Last week, a ten-year-old girl, unbeknownst to her mother, grabbed a tag off the Giving Tree at church. A few days later, she asked her mother if there was anything she could do to earn some extra money. This seemed curious to her mother, but she didn't think much of it until she was tucking her daughter into bed, noticing an envelope laying next to the bed. It contained $4 dollars and a $5 giving tree tag. Her daughter had been covertly setting aside her chore money from the last week. There was also a handwritten card for the missionary who would receive the gift. Mom could hardly contain her joy and her tears.
Confession: I LOVE CHRISTMAS. I love the anticipation of the season, baking (ok, let’s be honest, this is Andrea) and decorating (but I can do this) Christmas cookies, going to Christmas Eve service, family traditions, Christmas movies (maybe an occasional Hallmark movie), gift giving, putting up the lights and decorations, but most of all, the wonder of the Christmas story.
But somehow, I often find myself deep into the season and filled with anything but wonder. For Andrea and I, last year found us prepping for two birthdays, attending work Christmas parties, buying gifts, shipping gifts, and finishing up school projects. By December 15th, we were swimming in the realm of exhaustion...no wonder!
Why Change our Name?
Why True Hope?
Are we just trying to be ‘hip' and like every other church?
“Get on the bandwagon”. “Follow what’s trending”. “Join the crowd”. “Be more hip”.
There’s something about all these statements that actually makes me want to go in the opposite direction.
I always look forward to Man camp. It's a weekend up at Warm Lake Idaho filled with Neature. (If you don’t get the “neature” reference check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hm3JodBR-vs)
The theme for the weekend was "identity." John Eldredge says: “Identity is not something that falls on us out of the sky. For better or for worse, identity is bestowed.” I have recently been on a journey of discovering sonship with the Father. Jesus said in John 17:3 that his greatest desire is that we would know the Father. Jesus could have said a lot of other desires for humanity. But Jesus went to the core desire. To know the Father shapes everything else. You will never live beyond your identity. I believe that's why most Christians walk with their head down, defeated, full of addictions. The chief aim of the Villain is to take us away from our identity in the Father.