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Archive for December, 2013

Week One – We explored taking Christ out of the manger to experience Him for ourselves.

Week Two – We explored taking Christ out of the manger, experiencing Him, and then sharing Him with them world around us.

Now we dive deeper into Mary’s testimony as we look at the dangerous, messy, complex, and merciful full message of Christ coming out of the manger and impacting the world. It’s not quite as “Christmas card” naive as we tend to lean towards all the time. It’s Christ! The loving yet powerful Emmanuel who changes everything!

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This morning, America is an uproar over the suspension of Phil Robertson from the hit show Duck Dynasty because of his answers on his beliefs while being asked about them in an interview. There are many petitions, on-line comments and media buzz flying as it appears the two sides of an important discussion clash in anger. However, if anyone cares, I’d like to throw out some random thoughts.

Christians, I believe we are right to call this intolerance and be disturbed by it. However, I think we must be cautious on our approach. This level of intolerance against our beliefs is somewhat a rubber band effect of the intolerance that certain Christians and churches have shown in the past (and still today). I am not advocating a politically correct gospel or watering down the truth but I am advocating grace and love when we share those truths. People will still be offended by the truth but we don’t need to be as hurtful as certain areas of the church have been in the past.

That said, let’s also assign the intolerance to the right sources. It is one thing to call attention to those who are making the noise (A&E, GLADD, and the like) but be cautious of blanketing all those who have a different view than you on the topic of homosexuality. If you read through the comments on a lot of these threads, the great majority are calling “foul” on this one including people in the GLBT community.

In other words, this is not as polarized as it appears. It seems that as of this morning, there is a heightened awareness on an important issues that is begging for conversation not only on TV but in your home, work and schools as well. How we as Christians carry ourselves in these talks in many ways will determine if the conversation is long or brief with those around us.

I’m not too worried about Phil. He has his family, his business representatives, and (once they can get it figured all out) probably a new network. However, I do ask you to prayerfully consider how God would use you in this conversation and what heart you will bring to it.

You can share the following video with this link, http://youtu.be/FjqccYmx13w

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Join us for the first week of our Christmas series as we explore into the impact of the birth of Jesus on those closest to Him and what it means in our lives. With a focus on Joseph and the birth of Christ, we explore what it looks like to plan in integrity but be willing to move in unseen ways when God calls us.

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To be honest, I can not tell you too much about this one without digging into the whole meat and potatoes. Let’s just say if you have not been following along in the study, this is the one that is the heart of the series. If you have, this is the main truth that brings all of it together. I hope you dig in!

While this study completes our series, it also leads into the beginning of the Christmas season and our focus of “Out of the Manger”. Come celebrate Christmas with us! (www.outofthemanger.com)

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