The Unexpected Christmas

I spend much of my time talking with people about their faith.  One of the things that comes up in conversation when talking about church or faith is how to deepen ones faith — to have a stronger connection with God.

What do you think I tell them to do?

Go to church.

I say to them over the years I have come to know many things — the most important thing I can tell anyone about how to grow stronger in their faith is to be a part of the church and not only on a Sunday morning.

Sunday’s is where we are fed, we come together as a community and we share in a meal, we sing together, pray together learn together and then we are sent out into the world together. 

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Four Lessons to Reach Your 2015 Goals

I have tried many things over the years to reach my goals. I have set New Year’s resolutions, signed contracts with myself, masked my goals to “fool” myself into accomplishing something. Yet none of these methods have worked.

We all set goals with good intentions. We all have things that we want to improve in our lives. We all want to be healthier, to gain more knowledge, and obtain financial security. We make resolutions or promises to ourselves that we are going to improve, but the reality is we never complete what we start.

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Promises to Ourselves

I have been preaching a lot about promises this year during Advent.  I think the promises that God makes to us are some of the most important promises of our lives.  As I have reflected upon the promises God makes to us, I began to wonder how we honor (or don’t honor) the promises that we make to ourselves.

I, like you have made many promises to myself.  For example, “tomorrow I am going to wash my car — I promise” or “this week  I am going to eat healthy, no more junk food — I promise.”

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Pinky Promise of God

Advent is all about promises. And not just Advent,  but the whole Gospel.  We read today – “The beginning of the good news of Jesus, the Son of God” – the Gospel writer Mark literally begins his account with a promise of Isaiah. It’s the promise of Isaiah to desperate Israel at one of the low points of its history.

And while Mark points to John the Baptist as the fulfillment of Isaiah’s promise that one will come crying out in the wilderness, it is John the Baptist that brings us the promise of comfort, deliverance, and renewal.

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Perfectly Imperfect

This summer my family and I spent a week with our friends at Camp Calumet on vacation.  This is an annual trip for us that is filled with fun, relaxation and lots of laughter.  I have spent a lot of time at Camp Calumet and it is one of my favorite places to go.  I especially love this vacation because a week at Calumet feels like I have been away for two weeks or more.

I like to really relax on vacation, I wake up when I want too (or when the kids get me up) and I make very few plans.  However, each year I work on a craft project.  Over the years I have done tie dye, gimp bracelets, communion set out of clay, a wood banner that says “God-Moments” and lots of drawings.  This year I decided to make a mug out of clay.  I have had some success on the pottery wheel and I wanted to make a nice, big mug to have at the church for all my hot yummy drinks.

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