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.

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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

Advent #2: The People Who Shape Us

I’m back with another vlog for our second week of Advent.

It’s been really warm this December here in Minnesota (like in the 40s), so it’s got me thinking about summer. And golf.

This past summer my favorite golfer, Zach Johnson, won the British Open, and he said something that really stuck with me.

Here’s the full story:

(Technical difficulties? Watch on YouTube)

I too am the product of really great people.

It’s a beautiful gift to get to thank them, appreciate them, and let them know the impact they’ve made on my life.

What about you?

Who are the people who have shaped you?

The coaches, the teachers, the friends, the mentors, the children, the list is endless.

There’s no better time than now to reflect and reach out to those people. Let them know they’re appreciated.

Send them a text, give them a call, mail them a card.

Thank them.

They might need to hear it.

Who are you the product of? Take some time to thank those influencers today.

Let me know how it goes in the comments.

Hope to see you on the This Christmas Tour!

Peder

 

Advent #1: Remembering

A couple of weeks ago I got to lead worship at my home church, the one I grew up in. Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Ulen, MN shaped me in a lot of ways.

It was amazing walking back into the sanctuary and thinking about all of the memories.

Let me tell you a little more:


(Technical difficulties? Here’s the link to the video on YouTube)

I felt all sorts of emotions during my visit to Bethlehem Lutheran. What do you think Mary and Joseph felt during their trip to Bethlehem?

What about you? What are some things in your life that draw out memories?

God uses the things that shaped us to make us who He wants us to be.

What are some things that have shaped you?

Share the traditions, places, and stories with your family. Let me know how it goes with a comment.

See you next week!

Peder

He Is A Man!

Sounds like a phrase you would say to a guy who turned his pickup into a monster truck. Maybe a guy who took down a big buck hunting with only a spoon. Maybe some dude who just looks like he is chiseled out of granite and makes all the ladies melt when he walks by.

That’s not the man I’m talking about.

I’m talking about my oldest son Taylor.

Riley, Daniel, Jonah, Taylor, Jadon. 10 years in the making!

Riley, Daniel, Jonah, Taylor, Jadon. Ten years in the making!

Ten years ago myself and some other dads starting to talk about a book we had read called the Raising of a Modern Day Knight and about what it means to be a godly man. More discussions turned into moment of either talk about it or do something.

Praise God for my brothers in Christ because they are men who say “Let’s do something!”

We started to develop and implement what we would call Knights Weekend. We would gather as fathers and sons at a cabin or retreat area to play like guys (capture the flag, paintball, air soft, football, gaga ball, shooting, karate or go tubing or fishing); eat like guys (burgers, steaks, hot dogs, s’mores); and learn what it means to grow and be a godly man.

10 yeras ago they looked different

Ten years ago they looked different

We used principles from Raising of a Modern Day Knight and another book called Teknon the Champion Warrior.

The boys would be given training, be prayed for, be encouraged, be held accountable, be affirmed, and be challenged by the dads. They would do service projects, lead worship, Bible studies, and share their journeys with the younger brothers coming behind them.

At age 8, each boy was started with ceremonial dubbing as a paige—being called into the journey to pursue God and what being a man of God would be for him.

This sword was our symbol of Knighthood

This sword was our symbol of Knighthood

In the midst they would reach a goal and be affirmed a squire—a new responsibility to go deeper, be held to higher accountability, and be challenged in the heart even more.

Then in a final ceremony, when the boy is deemed ready by the other knights (dads), he’s is invited to manhood, signs a resolution in the witness of dads, and declared so by his dad to be a man, and then giving a blessing.

The following verse is the key:

“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”
1 Corinthians 13:11

On July 7th, Taylor took this step and made this commitment. Ten years in the making and now a new process has started. It is a road that will not be perfect but it’s a road that he is now called to AND on!

Why did we do this? Why the investment? Why these defining ceremonies?

Coming of age ceremonies are part of the history of most cultures. Some are over the top painful, death defying, or physically demanding.

We prayed and studied about this process and came to realize there is very little in our culture that points to what a man is supposed to be.

Still it’s crucial for a boy to know when he has crossed over.

The Bible is very clear about what that character is supposed to look like. Like the scripture says, “When I became a man.”

Taylor signs his resolution

Taylor signs his resolution

It’s not at a certain age like a driver license or being able to vote. It’s about who you are and becoming not matter what the age.

We each wanted our sons to understand what the standards, principles, values, actions, and most of all heart look like in manhood.

I didn’t want Taylor or my sons who follow behind him to be poorly equipped in this world.

Taylor commits to Godly Manhood

Taylor commits to Godly Manhood

He chose it. He is still going to need to choose it.

I’m proud of him. He is a young man. A Knight.

God is good all the time,
Peder

P.S. If you have questions about what we did over the 10 years, email me at peder[at]pedereide.com.