Sunday Recap 12.28.14: A Christmas to Remember

Sunday Recap 12.28.14: A Christmas to Remember

A Christmas to Remember. It’s the New Year. For most, the Christmas tree is dead, light strands are off, the gifts unwrapped, returned, exchanged. Days of rest are giving way to the routine of work. Christmas is officially over and 2015 has arrived.Can I share something with you? I am not ready to relinquish Christmas so easily this year.  In fact, I am committed to bring Christmas with me into this new year.  Yet, how am I to keep the Yuletide spirit alive when the crescendo of Christmas so quickly gives way to the monotony of the everyday? The answer lies with a commitment to be more intentional. Like Mary, the wise men, and the shepherds, keeping a focus on His life, our worship and promises, keep Hs presence alive in my day to day. Like Mary, I want treasure and marvel on my Savior, King Jesus, (Lk 2:19) more fully in the new year.  So I will value my time in His Word and commit to expand my time in it. (Click here for a a link to find some great reading plans. If it seems intimidating please talk to either myself, Erik, or Matt. We would be happy to help you choose a plan that won’t overwhelm you)Like the wise men, I will worship my Savior with my time, talent, and treasure. I am going to spend time reviewing how I prioritize my life. I will judge things on the joy they bring to life and the eternal value they hold so that I will learn “to glorify God by enjoying Him forever.”Like the shepherds, I will testify to...
Sunday Recap: A Christmas Story

Sunday Recap: A Christmas Story

Quick. Complete these sentences: “Bah…“ ”Careful kid, you’ll shoot your…“ ”I’m Dreaming of a White…” Christmas. It’s all around us. It’s the time of year when names like Rudolph, Clark Griswold, and Ralphie remind us of its arrival. Christmas makes its way into our movies, tv shows, music and calendars. Yet, despite all the focus and festivities, you will be hard pressed to find people agreeing about what Christmas truly means.  We can’t even agree on a common greeting. Merry Christimas, Happy Holidays, Season’s Greetings. Suddenly we find ourselves wanting to make sure we cover all our bases, “Happy Merry Season’s Christmas Greetings to you!” So what IS Christmas? Bing Crosby famously said, ‘Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it white.’ Yet, for many others, Christmas is centered on family, or parties, or rest and vacation. Many would state Christmas hinges upon the birth of a small baby born in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem some 2000 years ago. Yet, even for those of us who see Christmas as centered on the birth of Christ, we run the risk of missing the bigger picture of this event. When we isolate Christmas to a single date in our calendar year, when we see it simply as a single day, it can come and go without much significance in our lives. Let me explain what I mean. Birthdays are a pretty big deal around our house. My daughter’s birthday falls on October 13th. It’s a significant day for our family. Yet, we don’t simply celebrate that day as the...
Sunday Recap 11.30.14 A Nice Normal Family

Sunday Recap 11.30.14 A Nice Normal Family

“Remember as far as everyone knows, we are a nice normal family.” This Sunday we continued our study of the book of Acts. Luke, the writer of Acts, shares an account of internal conflict between people in the early church. As we read in Acts 6:1-7, the conflict shows us that this church family experienced disconnects just like any other family. “Remember as far as everyone knows, we are a nice normal family.” Those are the words printed on a pillow recently purchased by my wife that sits on a chair in our family room. Normally, I am not one who takes much notice of a new pillow purchase, yet this pillow makes me laugh every time I catch a glimpse. because anyone who knows details about my family would say “normal” does not describe us. Besides providing me with some mild entertainment, this pillow has become a conversation starter for people who visit and catch a glimpse of it. Living in the beloved bubble we call the OC, where hiding behind a mask of perfection is the goal of most, our pillow attests to the subliminal message so many strive to portray, “Remember as far as everyone knows, we are a nice normal family.” It sums up our culture’s natural impulse to portray the illusion that we have it all together. This desire to be as presentable and acceptable as possible, is not simply a societal issue but it has bled into our churches as well. We want our church body to represent a nice normal family. Yet, the reality is that we are all a beautiful broken mess of disfunction...