Thursday, December 9, 2010
It has been said many times that the greatest gift ever given was the gift of Jesus Christ. God freely gave of himself, through his Son, to save us. God wanted a relationship that was free from sin with us. God wanted to love us fully and for us to love him back fully. God gave us his Son in order to accomplish this. Simply put Christmas is about love and relationships. That is the meaning of the first Christmas.
For so many (even us Christians) the season has lost much of its meaning. We get too stressed out, we spend way too much and often are left feeling empty. This is not supposed to be what Christmas is about. We end up tired and in debt and wonder what happened? I know Christmas Eve is a special night with worship. Leaving a candlelight service we often feel close to God and in awe of his love. However twenty-four hours later we sit among wrapping paper and feel exhausted. This is not how He wanted it? Do you realize that this year alone we will spend 450-475 billion on gifts? Say what??? Does that make any sense to you? We are still in a recession and people are still out of work and yet we will still spend. We feel so pressurized by our culture that we are in a trap.
So what can we do? We still want to have the Christmas that is expected but we can put the Christ back into Christmas this year. This is my encouragement to you. This is what we are being challenged to do at Fork this year. Think about giving just a little less. I am not talking about not giving but what if we cut back. How much do you spend on an average gift? Let’s say $25-$50. Not a large amount by any means. What if we took that and put it toward something that made a difference. At Fork we are partnering with Blood:Water Mission to provide fresh water wells in Zambia. If every member gives $25 we can easily raise $10,000 and make an impact across the world through our gift. You all know that I am an Area Coordinator for Compassion. You can also purchase special gifts through Compassion that will make a difference and have an impact as an alternative to just buying something meaningless.I encourage you to visit: www.Compassion.com and click on the gift link. It is a perfect alternative for that special person. I am sure that if you search locally in your area that there is something that you can do as alternative that would make an impact.
In closing I want to re-state that Christmas is about relationships and not gifts. God gave his Son as a present that first Christmas but it started with God loving us. We can bless others in such simple ways as just listening or spending time with them. Write that letter that you have been putting off. Maybe take some home baked cookies to a neighbor or shut-in. Somewhere I saw it written that it is about presence not presents. This Christmas I encourage you to join with me and make a difference. Spend a little less and engage a little more. Instead of that extra gift take that money and use it to make an impact. I pray that each of you will be blessed this Christmas and will find more of the meaning in Christmas than perhaps you did in the past.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, September 19, 2010
One of my favorite bands is The Newsboys. I had heard a lot of their music over the years but really discovered them in early 2009. I listened to almost every one of their albums and they became one of my major playlists on my Ipod. I watched their DVD recorded in Houston on their "GO" tour. They were one band I really wanted to see in person. I admit I was a little shocked when Peter Furler left the band before I got a chance to see him perform. I believe he brought a lot of the "soul" to the band and had hoped to see him live. Adding Michael Tait (formally of DC Talk) would prove to be an interesting mix. Their new album "Born Again" came out in July and I quickly added it to my music. It is very much a "Tait" influenced album but still very much the Newsboys. There are some great sub-texts to the words when you listen that can describe both being a Christian as well as the evolution of the band.
I got a chance to see the new version last Friday and I must say I was totally blown away and loved every minute of the concert. I heard comments that they were not as good without Peter and I heard comments that they were even better. They played a mix of old, new, and favorites. I don't think they have lost anything and may have gained a whole new audience with the addition of Michael. The thing is that there are always going to be changes...when the Newsboys originally started Peter was the drummer and later became the lead singer. Jody Davis was with the band for awhile and then left. There will always be an evolution. Interestingly enough the title of their new album pretty well describes this edition of the band. They rocked the house and I loved being a fan!!
Monday, September 13, 2010
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Monday, July 5, 2010
Monday, May 24, 2010
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
This might hurt, it's not safe But I know that I've gotta make a change I don't care if I break, At least I'll be feeling something 'Cause just okay is not enough Help me fight through the nothingness of life
How often have we experienced that emptiness inside of us? That feeling that something is missing? We were created to be one with God. It is part of our DNA. Even if we are not Christians there is a longing within us knowing that we must change and find what we were created for. In all honesty Matthew West nails it on the head when he speaks of the "nothingness of life." Until we are tuned into God there will always be an emptiness in our lives. We know it, we feel it and until we make that jump we are not who we should be.
I don't wanna go through the motions I don't wanna go one more day without Your all consuming passion inside of me I don't wanna spend my whole life asking, "What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?"
This is the verse that has really hit home since the beginning of February. I am a Christian but I must admit that the past four months have been really hard for me. Being laid off was not part of my plan. Those that know me know I "must be doing" in order to be happy. That is just how I am wired. Sitting home and just job hunting with no idea what the future would bring frustrated me to no end. I admit I lost my focus. My ministry is Compassion but I found it hard to even get excited about that. Believe me, I worked the ministry but it still felt empty. I felt incomplete without employment. I literally felt I was just going through the motions. Fellow Christians assured me that God had a plan and things would happen as He would dictate. I knew that and I know people were praying. Still, it was hard waiting. I am now employed and yes God did have a plan and it was his timing all along. It was by His workings that I happened to find this job and it is exactly what I wanted to find. I look at this as a gift from Him and a new beginning for me. Which is why this song has been on my heart. How often, even as Christians, do we just go through the motions? Why does it take an earthquake, a loss of a loved one or even an answered prayer to turn our hearts to where they should be? Why can't we wake every morning and pray "that we give everything"? God will always love us unconditionally but I can just see him looking down and saying "you could be/or doing so much more."
No regrets, not this time I'm gonna let my heart defeat my mind Let Your love make me whole I think I'm finally feeling something 'Cause just okay is not enough Help me fight through the nothingness of this life
This is my prayer for myself and for you. Let God's love make you whole~Let your heart speak rather than your mind. Don't just go through the motions everyday. Find God's promise and make it yours. Turn His blessings outwards to others.