The Yard Light

I love light!

I mean, if we had no light, we couldn’t see things.

We couldn’t see each other. We couldn’t see where we are going and would step on really sharp toys that weren’t put away! We would not know how to stay on the highway at night. We would struggle to get a tan. We would be colder. We wouldn’t wear matching clothes.

To walk around in the dark all the time? Awful.

We would miss so much beauty. There is actually a form of depression some people suffer from when they are living long periods of life without sunlight. The list is infinite about how hard life would be without light.

You get the picture. Light is pretty important.

As we enter into this Advent season before Christmas 2013, I want to spend time looking at the message, power of, need, and reason for light. Specifically the Light of World that comes to us in Jesus Christ.

I remember on the farm we had a single yard light that was right in the center of our homestead. It was probably a 75 watt light bulb at the top of a telephone pole that was turned on and off in the house. It was there for the purpose of helping you see where you were going from building to building at night.

Walking from the steel shed or the barn or chicken coop on a dark Minnesota night back to the house could be nerve-racking for a seven-year-old who thought Scooby Doo haunted mysteries could be real.

The yard light, though, was a lifesaver. If I needed to flee from any monsters lurking in the near by woods I could run freely with worrying about tripping over a bike, running into clothes line, or falling in a trap set by enemy trying to take over the world starting at my farm!

(Yes, I had an imagination…go figure).

As long as that yard light was on, no worries.

But I’d lose confidence when I was closing up the barn door for the night and my older brother (let’s call him Tom) was watching out the window to turn off the yard light. He’d force me to walk in the night without a light.

It changed how I walked, hoping I wouldn’t bang my shin on something. The wind, the creaking of branches, gates swinging, and squirrels running were all way more evil than ever before.

My breathing would speed up, my senses on alert, and I’d move towards the house in total fear but with one single goal: don’t die before giving paybacks to the brother we’re calling Tom.

We need light. Not just physically but spiritually. God the Father knew it. It was why He sent His Son to a darkening world. We are meant to live this life in the light not in the dark.

Do you feel any of those emotions in your day-to-day life I was feeling when my brother turned off the yard light? If anything at all, then that’s why this Advent is important for you.

Wouldn’t it be great if this Christmas you discovered the light of Jesus in a new way so you don’t ever have to fear the dark?

The best part about the light of Jesus? There is no one who can ever turn it off with a switch. It is always on.

Let’s get ready to run in the light this Christmas, my friends, because darkness cannot overcome the Light!

God is good all the time!

Peder

The Joy of Planning!

I love to create. I love to make new things. I guess it’s a part of why I love what I do. I love to write songs, create events, write devotions, blogs, basketball offenses and defense, dates for my wife, surprises for our kids, etc.

Right now we are putting the pieces together for the Wondrous Love Christmas Tour 2013.

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We have done Christmas tour for many years. Every year I am so excited to bring the music from our three Christmas projects and even some new surprises. My traveling crew is the best. The hosts of each concert are amazing and bless me every time.

Planning out the show for the evening is about each location, the avenue of communication using song and story, the presentation of sound and lights, the audience in attendance, the passion we want to share with, and, of course, being clear in what Christmas is about.

All of this to help people draw into the season of Christmas. I have so much fun planning and so get nervous each year hoping it blesses all the people who come to the concerts.

Have you ever thought about how excited God was to unveil his Son to the world? Think of the planning that went into it. The timing (perfect), the location (Bethlehem), presentation (angels, star, manager), the avenue of communication (Mary and Joseph), the audience (shepherds, sheep, cows), the passion (John 3:16).

I don’t equate my planning to God’s by any means but think of the point that God sending Jesus to be born was not a whim.

I love these verses in Ephesians 1. I use The Message because I think it really shows God heart about the “Christmas Plan.”

How blessed is God! And what a blessing He is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in Him. Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure He took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son.

God’s plan was not a duty or obligation. It was His pleasure. And what a presentation He gave us.

I hope to see you on Christmas Tour. More so I pray that you discover in a new way the truth of God’s amazing plan that was made long ago. It was about bring real Joy To The World!

God is good all the time!

Peder

Wondrous Love Christmas Tour 2013 Dates

December 3-Farmington, MN
December 6-Marion, WI
December 7-Racine, WI
December 8-Pewaukee, WI; Sycamore, IL
December 13-Wausau, WI
December 14-Grafton, WI
December 15-Grafton, WI
December 18-Fargo, ND
December 19-Grand Forks, ND
December 21-Hampton, IA
December 24-Englewood, CO

Find full event details on the tour page here.

The Runner vs The Skateboarder

I like running. I’m more inconsistent than I want to be but it’s a time when I can think without being interrupted. I ran track in high school, but it’s my wife, Sherri, who is my inspiration and encouragement to run, and she reminds me how great I feel after a run. Tired? Yep. Energized? Definitely.

I was out running on a beautiful Minnesota fall day when this kid with his flat-brimmed hat on backwards looking at his iPhone just cruised by me on his skateboard!

I was on the sidewalk and he came right into my peripheral vision on the street and eased by.

I actually felt myself pick up the pace (which feels slow now) to try and keep up with the guy, hoping to pass him.

He didn’t even notice me. He didn’t care. He just went on his way enjoying his wheels and music.

Lots of thoughts entered at that moment:

  • I’m so slow! What happened to my speed from days gone by?
  • That kid is so not getting a workout. The skateboard is doing all the work.
  • I’m gonna beat this flat brimmed, untied shoes, no care in the world boarder
  • I hate falling behind anyone. I hate losing!
  • I’m glad I don’t own a skateboard. I’m working hard. I’m better off than he is.
  • It’s not fair that I have to run and he doesn’t.
  • I’m embarrassed to be so slow; I hope he doesn’t remember me.
  • I’ll never get faster.

They go on and on.

I know, it’s not very Christian like.

But I’m being honest about what I was thinking because it made me think about how as followers of Jesus we compare our “faithfulness” and “strength” to people around us.

It’s not helpful to do this! 

What if I change a few words in my thoughts. Do you ever have thoughts like these?

  • I’m so doubting! What happened to my confidence from days gone by?
  • That person is so not trying. God is doing all the work.
  • I’ll go to to show everyone how I worship.
  • I hate falling in front of anyone. I hate screwing up!
  • I’m glad I not a lazy church-goer. I’m working hard. I’m better off than them.
  • It’s not fair that I have to struggle and he doesn’t.
  • I’m embarrassed to have questions. I hope he doesn’t notice my fears.
  • I’ll never get it right. I’ll never win.

I run because I get to run. I try to get in better shape. I may try a race. I really just want to get stronger, feel better, and take care of what I’ve been given.

Isn’t that a part of our faith and connecting with God and His presence?

We have each been given a certain measure of faith in accordance to what God decides (Romans 12:3). It’s not about comparing ourselves to each other. That takes our eyes of the prize (Philippians 3:12-14).

Our running is about OUR run!

God has laid it out and is excited to show Himself to you in new ways. Don’t feel defeated by the skateboard! In fact ask God to bless those who seem to speed on by that they would know the presence of the Father like never before!

This Thanksgiving, give thanks that you get to run, walk, or roll. It’s what God has made for you and He’s is excited to meet you in it.

God is good All the Time!

Peder