Monthly Archives: December 2015

What the Wise Men Did First

What the Wise MenWhat is your favorite holiday movie? Can you mouth the words along with the characters or do you speak them out loud much to the annoyance of those watching with you? Is the story so familiar that it seems like there is nothing new to see or hear? Well, I think we all can relate to that. A movie, a favorite book, or the predictable family get together all hold something over us that keeps us coming back to it even though nothing really changes.

Do you ever feel that way about the Christmas story? Angels come to Mary and Joseph, they travel to Bethlehem, there’s no room at the inn, the shepherds come, the star shines, and the wise men get there a couple of years later end of story, done. Right? Wrong! Yes, the story is familiar, but the joy and amazingness of it all needs to continue and not die out in each of us. So, today I want to share with you about the wise men.

PK basically told everyone who has their wise men in the nativity set that they were doing it wrong. (I’m guilty too.) The wise men weren’t there when Jesus was born, they had to travel 800 miles to get to him. No fast plane then, just your two feet and some animal help if you were lucky. These men travelled a long way to get to see Jesus. They were probably dirty, tired, sore, and hungry even if they were kings. I mean a weekend in our pop up is enough to bring out the cranky in the six of us!

But, these men travelled, they followed the star, and they found Jesus. He was probably about two years old. Think of any two year olds you know and then imagine perfection in Jesus. Hard to imagine! So these men, these kings, travelled a great distance to see Jesus. I know I already said that. Now think, what is the first thing you do after travelling somewhere? Do you ask for the bathroom, crash on the sofa, check your email, or engage in polite chit-chat if you are visiting someone? Am I right? Well, what did the wise men do?

Matthew 2:9-11 says, “After they had heard the king, they (the wise men) went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”

Do you see it? Do you see what the Bible tells us the wise men did first? Read the passage again. What did they do? When the star stopped and they found the house where Jesus was, what did they do? They bowed down and worshiped Jesus! How awesome is that? That is what they did first when they saw Jesus. They worshiped him.

Is that what we do first? Do we worship Him first each day? I know I don’t. Some days I wake up and my mind has already jumped to the to do list or something else worldly and worshipping Jesus gets pushed to the bottom of the list. That’s awful, but it happens. I need my relationship with Jesus to be first. It needs to be at the top of the list with no option to do anything else first. I want to be a wise man, who might be tired, dirty, and hungry, but it doesn’t matter because I get to worship Jesus.

Who else wants to be a wise man? This Christmas, worship God first. Read the Christmas story as a family before opening presents. Give a birthday gift to Jesus that really means something and that really costs you something. Seek Him, find the star that is leading you to Him. And again, when you find Him, worship Him. Merry Christmas!

The Temple of Whom?

The Temple of WhomOk, you have PK to thank for the corny title. The things he comes up with for titles for his messages are funny sometimes because it instantly makes you think of something. This message opened up with a clip from Indiana Jones. I mean, those two things go together right? Church and Indiana Jones? Well, PK has a knack for making it work.

The real question is, who is the Temple of God? The Bible calls the church the Temple of God. What does that mean? To outsiders looking in to our “church” what do they see? Do they just see the building, a concert, and programs? Somewhere along the line, the view of church went bad. Christianity, before it was legal, used to have people meeting in secret and risking their lives for their faith. Now, we have people arguing about the color of the carpet.

What did God have in mind when he called the church the Temple of God? He had the people in mind…not a building or a concert or a bunch of programs. Isaiah 43:7 says, “everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” We were created for God’s glory! He made us! We never have to worry about running into ourselves because He didn’t run to the store and pick us off the shelves, He made us each individually. How cool is that?

1 Kings 8:27 says, “…The heavens, even the highest heaven, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built!” Solomon knew that even the temple he built was not sufficient to hold or glorify God. But, he did it anyway to glorify God. So why do we, in 2015 try to contain God to church? What does it mean to be the Temple of God?

As Christians we need to separate ourselves and be with people. 2 Corinthians 6 talks about not being tied or yoked together with unbelievers. This doesn’t mean that we are elite and need to look down our noses at unbelievers.

Don’t yoke (tie) yourselves with nonbelievers which might take you from God’s mission. One path keeps you walking with God. The other path leads you towards the American dream and a paycheck.     -PK

I am NOT saying that you can’t be friends with unbelievers and only hang out with other Christians. What a silly thought. But you do need to be sure that your path has other Christians on it so you can all keep yourselves on track and not fall into bad company. After all, our job on earth is to tell others about Jesus, so isolation certainly isn’t going to help spread the word!

We are the dwelling place of God. Don’t bring idol’s into God’s temple. The American dream alone is good. But the American dream lived out through God’s mission is even better and you can do that. We are holy, set apart, for God’s mission.

The world says: right is wrong and wrong is right.

God says: right is right and wrong is wrong.    -PK

Read that again if you have to. And again. I’m thinking God’s way is better and if you have surrounded yourself with other Christians, they will help keep you on the right path, even when the world will try to pull you away. Being the Temple of God means that we are not our own. We need to listen and do the work God needs us to do. It’s time for the world to see that when church comes to mind!

 

Trying to Hide from God

Trying to Hide from GodMy family just got done playing an epic family game of hide and seek. I’ve written about our fun times doing this before. It’s great to do as the evenings get colder. We aren’t die hards – we play with the lights on, but boy is it fun!

We have rules when we play and one of them is, when you are found, you have to go sit on the yellow couch in the living room. So, to be funny, I decided to try hiding right in the room an arm’s length away from the sofa. I had eyeballed up the spot a couple turns before when I got out quick. The drapes were open to the sides of the window and they are pretty long. I thought I might be able to hide behind them. Wow! What a spot. My son (who is really good) walked all around the room and then upstairs. I’m trying to take shallow breaths so he didn’t see me and so I take a big breath.

He finds PK who comes downstairs and sits on the yellow couch. My son is still upstairs looking for others and then all of a sudden I hear a giggle. PK has found me! The rule is, he can’t tell. The other three kids have been found and my son comes down shouting, “Mom, you won!”. Well, I’m not giving up this spot. So, he goes around the first floor again. By this point PK is laughing out loud, the other kids catch on, and my son comes back in and finds me. This was the best spot ever.

Anyway, what does this have to do with hiding from God? Well, I thought about it while I was standing there trying not to move or breathe too much. How often do we try to hide from God? Do we try to hide our hurtful words, our pride, our lack of daily devotions? Who are we kidding? God knows it all. He knows our heart in regard to those things.

Remember in Genesis when Adam and Eve ate the fruit and then tried to hide in the garden? And what does God do? The Bible says, “But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” in Genesis 3:9. Of course God knew where they were and what they had done. But, he loved them. He wanted Adam and Eve to know He was looking for them! He could have come with thunder pounding and flaming swords. But, no, He came calling for them. And then, later on, He makes them clothes. What a loving God!

When we are hiding, He is calling for us with the same love as He showed Adam and Eve. We can’t live to perfection nor are we perfect. But, good news, He still loves us!

So, even though I had a fantastic spot to hide from my family, no place is hidden from God. He knows our thoughts, our desires, and more importantly, He knows the plan for us. Don’t hide from God so He can show you His purpose and His mission for your life. You don’t want to be hiding and miss out!

Avoid Being the Christian SBD

Christian SBD

There are 6 of us in our family. Four boys (yes, PK is included in that) and two girls. A day doesn’t go by that there isn’t some sort of bathroom reference or someone laughs so hard they inadvertently let one rip and the giggles start all around. So, imagine my horrified face with a bright shade of pink rising through it when PK spouts this off in his message:

So many Christians come off as pushy and judgmental…they’re the SBD in the room.     -PK

It took a minute, but there were giggles all around as they realized what he said. (In case you don’t know, SBD refers to: Silent But Deadly. If you need more information, go ask a boy!) Oh my, why wasn’t this a Sunday I was in back with the kiddos so I could plead ignorance on anything PK said? But, we hung in there and the good news in PK’s message came through. Good news that you don’t need to be the Christian SBD because that isn’t what God has called us to do or be.

God’s word in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 is, “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” And Hebrews 4:12 says, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” Looks to me like we need to be the servant and let God take care of everyone.

God has made us ministers of the new covenant. 2 Corinthians 3:1-9 tells us that we are to move from the old law to the new covenant. We need to move from the legalistic life of living by the law. Gone are the days of saying absolutely no dancing allowed, no watching movies, no having an occasional drink. Here to stay is the new covenant, where our salvation is not based on our performance but His. Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for us so that we could have salvation through Him.

 The Bible tells us so in Romans 7:6. It says, “But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code.” Yes, we have been released. But why? And how do we serve?

The new covenant was instituted by God so we could be free to serve Him by showing the love of Jesus for others. That’s right, the Christian SBD needs to stop giving nasty looks and acting holier than thou and start showing the love of Jesus to others. We all have to do that. We need to use our gifts to serve Him so that others can come to know Jesus. We need to realize at the end of the day that if we don’t have Jesus, what does anything else matter.

We need to stop relying on rituals and rules at church and start relying on a relationship with Jesus. Church is all around you. It’s at the football game, your workplace, in the restaurant, or even in long holiday lines.    -PK

No one wants to be around an SBD. It stinks! So, PK’s message that started us off giggling really left us with a challenge. How is church in your life going to become the beautiful aroma that pours forth the love of Jesus through serving Him?

Joy to the World Mini Book Craft

20151129_083345Are you doing a little history on carols or want to introduce your kiddos to a time tested carol? This mini book of Joy to the World is for you!

Be sure to play the song for them and let them sing along. Kids singing out is so great to hear!

20151129_083306For this craft you will need:

  • One book paper per child Joy to the World Book
  • crayons/markers
  • scrap material/construction paper optional

Putting this craft together is easy. Make sure you do all your coloring and gluing before folding it though. Fold on the solid line first, then the dotted line and you’ll have a great little book. I used some scraps of paper, felt, and foam stuff just to make it a little 3-D/touch me like. That’s all optional. Allow the kids to add onto the pictures as they want.

20151129_083332Have a great day. Here’s another Jesus is born craft if you need one!