Sunday, December 20, 2009

Perfect Gift

Another Christmas season has come and gone. Some of us got what we wanted and some...well, we will say that we might not have gotten exactly what was on our list. So we made our way back out to the store to return the NSA (aka. Not-So-Awesome) gift. We smile and say thank you then start making plans on returning the gift to find something that we want. We return that NSA gift so we can find that perfect gift we desire.
The perfect gift. During the Christmas season, we are reminded that we have been given the perfect gift. We have the gift that doesn't require that fake smile or that not so sincere "thank you". We have been given the perfect gift...the gift of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. This gift never stops, never needs batteries, never always is perfect.

A big thank you to everyone who added with special music and programs throughout the Advent and Christmas season. Living Word was blessed with an ECC and Kindergarten Christmas program, 1st and 2nd grade choir, 3rd-5th grade choir, 6th-8th grade readers, church choir, handbell choir, soloists, Kingdom Quest Christmas Service, sound managers, worship teams...and the list can go on. Each child and adult played an important part in sharing the message of Christ's Birth with all of us. Thank you again for all your time and efforts in preparing and presenting the story of Christ's birth.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It is God's Plan

I have had the privilege of serving at Living Word about three years now. There are been struggles, but the positives outweigh the negatives. So as sit and write this music minute, I am contemplating one question..."God, what is Your plan? I know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." It says it in Romans 8:28. I also know that "it is God who works in you to will and act according to his good purpose". It says that in Philippians 2:13. But do you ever stop and wonder what God's plan is for you? For Living Word? Through all this, I was reminded of the story of Joseph. He went through many struggles in his life. He was hated by his brothers, thrown into a well, sold as a slave, accused by Potiphar's wife of an extra marital affair, thrown in prison, lived through a famine...all to become Pharaoh's second in command. From hardships to riches. From thinking God had left him to knowing that God was always leading him. I'm sure through all the hard times, Joseph wondered what was God's plan for him. But through all his hardship, his struggles, He allowed God to lead and God's plan took shape for him. So what is your famine? What is your imprisonment? What is your well? What is your slavery? Through all the hard times in life, we need to learn from Joseph. We need to put our our trust in God and allow God to lead. Our struggles are nothing for God. He has a plan. He has a purpose for us, for Living Word, for His people. What it is and how it will take place...that is up to Him, not us. We need to have faith and understanding that through Him "all things work for the good of those who love him...according to His purpose."

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Icy Roads

It has happened again. We have had to drive carefully because of icy roads. On Sunday morning as I was heading to church on Silver Bell, coming over a hill was a Hummer. The road looked ok, but it was still dark. The road looked only wet, but looks can be deceiving. Now we all know that this past Sunday morning wasn't the greatest of road conditions. The driver of the Hummer didn't care until they hit a patch of ice and swerved up an embankment, only to come back on the road safely. No matter what vehicle you drive, icy roads can cause you problems.

How many times are we like the driver of the Hummer? There are times when we live our lives like nothing will ever happen. We think we are protected and indestructible. But the world around us is hard. We are surrounded with temptations that cause us to slip off the path that God intends for us. We see things and assume that nothing can harm us, but when we hit those stumbling blocks we swerve out of control. Thank God that he can steer us back on the right path. He guides us back onto the road so we can continue living our lives for Him. There are a lot of icy patches in our lives. We just need to allow Him to steer us through the icy parts of life.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Can You Hear Those Bells?

Christmas season is now upon us. It is that time again of the hectic schedules, Christmas programs, Christmas parties, worship is go, go, go! As I was working preparing for the Christmas services, I was listening to the song "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by Casting Crowns. As I was listening I couldn't help but think of the all the things that I knew had to be done before Christmas Eve. All those things started going through my mind until the words "Does anybody hear them?". Does anybody hear the bells on Christmas Day? I find that throughout this Christmas season, I get so caught up in what needs to be done, that I fail to stop and listen. I fail to hear those bells announcing the birth of my Lord and Savior. I work so hard to sharing the message with others, that I don't allow that message to sink into me. The message is clear...the message is exciting...the message is right before me. I know that I have a hectic schedule like a lot of people, but I must stop and hear the those bells. I need to listen and the hear the news of Christ's birth.