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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

Christmas Prevents Drowning-3rd Sunday of Advent

When my brother and I were growing up, we often went at each other.

We competed in anything we could come up with or we’d just poke one another.

I, being the younger brother, would poke my brother Tom because, well, he was the older brother. It was my job.

One day Tom and I were playing in a hotel swimming pool. My parents were at some conference, so the two of us needed to entertain ourselves at the pool. We had the whole thing to ourselves!

We were making up games as we went along, throwing things into the deep end and seeing who could get them faster or just trying to dunk each other.

We had been playing a long time and I was getting tired but didn’t want to quit.

I decided I should irritate Tom so I did something in the shallow wend to get him to chase me. As I started to get away from him, I ducked under the rope separating the shallow end from the deep end.

Right at the rope line the bottom of the pool took a huge descent to make the water deeper. Right when I got to that spot, I started to sink.

I knew how to swim, but I had become so tired I couldn’t keep my head above water.

I started to panic because all the effort I was giving to get back to the surface wasn’t working. As I flailed under the water, I looked up at the surface of the water and was scared…really scared.

I was going to drown.

In that very moment, I felt a hand violently grab my arm and start to pull me back under the rope to the shallow end.

I got my feet back on the shallow end floor, pushed up, got above the water and breathed a huge breath…and coughed up some water, but I breathed air.

That hand? It was my brother Tom. He saw me start to become helpless in the water and decided he should probably save me or have something to explain to Mom and Dad later.

I looked at him with a mix of fear and tears in my eyes.

He looked at me in all his compassion and said, “You ok?”

I, of course in all my humility, said, “Ya, thanks.”

That was a lot for us to communicate so deeply back then. Then Tom said, “Let’s get out of here and go back to the room.” This is code for “I don’t want to spend the rest of my time saving my little brother in the pool.”

Tom saw me in trouble and on the verge of drowning and said “I gotta do something.”

Isn’t that the message of Christmas?

We were drowning in our own sin and no chance to save ourselves and then God by His own choosing and grace, began a plan to save us by sending Jesus at Christmas to be born, live, die, and rise again!

It’s like He’s reaching in, grabbing us, and pulling us above water so we can breathe again!

When I sing “O Holy Night,” I am always reminded of my love for the air of forgiveness in these lyrics:

Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious dawn!

That’s why Christmas is more than just a holiday about a sweet baby in beautiful straw. The passion is way deeper.

We drown without Christmas. We have our head and heart above water because of it!

Glory to God in highest and on earth!!!

God is good all the time!

Peder

“Up Close” With The Famous–2nd Sunday of Advent

A few months ago my son Ethan and I went to California. While we were there, we had a day to ourselves when I wasn’t singing.

So we visited a lot of places including the beach which was awesome since beaches in Minnesota are closed now … but the ice fishing is not far behind. :)

The smiles say a lot!

The smiles say a lot!

We went down to Hollywood and took in the Chinese Theater, looked at the stars on the sidewalk, saw the Dolby Theater, and so on.

Ethan thought it would be cool to take a tour where they show you where the “stars” live. So why not?

On a whim, we bought two tickets, got into a 15-passenger van without a roof, and found our seats among other star-seekers.

The brochure said we’d see the houses of Tom Cruise, Justin Timberlake, Cameron Diaz, and others. The brochure also said, “No one gets you closer to the house of the stars” than this company.

Ethan was interested and I was curious so we put ear buds in so we could hear our driver/tour guide tell us where to look and whose house we were looking at.

He had a bit of a game show host to him with a voice of a stereotypical surfer dude and car salesman. It seemed to fit the Hollywood tourism vibe.

As we went along he would point out certain buildings where scenes from famous movies were shot and iconic streets. He told us that every famous person drives a black Range Rover.

He also would point this is the place where a certain star had a meltdown, that so and so’s ex wife or husband now owns this place, or the last time he saw the actual star (“about seven months ago”).

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I think that’s Ironman’s house on the top of the hill :)

He is doing his gig. I get that. But at times I felt like I had just turned on TMZ. I wasn’t ready for that.

The part that stuck out to me the most is when he would tell us a big star’s house was coming up. People would get their cameras ready and then it happened more often than not: the house was completely covered and surrounded by trees, or a wall, or it was a mile away so it looked no bigger than a pack of gum to us.

The key line of the trip was our tour guide saying, “Hey folks, that’s Tom Cruise’s chimney! Pretty cool yes?”

I’m not making that up.

I can’t imagine what these movie stars feel like as day after day vans full of people coming to take pictures—just to be near where someone famous lives. That is another world.

Yet, people do this tour by the hundreds every day.

When the angels came to the shepherds in the fields the night Jesus was born, they told them they would find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.

The shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go and see this thing that has happened!”

When they got there, they did not have stand outside of a grove of trees or look at a huge wall and wonder if the Messiah was on the other side.

The shepherds got to get as close as they wanted. Right up to the manger!

I fact it’s what God wanted in the first place: that anyone can come to Him and know real love, hope, joy, and peace!

Way better than just a chimney!!!

This is the focus of the new original song we wrote for the Christmas card project.

The lyrics say:

May the star invite you
May the angel song remind you
May His mercy find you
And give you perfect peace

May you seek your treasure
Only at the manger
May you find no strangers
Only family
This Christmas

May you find joy, joy, joy
May you find love, love, love
May you find hope in the One
Who has come, come to give you
Joy, joy, joy
Love, love, love
May you find peace
In the One who has come

This Christmas

THIS CHRISTMAS
Peder Eide/Paul Marino/Jeremy Johnson
(c) 2014 Van Ness Press, Inc. (ASCAP)

I’m excited about our new Christmas project, This Christmas, for a lot of reasons.

One of the many reasons is that how people can use this Christmas Card of music to give away to friends and family and share the amazing truth of God’s love that comes in Jesus!

My friends, don’t miss this next invitation:

YOU CAN GO TO THE MANGER AND GET AS CLOSE AS YOU WANT.

You don’t need a ticket and your tour guide is the Holy Spirit.

There will be no sarcasm. :) Only joy, love, hope, and peace that comes from the One who has come This Christmas.

God is good all the time!

Peder