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Archive for December, 2008

From Holiday Blood

The holidays are upon us and in the midst of carols, cookies, lights and gifts it can be easy to lose sight of the wonderful reason we celebrate this season.

The Promise Foretold
Jesus’ birth, foretold hundreds of years before his arrival, was the fulfillment of a promise spoken to the Jewish people who were awaiting freedom from an oppressive government. But the world got more than they ever hoped for. Jesus came, not to bring peace between people, but rather to bring a much more significant peace: peace between God and humanity. Follow this amazing story as it unfolds before your eyes.

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For those who know us, you know I pastor a church called The Shepherd’s Fellowship and we own the local Christian bookstore called The Shepherd’s Nook. It’s actually a pretty blessed life as things go.

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This one is from my wife’s blog ….

Baby’s Hug

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray, since in the car he used a great car seat which you can find it here. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

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OK, now it’s just shameful that I have moved two posts from Steven Furtick’s blog to here. Sorry…… I just like this one as well. Enjoy!

The next time you’re having a superfluous conversation with someone you really like and trust, try this:
Move deep on ‘em.
Here’s an example:

I was talking on the phone to my friend Bil recently, and we were having a pretty good conversation.  I don’t know Bil super-well, but we’ve hung out and interacted enough that I know I like him.  We also have a lot of mutual friends and I greatly respect his ministry.

At the end of the call, Bil asked how he could pray for me.
The easy answer: “Just pray that our Christmas Eve services will be great.  We’re having 2 of them Uptown and then blah blah blah blah….”
This response, while fine, doesn’t really take our friendship anywhere.  I’m just rehashing stuff he could already read about me on my blog.

Honest answer: “Bil, you know how sometimes as a leader you feel a little disoriented and lonely?  I feel a little that way lately.  Pray for me about that.”

This opened the door for Bil to share something brief and encouraging that really lifted my perspective.

A few clarifications:

  • Some of you will take this as a license to enlighten complete strangers about how painful your chronic back pain is or how tired you are.  Don’t be that person.Don’t assume that anyone wants to be your volunteer therapist.
  • Even when it comes to people you know, emotionally vomiting when they ask you how you’re doing is a bad idea.  If you take it to this extreme, people will certainly begin to dodge you.  Then they’ll tell others to do the same.
  • Be careful of devouring people’s time.  Moving deeper doesn’t always require talking longer than you normally would.  You can move deep-quickly-and actually probably spend less time in conversation, accomplishing more.

In spite of these landmines, when you time it right and do it well, moving deep quickly can accelerate great relationships and sift out mediocre ones.
It’s a lot better than: “Man, this weather sure is cold.”
Say something that matters.

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I read this on Steven Furtick’s blog and thought it was interesting. I am not sure it really addresses the real complexities of a broken relationship but it does raise an interesting point. What I mean is, I believe we are to try to work through the challanges of the bumps in relationships so I believe this blog comes into play once things get to a toxic level. The toxic level is once the person in your life is not open to reconciliation and refuse to act in love towards you. That disclaimer made, I think there is some things to consider in this blog. Let me know your thoughts….. (more…)

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My pal, Pastor Jim wrote an incrediable letter for the Advent Season (the period of time we as Christians prepare our hearts for Christmas). He was kind enough to let me share. Enjoy!

Beloved,

Once again we are coming into the Christmas season—Advent is what it is called according to the Church calendar—the beginning of a new Church year. A time of expectation. We are reminded that God came in the likeness of sinful flesh—the child of the manger was the Eternal Father in human form, Emmanuel—God with us. This Child was destined for the cross, to offer Himself as a sacrifice for our sin and not just our sin but the sin of the world.

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