Thursday, December 13, 2007


Good day friends. Please forgive today’s post for it’s utter selfishness, but I just need to process this stuff and blogging it helps.

So a friend calls me this morning and shares with me that someone we both know and love has passed away overnight, and in the wake of the phone call I’m left with an overwhelming sense of sadness. You may think that’s perfectly normal, and I guess it is, but I’m sad for me and for you.

After I prayed for my friend and we hung up the phone, all the plans of my day, of which there were many, seemed so insignificant; and yet when I left my house (before the phone call) they were so important. And if I’m honest, every day of my life is like that – filled with activity that ultimately is trivial.

May I remind you that my life’s work is sharing the hope and power of One who I believe gives us eternal life, and I regularly share that hope and comfort in funerals and memorial services so death is a known reality for me. It’s never been something I’ve feared or didn’t want to think about it, it’s a reality I’m okay with. But today, for whatever reason - in light of this particular death, it’s our lives that are saddening me.

I could go on and on, but I guess what I’m needing to say today is that life is temporary. I need to evaluate every moment and be very intentional about how I’m spending it. My stuff will get done today I’m sure, but if for some reason it doesn’t, I don’t’ think it will bother me so much……not today.

I pray for you reading this that each moment of your life is filled with unbelievable joy, unshakable peace, and deep abiding love. His name is Jesus.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

How's Your Christmas?

As I face another Christmas celebration at church, I brace myself for the rigorous schedule. I think of the huge investments of time and energy that go into it. I quietly wonder if we're really getting our money's worth out of all this, spiritually speaking. What does Christ think of our Christmas celebrations anyway? How much of it is even pleasing to Him? After all, isn’t He the very reason we have Christmas?

Remember that He is the One who saw straight through empty words and ceremony. He was absolutely ruthless toward such "praise". His quotation of Isaiah 29:13 is never from from my thoughts as a Worship Pastor:

These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain. (Matthew 15:8-9, NIV)

When the disciples were impressed by the beauty of the Temple, Jesus spoke of God's displeasure and foretold its complete destruction. He was a bit upset as He condemned the Pharisees for their pomp and pride. They made a show of their religion while ignoring what matters most to God.

Instead, Jesus connected with and was impressed by the faith of a widow, the honesty of a prostitute and the plight of the beggar. He gently rebuked His good friend Martha for her well-intentioned busy-ness. Her sister Mary had chosen the only thing that was needed: to sit and quietly listen at the Lord's feet (Luke 10:38-42, NIV).

What would this Jesus think of our Christmas celebrations?

Instead of pointing fingers though, what would He think of my Christmas celebrations? That's the real question, not my church's activity. All true worship takes place in the heart, so if true worship is lacking, the problem is in me.

In spite of all the "religious activity" that goes on, I've found that Christmas can be a tough time spiritually. Sadly, I must admit that often this time of year too little happens between God and me; too little real celebration of what He has done, too little true worship, too little heart-to-heart with my Father, but plenty of activity. If nothing is happening in my heart, what good is any of the celebrating?

So this year I’m asking, “God how can I give this Christmas to You? How can I be sure that my activity is pleasing to You?”

What about you, how’s your Christmas going?