Peace on earth good will towards men” announced the angels dramatically at Jesus’ birth. When is the last time you experienced deep peace?  What do you do when you long for peace? Where do you turn? I think of sitting warmly inside with a hot chocolate, coffee or tea while the blizzard rages outside. That is great for a moment but it is temporary and superficial at best.

How many moments of real peace do we experience in a week’s time? Real peace with others. Real peace in our own hearts? Most of us are so used to unrest, inner conflict, stress, pressure, and ongoing low-grade stress that we don’t realize life could be different.

In this post, I invite you to consider what it means for Jesus to be our Prince of Peace. to reconsider what we currently call peace and how we go about seeking it without Him.

Continue reading

Hope for Darkness


come to the manger promo blankIs 9:2-7 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone…

Psalm 42:5 Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation

If Christmas is anything in our culture it is a season of giving. Giving to family, friends, charities and those in need. I read recently that there is a growing trend to give experiences rather than material things. Those without basic needs come to value experiences & relationships over collecting more stuff.

The best gifts bless the soul of another person. A shared meal, moment or expression of genuine love. I have found the ultimate blessing of all is the source of blessing… Jesus!

In this series I invite you to reflect on what makes Jesus the ultimate Christmas gift and to more deeply experience Him as Gods’ greatest gift? This post considers how the gift of Jesus can bring hope for our darkness.

This Matters Because the Darkness & Disappointment Still Fill Our World.

Continue reading

Offer the Greatest Gift


christmas teaWhat makes Christmas significant? Makes it fulfilling? The Christmas season offers hope to many that perhaps ultimate peace can be found. The problem is that our world’s secularized focus wants the fruit without the root.

We think that if we just find right person to love, find right setting and just rest in a peaceful environment or moment. Followers of Jesus come to learn that the key is His presence. Once we experience him, trust our lives to Him, we can have that kind of peace and fulfillment no matter what season it is.

How can we enjoy Christmas while minimizing its dangers? Embrace the heart of Christmas with a readiness to invite others to come and see Jesus for themselves. Let me break it down for you.

Continue reading

#ChristmasWithout Regret


readyforchristmas promoHow ready are you for the Christmas season? What is your favorite part? What do you dread the most? Many of you are about to start Christmas stressing, I mean shopping. The world’s approach to Christmas builds up for a letdown. The immediate crowds out the significant.  The flashy blocks the timeless. The pricey hijacks the priceless. This leaves us with the emptiness and disappointment of regret when we realize what we have done. I don’t think this is what God had in mind. In the next three posts, I hope to help you embrace a Christmas without regret. For today we are going to look at how to avoid the financial hangover.

First, Don’t Give in to Pressure to Overspend.

Continue reading

A Foundational Strategy for Life’s Battles


praying togetherEphesians 6:18-19 With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, 19 and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel…

Whenever we get to the edge of something spiritually significant, the verge of a breakthrough, something crazy happens. Some threat, worry, person or situation rises up to derail, delay or distract you from moving forward. The challenge is discerning what is happening and how best to move forward.

This final entry of how to stand firm in the face of life’s battles deals with critical communication. Everything is worse when communication goes down. It leaves us isolated and unaware. It is easier to misstep when we no longer hear needed insight or direction. This is where the final strategy comes into play.

Stand Firm through a Deepening Prayer Relationship with Jesus for His Family & His Mission.

Continue reading

Spiritual Weapon Training


bible study with penEph. 6:11-17 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil… 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Is 40:8 The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever.

At the outset, I have to warn you that this post’s issue is a core passion for me. I believe it is critical to the growth and health of every follower of Christ. Yet it is among the most common struggles and regrets I hear other talk about.

I want to teach you something that can’t be fully learned in a simple post. The best I can hope for is point a direction, introduce a process and motivate you to embrace this path for yourself.

This is the martial arts of following Jesus. Anyone who follows Jesus can begin. It takes time to master and there are always more advanced levels. For it to work in your life, ongoing training will be required.

How do we stand firm AND take ground in the face of life’s spiritual battles? We must grow strong in God’s Word… the Bible.

It Matters Because Satan Seeks to Disrupt our Communication with God.

Continue reading