Posts from December 2008
I hope that you all have had a great Christmas Holiday! We spent Christmas at home this year and thoroughly enjoyed having our folks here for a few days. Christmas is past now and we're moving full speed ahead into the new year. I ran across a great post at Desiring God that I thought I would share. The author is Jon Bloom.
Each year Christmas night finds members of my family feeling some melancholy. After weeks of anticipation, the Christmas celebrations have flashed by us and are suddenly gone. And we're left standing, watching the Christmas taillights and music fade into the night.
But it's possible that this moment of melancholy may be the best teaching moment of the whole season. Because as long as the beautiful gifts remain unopened around the tree and the events are still ahead of us, they can appear to be the hope we are waiting for. But when the tree is empty and events are past, we realize we are longing for a lasting hope.
So last night, as Pam and I tucked our kids into bed, we talked about a few things with them:
- Gifts and events can't fill the soul. God gives us such things to enjoy. They are expressions of his generosity as well as ours, but gifts and celebrations themselves are not designed to satisfy. They're designed to point us to the Giver. Gifts are like sunbeams. We are not meant to love sunbeams but the Sun.
- Putting our hope in gifts will leave us empty. Many people live their lives looking for the right sunbeam to make them happy. But if we depend on anything in the world to satisfy our soul's deepest desire, it will eventually leave us with that post-Christmas soul-ache. We will ask, "Is that all?" because we know deep down that's not all there is. We are designed to treasure a Person, not his things.
- It is more blessed to give than receive. What kind of happiness this Christmas felt richer, getting the presents that you wanted or making someone else happy with something that you gave to them? Receiving is a blessing, but Jesus is right—giving is a greater blessing. A greedy soul lives in a small, lonely world. A generous soul lives in a wide world of love.
It's just like God to let the glitter and flash of the celebrations (even in his honor) to pass and then to come to us in the quiet, even melancholic void they leave. Because often that's when we are most likely to understand the hope he intends for us to have at Christmas.
I'm really looking forward to Sunday! We have 5 wonderful members speaking during the service. I just know that God is going to use each of these precious saints to speak to our hearts.
Lazy Sunday afternoon with Munchie!
I am so looking forward to our Christmas dinner tonight at Harvest. Christmas Around the World is our theme. We'll be receiving a love offering for World Missions.
God's timing is perfect. He has decided that tonight is not the night for Scott to get a new kidney. It's hard not to be disappointed but God is in control and His timing is perfect! Keep praying!
Just got a call from Scott Hanes a few minutes ago. He's getting a kidney transplant tonight! Take some time to pray for his surgery tonight.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Jesus, the Son of God, became flesh. God entered this world as a tiny baby born to a virgin. This is so amazing! He could have come riding a white horse, looking like the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. He didn't. He will one day and that will be an amazing day, but he entered our world the first time in such a humble manor.
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:14-16
Thank God for our invitation to approach the throne of grace with confidence and find an unending supply of mercy!
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6
- December 18th ~ Christmas Caroling. We'll meet at the church at 6:30 sharp and head out for an evening of fun and fellowship. We'll visit several places to sing of the wonder of Christmas. Come be a part of this exciting time! Coffee and refreshments will be served in the Harvest Coffee House afterwards.
- December 19th ~ Teen Progressive Dinner. Contact Scott or Lisa Meyer if you would like to be a part of this annual teen function. The evening will end with an amazing Snowman Building Contest! Don't miss the action!
- December 19th ~ Pastor's Open Home. The pastor and Kathy would like to invite you to drop in for a while on Friday night for some Christmas goodies and fellowship. Stop by at your convenience anytime between 7 and 9 p.m. Pastor and Kathy would love to say a little prayer with each family or individual that night.
- December 21st is our annual Christmas Dinner. This year's dinner is "Christmas Around The World". Dinner will be potluck style with ethnic foods being the theme. Italian, Spanish, Mexican, Jordanian, filipino, Chinese, and more. We'll hear a special devotional thought from Russ Huddleston of our Fairfield Church and we'll be receiving an offering for International Missions that evening.
- December 24th is our Candlelight Service! This years service will start at 6:30 p.m. This is a great opportunity to keep Christ the center of Christmas.
I had the opportunity to photograph one of our local wind power farms this week. It was extremely interesting. One of these massive 80 meter towers produces enough energy to supply 800 homes. Amazing! Power is readily available to us, it just requires that we know how to harness it.
Acts 1:8 "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
We must not forget that the amazing power of the Holy Spirit is available to us. He can provide us with the energy needed to accomplish such great things for the Lord. It's very important that we not neglect this vital part of the Trinity.
Where do you need power, strength, or energy right now? He can give us the power to overcome, the strength to carry on, and the energy to keep up.
Ephesians 5:15-20 "So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts. And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Have a great weekend!