Sunday, December 23, 2007
This is a basic outline from which I based my Christmas Sermon this year at Cornerstone.
Jesus' Christmas Gift to You . . .
Change: Jesus brings transformational change from the inside out.
Healing: Jesus brings spiritual, emotional, physical, and relational healing.
Relationship: Jesus brings reconciliation with our Creator and Father in heaven.
Insight: Jesus brings wisdom about who you are and what you were created for.
Satisfaction: Jesus brings contentment and peace to a stormy world.
Truth: Jesus is the very definition of truth and reality.
Motivation: Jesus brings the passion for our action.
Abilities: Jesus brings empowerment.
Salvation: Jesus brings the only way to survive this life and enter into the next.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
One of our AWANA teachers was telling the story of the candy cane to a group of children tonight. She carefully explained the symbolism of the cane emphasizing that it represented Jesus. Candy canes were then given to each of the children. Coming across a broken candy cane, the teacher jumped on the opportunity to use the broken cane to stress Jesus' sacrifical death. "When we eat this broken one it will remind us that Jesus' body was broken for us", she said. One particularly observant girl raised her hand and replied, "At my church we use bread!"
One of our new AWANA workers shared this note with me: "I'm having fun with AWANA. Last week I got to teach a group of six year olds with no front teeth how to say Ecclesiastes and Thessalonians".
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Thursday, December 06, 2007
I occassionally meet people who, in my opinion, look a lot like Jesus. Such was the case yesterday. Our local ministerial association gets together once a month for lunch and yesterday was my day to host the meeting. My usual fare is Dominoe's Pizza and that's exactly what I served yesterday. It was a small group of 10 or so representing only 4-5 churches. I was surprised to see a new face among us--a large man (not fat-just big) who was introduced by his pastor as a member of his church who has a ministry at the local nursing home. I was amazed to hear, as he shared, of his heart for the nursing home community and the extent to which he and his church provide care. Under his direction, every resident at the nursing home will receive a personal Christmas present from the church (they've actually been asked what they would like this year for Christmas). He spoke of being led by the Holy Spirit to get involved and how his ministry at the nursing home has led him to pursue ministry in a larger way--perhaps even vocationally. As we were cleaning up at the end of our meeting--he asked what I was going to do with the left-over pizza. I imagined that it might be a good treat for his family and I readily suggested that he take it with him. He wasn't asking for himself, though. He said that he wanted to take it to the nursing home and share it with the residents who rarely get pizza. Here is a man who gives his life daily as a volunteer for the forgotten people in the nursing home. He visits them daily, he talks with them, he goes with them to the hospital, he goes to their funerals. This Baptist pastor is humbled by the example of this Catholic layman. He looks a lot like Jesus!
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I am very excited about the many possibilities that exist through video blogging. I know that my first attempt was something less than good--but it was a beginning. (It's amazing how distracting the tv noise in the background can be.) Next time, I'll make sure that no one else is around to disturb the recording. And yes, I could have easily re-recorded it before I posted it but I was just too excited with actually having mastered the technology enough to get it online. I'll try again in a few days and see if I can improve the quality.