I hope this past week has been “the most wonderful time of the year.” There is so much for which to be thankful:
With five kids, we had plenty of gifts getting passed around at our house on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Everything from socks to superman to a doll house.
Announcement: If you have children that will be involved in the Christmas program, don’t forget to arrive by 8:30am for rehearsal and then breakfast.
|God changes lives!
If you were not able to attend the New Life spirit of Christmas last night, you missed an evening that was packed with testimonies to the fact that God changes lives.
Lives that were handcrafted by God before birth became trashed by the influence and control of Satan.
However, our trashed lives have been REDEEMED!
New Life…full of hope, vision and dreams.
The spirit of Christmas was a platform for broken people to serve broken people through music, art and inspirational stories.
The spirit of Christmas was meant to provide a space where each person held an equal amount of dignity.
It was a time for mutual respect and equality.
Christmas is an ideal time to share this message.
This Sunday, we will carry on the theme from the spirit of Christmas into our morning service. We will spend a majority of our time studying 1 John 5:6-12. Interestingly enough, in the midst of all the facts about the life of Jesus and the accusations against His deity, John writes down the testimony of God for the validity of His Son.
Yesterday, I was able to spend some extended time with a new friend that God has put into my life. In one sense you could call this a discipleship relationship.
Our past is very different!
He has spent time on the streets, been addicted to alcohol and drugs and last summer was shot at close range and survived.
Our present is also very different…but not quite as extreme!
He is still technically homeless, struggling to regain a relationship with his three children, he has limited employment and no transportation. We are similar in that we are each reading the Bible, we have been born again and we desire to be around other believers.
Our future is identical!
We have an identical inheritance in the same location (heaven) and will be hanging out with the same people forever. We desire to see glimpses of God’s Kingdom while we are still here on earth.Yesterday, my friend wrote out three pages about how he believes that God can change our city…AND…I agree with him.
Something occurred to me while we were talking through this vision for the future:
TOO OFTEN WE BASE OUR RELATIONSHIPS ON THE PAST!!!
The results are that we become very cloistered around people who grew up with similar education, work in similar careers and live in similar neighborhoods.
I believe that God made us to develop our relationships around His future plans and not our past experiences.
This Sunday we’ll talk more about this as we will look closely at 1 John 5:1-5…in a nutshell we are called to believe, obey and conquer. Then next Thursday…6 days from today…I HOPE AND PRAY you can come to the Spirit of Christmas. You will hear from my friend and several others who have spent time on the edges of society, but share a common vision for the future.
If you want more information, or would like to invite friends you can check out these two links:
Stay safe and warm!