Revelation: Fourth Sunday of Advent

Have you ever had a revelation?

It doesn’t have to be this big life altering moment. It doesn’t have be a positive thing. It can be a learning moment too.

A moment where something changed.

Like the revelation that the grass isn’t always greener? That most modern worship songs have the drums playing the kick drum on every beat? That Subway doesn’t always taste fresh? Or how blessed you are to have a spouse who loves you as is even though you say dumb things trying to be smart?

Ok maybe something deeper.

photo-1463780324318-d1a8ddc05a11

I see revelations as something of something new, a part of life you hadn’t thought of but it being revealed to you, can make you better. Whether its an easy or hard thing to have revealed.

It’s one of my favorite things about Christmas Tour: we want to inspire people to start over or seek Jesus in a more bold way because Christmas is a time where we remember where God began a plan for us to be able to start over.

Read this out loud.

“Long ago God spoke many times and in many ways to our ancestors through the prophets. And now in these final days, he has spoken to us through his Son. God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe. The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven. This shows that the Son is far greater than the angels, just as the name God gave him is greater than their names.” Hebrews 1:1-4

Don’t you think that Joseph had some revelations about how God saw him? Or Mary and God’s heart for her? Or the shepherds and what it means for a prophecy to come to reality?

Look, my friend, ask Jesus on this 4th week of advent for a revelation about how to seek Him, know Him, follow Him, and live for Him like you never have before.

I don’t know what it looks like for you but I do know that if you seek Jesus you will find Jesus.

Come on, my friend. Let God reveal something new for you and discover that by asking Him to give you revelation.

God is Good
Peder

Hope: Third Sunday of Advent

The word hope has been used in a lot of ways. It’s been used in songs, naming of children, schools, poems, movies, books, and even campaign slogans.

Really hope is a powerful, emotional, heartfelt word. Probably why it’s so attractive.

So the third week of advent we are choosing the word hope. Why?

Because where we put our hope and what we put our hope in will truly determine how we live.

Depending where our hope is affects our choices, how we lead, how we pursue our dreams, how we handle conflict or fears, how we treat our spouse, how we love, how we see our future, and how we see Jesus.

photo-1476824033086-706c9a36f7f4

At Christmas we celebrate and draw into God’s sending of hope through the birth of Jesus. God keeps His promise following through with his word of sending one who would be the Savior of all.

Throughout scripture, we’re directed to put our home in God.

Not just hope about God, but put our hope IN God.

Why?

Because God never fails.

The love of Jesus never fails. The Holy Spirit is not afraid. God is faithful and never breaks a promise and our hope in Him will not disappoint us.

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation.” 1 Peter 1:3

Over a month ago we had an election for president.

Did it turn out the way you wanted it to?

It really doesn’t matter because to put a life hope in an election might have some short-term benefits but they are not sovereign. Even the most powerful leader is not for you in the way Jesus is for you.

Read that Romans verse again.

“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5

Hope in Jesus does not disappoint and the Holy Spirit is real and alive through you.

That’s why the shepherds ran to Bethlehem.

That’s why the Kings traveled for so long.

That’s why Joseph trusted the God’s vision in his dreams.

That’s why Mary said, “I am the Lord’s servant. Do what you want with me.”

And the world was never the same!

That’s Hope that does not fail or disappoint!

In your daily decisions, how do you choose your hope?

God is good!

Peder

Patience: Second Sunday of Advent

I am like the weather when it comes to patience. Sometimes I feel I can be the most steadfast, even-keeled person in chaotic situations and in the next moment I can give in to a panic or disruption to my timing and scream the end of the world.

photo-1477728275068-39b7f46df4d2

Patience is interesting.

And it’s a choice.

When I would do projects with my kids when they were little, I would need to choose patience in letting the project take longer in order let them try, maybe fail, or just do it slower.

I confess look back and realize I could have done better with that because I was too caught up in getting it done.

I actually ache over the lost experience of watching them figure things out. I can’t go back and just be with them. But I can definitely learn from those experiences.

So how does patience fit for our Second Sunday of Advent?

Israel was told a Prince of Peace was coming. An Everlasting Counselor. The King of all Kings! The promised one, Messiah!

Generations would come and go and still they waited and looked forward to the day.

I’m curious sometimes the Jews as individuals and families handled it. We don’t really know.

What we do know is God kept his promise and the Promised one came in Jesus the Christ.

I like this verse from Romans how it speaks to patience.

“But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.” Romans 8:25 (NLT)

Patience and confidence.

If we believe what we say we believe, that God is for us, with us, and the good work He started in us He will bring to completion, then patience becomes less about being tolerant (remember it’s a good work).

First, it actually helps us not miss the beautiful moment we are in moments where we need patience.

Second, there is a restful peace and trust available to us when we take confidence in God being at work even while wait.

I know for me in my past, present, and future there are situations I need to live in patience.

During this second week of Advent, go ahead and write down a couple things that you want to choose patience in.

Parenting?
Job future?
Unsettled relationship?
Something you to rush the outcome and you need to let it be?

Share what you wrote down with your family. There is strength in your house in each other. This week, it’s wait and see with confidence.

God is good!

Peder

Anticipation: First Sunday of Advent

A couple of week ago I took Ethan to the new US Bank Stadium to watch our Minnesota Vikings play. Days before we went, we were pretty excited to see our favorite team play in what is considered one of the nicest NFL stadiums.

The anticipation was building!

You know the feeling.

photo-1448006678469-d32ba7880e18

It’s the feeling that something is going to happen! It has energy.

Then there’s the anticipation of your wedding day, marrying your best friend for a lifetime.

The expectation of children being born.

The anticipation in traveling halfway around the planet to hold your adopted children!

What if we started Advent like that?

Not just the Christmas is coming with gifts, food, concerts, programs, church, family, cards, etc.

Hear me, these things are great and definitely we are looking forward to them.

But what about the anticipation that God is going to move in a new way?

It’s like we talk about in worship team training—growing a worship culture where people find themselves in the church parking lot on a Sunday morning anticipating that God is going to do something in them or in their family that morning.

But it’s so much bigger than that!

Isaiah 25 and 26 are all about preparing and getting ready because of what God was going to do in the Messiah He would send AND the anticipation of the great things the Messiah would do!

They weren’t wishing; they were expecting it.

They were expecting God to show up.

He’s still doing just that.

Our great God is always making things new. He’s moving, loving, healing, restoring, creating.

This Advent will be no different.

Why not approach this year with anticipation?

Sure, you know the story. You know it’s a great story with a great ending that actually becomes a new beginning.

Expect God’s goodness and grace.

Your expecting doesn’t make it happen. It happens because God is just like that.

You may not know what it looks like but you can definitely have ANTICIPATION this Advent.

Why?

Because God is good.

What are you anticipating this year? I’d love to hear from you—either in the comments or in person during the Christmas Time Tour.

See you soon!

Peder

The Gift of Your Membership

This week I’m in Augusta, GA, coming to you from one of the greatest golf courses in the world.

Well… sort of coming to you from there.

I’m not exactly a member so I just had a take a quick video because I was afraid I’d get kicked out.

Here’s the whole story:


(Here’s the YouTube link just in case)

For me, driving around the green hoping for a peak inside had to be good enough.

But that’s not the case with Jesus.

You never have to settle for good enough when you’re with Jesus.

He’s a member so you get to be a member. What a privilege that is!

Hear Him say “Come, see all the things I have for you.”

So much more than just good enough.

Have you ever gotten to “authorized personnel only” access to someplace special? How’d it feel?

I’d love to hear your story. Tell me in the comments or on Facebook.

God is good,

Peder

Be Present Where You’re Present

Hey friends!

It’s been awhile.

But here’s a little look inseide my life during my camp counselor days.

Join me on the stage at Ingham Bible Camp where I learned to play guitar:

(Here’s the YouTube link if you need it)

Stop for a second and take a look around you.

What’s God doing? How can you give Him thanks for what’s going on?

If you want to share it with me, I’d love to see your response in the comments or on Facebook.

He could be putting into motion something you’ll still see the fruit of 20 years from now!

God is good!
Peder

Like Phineas Has Ferb, I Have…

There was this song idea rolling around it my head.

It came from Isaiah 6:3:

“Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of his glory.”

The Hebrew word for “glory” is kavod, better translated “weight and presence.”

I wanted to help worshippers remember that God’s presence is everywhere.

That means everywhere is holy ground.

So I took this idea to my very dear friend Bob Stromberg.

Like Lone Ranger has Tonto, Batman has Robin, Charlie Brown has Snoopy, and Phineas has Ferb, I have Bob Stromberg.

Bob and I with our lovely wives in Guatemala

Bob and I with our lovely wives in Guatemala

As I met with Bob in person, he listened carefully to my ideas, the message, and some lyrics that were rolling around in my head.

Now, co-writing a song together is about trusting the other person, being vulnerable, and being willing to do somethings you’ve never done before.

Bob challenged me and he encouraged me.

Then he had to go to California for a few weeks to perform.

The guy’s busy.

He’s written plays, books, comedy shows, and he’s been featured on America’s Got Talent.

He could have told me the song would have to wait until he got back.

But he didn’t.

That’s not how Bob works.

That’s not how creativity works.

In no time, Bob had ideas.

As he’s driving down Interstate 5 in Los Angeles, he’s recording lyric ideas into his personal recorder.

He’s sitting in traffic singing to my voicemail.

When his long days were over, he’d go back to the hotel and type up more ideas to email to me.

His creativity knows no bounds!

He used his limited personal time to dig into my song.

What he came up with would become some of my favorite lyrics capturing exactly what I was hoping for in the song “Holy Ground.”

When I’m walking in the mountains
Strolling down a busy street
And always when I’m alone
By the ocean drone
I hear You’re calling out to me
This is Holy Ground

I’m grateful for my Bob.

Not just his contribution to that song and so many others, but forever more his friendship and, yes, his heart.

“As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp.” Proverbs 27:17

Bob is one of the pieces of iron who sharpens me.

When I was in the studio recording “Holy Ground,” there were some changes that needed to be made the very moment we were finalizing the song.

I was struggling.

So I called Bob.

He took the time that very moment to talk me off my proverbial cliff of worry, and he helped make the song even stronger.

Just in time.

It’s both Bob’s gift and his heart.

He cares about the art and the artist he’s working with.

I can say this from experience: you don’t find that everywhere.

Hey, friend, you’ve been getting emails from me about a new teaching series Bob’s made.

It’s called Mastering the Art of Creativity.

They’re instructional videos and more about how to draw out your creativity abilities and growing them like never before.

Bob knows what he’s doing.

He’s finally teaching publicly things he’s been teaching me privately for years.

If you work in any type of vocation or ministry where coming up with “new” is needed, you’re gong to want to dig into what Bob has put together.

It’s definitely worth your time!

What he teaches has helped bring my music and ministry to a whole new level.

When I’m writing a new song or building a new event, Bob’s one of the first “Ferbs” I put on my team.

He’s been part of over 30 songs I’ve recorded. (Plus some we haven’t recorded yet).

Songs like:
Abba I Belong to You
As Is
Roll The Stone Away
Why Wouldn’t I
Come To The Rescue
That’s What Family Does
Draw Us Together
The Reason We Live
What A Ride
Come On In
Love Has Come

If you’ve ever sung any of these songs, you’ve already been impacted by Bob’s work.

Let him impact yours.

Our God is the creative God.

Because of His goodness, there are no limits to what news things can come about.

I can’t wait to see what He does through you.

God is good all the time!
Peder

A Holy Week Greeting

Hey, my friends!

Long time not chat. Sorry about that.

I’ve got a new video for you today since it’s Holy Week.

It reminds me of a time Taylor and I went to a Timberwolves game.

Yes, there’s a connection.

But you’ve got to watch the video to find out:


(Here’s the YouTube link)

Just like I promised Taylor we’d go to the game, Easter is the culmination of God promising that the Prince of Peace would come.

God kept His promise.

Just like He still keeps His promises today.

One of those promises is that He loves you.

What else is on your list of promises God has made to you that He’s kept? Share some of them with me in the comments.

Happy Easter, my friends.

God is faithful. All the time.

Peder

Advent #4–In His Presence

Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the Savior’s birth with us! We had such a great time on the This Christmas Tour.

As we head into these final few days before Christmas, I have one more invitation for you.

If you are in need of some peace and joy, respond the way we see throughout scripture:

The way Adam and Eve responded.

The way the prodigal son responded.

They all responded the same way.

(Technical difficulties? Here’s the YouTube link)

Whether you need refreshment of joy, hope, encouragement, or healing, I invite you to respond in the same way.

Allow yourself to spend some time in God’s presence.

Sing. Worship. Pray.

Find the hope, joy, and love wrapped in a little baby.

You won’t regret it.

From my family to yours: Merry Christmas!

Peder

Advent #3: Sometimes Christmas Is Hard

Christmas is a wonderful time of year!

But sometimes the joy of the season is not always what you’re feeling.

Maybe you’ve recently lost a loved one.

Maybe the season brings up hard memories.

Maybe you’re alone this Christmas.

Maybe some other situation has left you in a difficult place.

Join me at my house this week as we talk about the best thing you can do in those hard moments.

(Technical difficulties? Here’s the YouTube link)

Did you hear that?

You are ADORED by God.

You are loved. You are appreciated. You are enjoyed.

My friend, He is with you.

Even if it feels like you’ve got nothing else going for this Advent, cling to that truth.

It’s what Christmas is all about. Immanuel. God with us.

If you know someone who might find this helpful, please pass it along to them.

Make sure they know they can find hope in the manger.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

May you know the hope in the One who has come.

See you next week.

Peder