Tuesday, November 29, 2011

God’s Christmas Wish…

I remember the most exciting day of the Christmas season was the day the Sear’s catalog arrived at our house. I would anxiously turn past the clothes, appliances and cooking wear. As I came to a sudden stop on the toys, my joy began. I spent hours looking, dreaming; circling everything I wanted for Christmas. A drum set, Evel Knievel bike, Atari it had it all. That is why it was titled The Wish Book. While I never got everything I circled or turned down the page, I did wish and dream. And as blessed as I was, you could bet every Christmas I received at least one gift from the Sear’s catalog. I just could never figure out how Santa always knew exactly what I wished for and it coincidental was sold at Sear’s.
Now that I’m older, I now spend time trying to figure out what others want for Christmas. This is hard to do. Christmas is a time of giving. It’s a season of gifts, companionship, and times spent with family and love ones. Christmas is about traditions, decorations, and food. Christmas opens us up to those who are less fortunate as we give to those in need. There is an instinctive part about our humanity that ignites our generosity during this season like no other time during the year.

If Christmas is Jesus’ birthday, I wonder what Christ wishes for Christmas? What does the Creator of our universe and our existence wish for? Have you ever stopped to wonder what is on God’s Christmas list? I know we have the gold, frankincense and myrrh stuff but that has already been done. What is a gift to someone that already has everything? You can't really re gift something you don't want to God. How do you wrap up something meaningful to the one who saved you, loves you unconditionally, desires an intimate personal relationship with you, and desires the best for your life? How do you return the love? What does God want for you this Christmas? Join us during our Advent Sermon Series: God’s Christmas Wish: What God Wants for Christmas? As we look at what we can give to God that will enrich our life and relationships. As we search together, you might just find that it is everything you dreamed for that can't be found at Sears.

See ya in church but until then take care of yourself, dream, and wish.
Peace, Love, Hope, and Joy

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


As we approach this Thanksgiving and in reflection after our Thanks Living sermon series, I have discovered so many things to be thankful for. Like many of you, I am in awe sometimes of all the blessings God has placed in my life. Yes, my life has its challenges, difficulties, and painful moments, but I marvel at the joy I have when I view the totality of my life. So I would like to take this opportunity to share a few, praying that it may help you find that same joy in your life. I am grateful God called me to serve an awesome congregation that works diligently to connect others to the love of Jesus Christ. I am grateful for everyone who accepts me as I am and shares in my passion to exhibit Christ’s love to those around us. I am so thankful for an understanding wife and children when ministry calls me away. I am grateful to watch my children grow in their faith and develop a burning desire to show Christ love by helping others. I am thankful for a wife who loves me, even when I stink and is my best friend. I am thankful God has placed so many cool friends and family members in my life.  I am thankful for the compassionate way those in all communities who  respond every time someone is hurting, sick, or in need. I am grateful for ever person who helps others over come addictions, protects children, and helps others heal from the pains in life. I thank God for everyone who chooses to worship with us and the abundance of children who have descended upon us lately. I am grateful for a patient and kind congregation who has endured as after ten years of ministry I have began to learn a new preaching style. I thank God for I get to be apart of Centralia Group Workcamp. I praise God for diligent dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to teach the faith to the next generation. I thank God for those who go the extra mile to visit, call, and stay connected with our home bound members. I am thankful for the Soldiers. I am thankful for the outrageous generosity of the people in our faith family. With giving of their money, time, and resources, in an era of decline we have managed unprecedented growth. For that I am thankful. I am thankful for all the people who work so hard behind the scenes to do the ministry. I am thankful God placed great examples in my life of Christian service and taught me what true faith really is.I am appreciative for all the individuals that I get to lead worship with each week. I am grateful something greater than myself is active in growing in my life. I am grateful for my health. I am thankful that I still have a lot of room for growth in my life. I am grateful I still have a lot to learn about being a good husband, father, and minister. I am thankful I don’t have it all figured out and that God is still active in my life. I am grateful for the forgiveness of others when I mess up. Last but not least, I am eternally grateful and find joy in the fact that I am loved, accepted, and validated by my Savior Jesus Christ and by so many wonderful people. I feel blessed and thankful that each day I get to do what I am called to do.  I also thank God for you, that our paths in life have crossed, as you are a blessing to me.
With all our love from our family to yours.
Happy Thanks LIVING….

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Perceptions: Back to the Church for Meat Loaf

Tony Campolo tells about the African American church he attends in Philadelphia that celebrates student recognition Sunday once a year. After a few students had spoken, the pastor stood and said, “Young people, you may not think you’re going to die, but you are. One of these days, they’ll take you to the cemetery, drop you in a whole, throw some dirt on your face and go back to the church and eat meat leaf.”

What an awesome sermon opener but also what a underscoring of the fact of death.
After I had preached at the funeral of an inspired and inspiring person, a guy approached me and said, “The problem is when you have to do my funeral, you won’t have all those wonderful things to say.” My response was, “Well, thank God you still have time to change that. Begin to live now in such a way that I won’t be on the spot and have to dig deep when I preach your funeral.”

Maybe that is something we all really need to think about.