This Christmas and the Weather-1st Sunday of Advent

There is a joke in Minnesota (and I’m sure other places too) about the weather: If you want to know what the weather is like, look out the window every ten minutes because it could change that fast.

It never seems predicable, and it’s never like last year. :)

There are a number of things in life like that. Relationships are not always the same, sporting events are not predictable all the time, the economy changes, and so on.

For some this can be hard because we like to know the future or at least be able to plan ahead.

Maybe it’s control. Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it helps us feel like we can trust something more when we know how it’s going to turn out.

Over the next four Sundays of Advent, I want to put before us the goal of focusing on this Christmas.

This Christmas is about saying to the Lord,

“What do You want me to know about You this Christmas? How can I be different by the end of the Advent season?”

I believe if we go into the Christmas season expecting it to be like last year or what not, we will either be disappointed or distracted and not see what God has for us.

Don’t misunderstand me, God’s promises DO NOT CHANGE. :) Those are very predicable, trustworthy, and God is in control.

The true experience of Advent is when we come to the manger and say “O Come Emmanuel and do what You want with me.”

How do we put handles on that? It’s like this picture on the side of the Blessing Cup we bring to our Taste Worship events.

The Blessing Cup

When you look at the two lower case letter i’s, can you see the cross?

Yes? Now it’s really what you’re going to see. When you look for it you will find it.

This Christmas, you will find the joy, hope, love, and peace that comes from the One who has come this Christmas.

You just gotta look for it!

Be willing to let it look different than last year.

So here is an Advent question for you and your family to ask each other at a meal together:

“What would you like God to do in your heart and life this Advent season?”

Everyone answers and everyone listens. :)

I’d love to hear some of the answers in the comments section below.

Blessings, my friends,

Peder

November and Children

It’s amazing that it is November 2014. I really enjoy November.

It’s Thanksgiving. For the Eide family that means getting together with extended family for lots of fun food and football.

It’s the start of basketball season for most teams.

It’s also when we start thinking towards Advent and Christmas.

There might be some snow which means snowmobiles and snow blowers…ok not as fun but still very pretty when it comes. :)

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Makenzie, Teshome, and me

One thing about November that is close to the heart of Eide family is that it is National Adoption Month. It’s a month to pay extra attention to needs of orphans and the power of adoption.

As most of you know our Makenzie is adopted from Korea and our son Teshome is from Ethiopia. I never have enough passion to express what an amazing gift and privilege it is from the Lord to have them in our family!

When I write about these subjects, the comment I get is something like “We are not an adoptive family so this is a bit irrelevant to me.”

I get that.

But I believe I speak for our family and for a lot of other families when I say that orphan care and adoption is a team effort.

Even more so it is a need that still warrants more attention. It can easily fly under the radar because adoption seems like a parent thing or that orphan’s thing or foster care is for those amazing people who have a heart for that.

Would you be willing to hear me when I say caring for children in need is a believer in Jesus thing?

James says it’s true religion when we take care of those who can’t help themselves.

“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” James 1:27 (NLT)

Why does Jesus talk so much about taking care of orphans, widows, the sick, imprisoned, disabled, and so on?

I think because He knew in our fallen world it would be a huge issue and because those people are His sons and daughters.

Yet it’s easy to forget.

Me and one of our sponsored children Ziana in Uganda

Me and one of our sponsored children, Ziana in Uganda

Can we do something this month to fight for the children in poverty, orphans, families in adoption, and families willing to be foster care families?

Being blunt my friends, if you say you love Jesus, then this challenge involves you and your love for your Savior. Scripture is clear. It’s not a duty; it’s an act of being a follower.

So for this month here are some ideas for you, my friends, to engage in the lives of children in need this November.

1. Find a family you know in your community that is adopting or has adopted and ask what they need. Don’t assume what they will say. Every family is unique. They will appreciate it more than you could imagine. Believe me: it will be a blessing.

2. Find an agency that deals with adoption/foster care and call them/email them and ask what needs can be met. It’s not just about money. It would be awareness, Facebook posts, clothes, volunteers, etc.

3. Sponsor a child in a third world country with Compassion International. You have heard me say a hundred times but it works and once you engage in it, your life will be more filled for it and a child in need can meet Jesus in a real way through your sponsorship.

There are 30 days in this month to do something. Please don’t say “I’ll do it later.”

When Jesus said when we reach out to the least that that is Him, He meant it for real.

You might be amazed how God uses your willingness to help a child to actually draw you closer to Jesus Himself.

Let’s make a significant impact this November.

Thanks for reading.

God is good all the time,

Peder