Monday, December 29, 2014

The Magic of a Number

In a few days, magically everything will be new.

Think about it, 2014 ends and 2015 begins. In reality, Dec. 31st and Jan. 1st will have no real difference between them. If some monk 700 years ago had designated those days as March 15th and 16th we would care at all about them. But because they decided a new cycle around the sun would begin that day suddenly we go crazy. We party. We celebrate. We change.

What if we tried to change on December 15th, or June 12th, or April 22nd? What if we didn't wait for a magical number to encourage us to better ourselves and we simply tried to be better because we wanted to...


Monday, December 22, 2014

"I'll Remember"

I had a great idea for this blog this week. Something to do with Christmas, I'm sure. It was awesome if I do say so myself.

And I have no idea what it was.

It came to me while driving home from Chicago on Sunday. Right as I got on I-65 (I even remember where). And I thought to myself, "this is a great idea. I'll remember it." And now it's gone.

Usually I would make a note (I love Evernote), but this time, people were asleep in the car. There's nothing to do but drive, of course I'll remember. And then, the baby wakes up, Lorie isn't feeling well, we need to stop for gas,was I hungry when we stopped for gas? I don't want to spend the money on a $4 candy bar, get back on the road, will the baby wake up, I hope we get home before she gets hungry, what was I thinking about before?

And it's gone.

I know I have lots of ideas that disappear (some are probably for the best), but how about at this busy time of year? What about the ideas of inviting someone to a Christmas Eve service (I'll see them later, I'm too busy right now, poof, forgotten), or giving to the Salvation Army ringers (I don't have the cash, I'll do it next time, I come here all the time, and gone), maybe even just checking in with someone this holiday season (how many of those ideas have disappeared)?

Don't let the good ideas get away this Christmas. Act on them right away!


Monday, December 15, 2014

Are You Sharing Christ at Christmas?

I came across this story the other day. DL Moody, a public speaker for Jesus, was talking with a lady who did not like the way he was sharing Christ. The story goes that Moody said to her, “I agree with you. I don’t like the way I do it either. Tell me, how do you do it?” The lady replied, “I don’t do it.” Moody retorted, “Then I like my way of doing it better than your way of not doing it.

Too often we criticize how people share Christ when it's not the way we would do it. But the question is, is it worse than doing nothing at all?

At this time of year, people are expecting to hear you talk about Jesus. Why don't you oblige them?


Monday, December 08, 2014

But That's Not How I Remember It...

Every year the same things happens. And for some reason every year it astounds me.

We talk about the Christmas story and there are so many mistakes.

For most people, they have head the story of Christ's birth a hundred times. But they have never actually read it themselves. Instead, they've heard the G-rated edited for children version or they've seen it acted out by four-year-olds. Instead of the actual story of our Savior's introduction into the world they remember the version from so long ago and choose to believe that over the real one (I have actually had students argue with me about things they just heard about the Christmas story that can't be true because it doesn't line up with the story they already knew, even if I give them Scripture references). We would rather hold onto the childish version of the story than learn the real one.

My fear is this is only the beginning. So we have a childish view of the Christmas story, so what? What about Christ's teachings, are we going to stay at a four-year-old version of that too? His love, His grace, His majesty, His holiness, His death, His resurrection, at what point to we start to examine these as adults? In Hebrews 5 the writer talks about how just as people move from milk to solid food we need to do the same thing spiritually, we need to look at God as adults.

My challenge, try reading the Christmas story through the lens of an adult. Then, keep reading...


Monday, December 01, 2014

When Was The Last Time You Thought About Christ's Birth?

With the start of Advent yesterday, I was wondering this. How often do people actually think about Christ entering this world? I know the holy answer is "all the time", but I mean really. In July when you were sweating at the beach were you thinking about Christ's birth?

It's something we should be thinking about all the time, Christ entering our world, entering our lives. If you want to get an idea of how often this type of thing enters your mind, when was the last time you thought about Easter? When was the last time you contemplated the cross?

The whole point of Christmas is to get us to Easter. Isn't that something that should be on our minds all the time...?