Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Year... New Blessings

Christmas is such a busy time of year!  I love the season, but I know in my life I can get so overwhelmed with the preparations that I can forget to enjoy the moment.  It struck me, earlier this week, when I was looking around my house.  I realized I would soon be putting all the decorations away, and I really hadn’t taken any time to enjoy them.  There were so many things to worry about and stress over that I really didn’t pay attention to the joy of the season as much as I should have. 

However, in the midst of all the chaos, God still shows up.  I hope as you look back over this past year you can take time to remember the blessings.  Think about how you have changed.  You’re not the same person you were a year ago...  Can you feel God’s love today?  How will that Love change you in the year to come? 


Pastor Brian

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Do you believe in Love?

Things are really gearing up as we get closer to Christmas!  However, in this midst of all this excitement, our nine month old baby, is getting sick.  Thankfully, he still has the energy to run, play, and scream with delight, but he is super congested, and his nose is running all the time. (Seriously, I didn’t think that much snot could come out of such a tiny nose!) The baby is also having trouble sleeping, which means we’re even more exhausted than usual…  However, in addition to bringing fourth snot, our child has also been able to bring fourth an incredible amount of love.  He makes me want to share love that I didn’t know that I had.  This week in Advent we are celebrating Love and the relationships it creates.  Today, I wonder if you feel loved?  Do you have relationships in your life that give you strength and hope even when your life is extra messy? 

I was reminded this week that in Greek the word for love is Agape.  Agape is unconditional love, but it is also so much more.  Agape can be translated charity.  Agape is the unconditional love that binds all relationships together, but it also sends us forth.  It drives us to want to reach out to others with charity and grace.  As we prepare for Christmas this week, I hope we can all find a way to be driven by love to serve the world. 



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Living in fear... or preparing for Christ

I love the Christmas season.  However, this year it has been particularly hard for me to get into the spirit.  There is so much chaos overseas.  More refugees exist in our world than at any other time since World War II.   In our own nation, there have been so many shootings.  Violence, pain, and fear seem to be everywhere.  As we gather each week around the Advent Wreath, it seems almost wrong to lite candles of Hope, Joy, Love or Peace… Honestly, it seems like I am preparing for evil, fear, and chaos more than I am preparing for the coming of Christ. 

Today, we ARE preparing for Christmas, even though it seems like the world is falling apart.  The Bible says that God chose to come to a people living in deep darkness to bring light.  As we gather together this week, we are part of something radical.  We are protesting the darkness.  We will not be controlled by evil.  We believe God is still working in this world, and we believe we can actually be a part of the Good News.  This week I hope you can find hope to reach out and share God’s Joy in some way with the world around you!



Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's time to prepare!

The ring bearer was ready... He did a great job riding down the
aisle, but he tried to crawl away as soon as the wagon stopped!
I know some pastors who really don’t like doing weddings.  They say there are just too many expectations and ideas from the bride and groom that will drive them crazy.  However, I personally love working with people who are passionate about a service, and even though the day may be stressful, I love seeing so much energy and love.  A couple weeks ago, I had the honor of officiating at my brother in law’s wedding.  It was amazing to see the whole family come out early to prepare for that busy day.  Everyone was stepping up to handle a different task.  Some people prepared the reception area.  Others readied the food, and even our 8 month old baby got into the spirit by riding around in a wagon. (He would ride in the wagon to deliver the rings.  Pretty fun, right?) It was a busy day, but everyone wanted to be there and help in one way or another.  In the end it turned out great.  The bride and groom’s preparations made for a great day, and we all had a blast.

In the church, we are in a season of preparation.  Sometimes, I think it’s weird to prepare for Christmas.  What’s the point of preparing for something that already happened 2000 years ago?  Can’t we just celebrate the day?  Well, it’s true that God is already here, and Jesus has already been born as a Savior.  However, I believe God is still breaking into our world today.  Whatever you may think of yourself, God loves you enough to want to enter into your life.  That is powerful news, and although it’s possible just to say God is here… end of story.  I think we all need to take some time to prepare our hearts and minds to understand this news and to share it.  I hope you can dive into this season and find all kinds of new ways to share God’s love!