Monday, December 26, 2016

What Do You Do After Waiting?

Yesterday was Christmas. Advent, the season of waiting on Christ, is over.

Or is it?

The whole point of Advent is to remind us to be "waiting" for Christ's return. But so often when waiting on something we hit that point where what we are waiting for happens. Then what?

I was thinking of the movie "Tangled" (it holds a special place in my family's hearts). There's a point where Rapunzel is worried she is about to see the thing she's been waiting her whole life to see. What if it's bad? Worse, what if it's good? What do you live for then.

And Flynn gives a great response. "Well that's the good part, I guess. You get to go find a new dream."

Too often we see living for Christ, or even waiting on Christ, as a single goal. There are so many ways you can wait on and serve Jesus. You may teach Sunday School for a season, or serve in a pantry for a season, or even be still for a season. But in each one, there is always a next step, a new way to wait on Christ waiting for you when this one ends.

So as Advent ends, and that focus on waiting is complete, how will you wait for Christ next?


Monday, December 19, 2016

Merry Christmas

It's my last post before Christmas, all these things I wanted to say have been rattling in my mind. But honestly, all I want to do is pray you have a wonderful Christmas.

So go enjoy it.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Please, Read The Story

I'm begging, for reals this time...

We don't know the Christmas Story. We don't. We know the highlights. We know the things people have added to it. But we don't know the story.

Every year we go over the Christmas story at FIRE & WATER Student Ministries. The Jr. High's do a quiz to see what they remember. The Sr. High's do something different every year, this time it was a play where when you knew what was next you jumped in.

And very few people jumped. While most Jr. High's failed a pop quiz.

Because we don't know the story.

It's really not that long to read. The first two chapters of Matthew, the first two chapters of Luke. Please, don't go off your memory of eight-year-old's acting it out in front of the church. Because you won't know the story, you know the eight-year-old's version of the story.

The perfect line came in a discussion after the play last night. "Every year we do this and I should know it, but every year I realize I don't".

Please, read the story.

(and on that note we started asking what other stories do we think we know but probably don't, there were a lot of answers realizing we know the movies or songs or children's books better than we actually know what's in the Bible)


Monday, December 05, 2016

Is This A Happy Time Of Year For You?

For many people it's not. Don't get me wrong, there's still a lot of Christmas cheer but it gets so busy and stressful we lose sight of what Christmas is all about. That brings on the "Reason for the Season" speeches that don't really help (at least not for me).

But there is a ring of truth in the idea of keeping our focus. Happiness many times is a choice. We can't choose what happens to us but we can choose how we react. And with all that goes on this holiday season there will be many things that happen we can't control or would not choose, but we can still choose to be joyful.

Dan Gilbert wrote a book called "Stumbling Upon Happiness", I haven't read it but I did see a presentation he gave. There was one line that struck me. The level of happiness after winning the lottery and the level of happiness after becoming a paraplegic is virtually the same. How can that be, one seems like the best thing that could happen to you and the other is horrible and we wouldn't wish it on anyone?

Because it's not about the circumstances, it's how we react to the circumstances. In this season we can choose to be stressed out or we can choose to be joyful. We can see a family party as something added to our schedule that we don't want to do or we can see it as a chance to visit with loved ones and let them know what they mean to us. It's the same party, but which one will allow you to be happier?

So as we start to really get into the Christmas season, choose to be happy. Choose to reflect Jesus. Choose to be of glad tidings and spread cheer. I'm not saying it will be easy, but not all choices are.