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

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 #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

“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

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

The Star Still Shines

I love what I get to do. Not only do I get to help people love Jesus, I get to see His love in His children.

On Christmas Tour I got to spend time with a family of three brothers and a sister after one of the concerts.

The sister cherishes the time she gets to spend with her friends and has a great passion to help others. The brothers love to talk sports which, of course, I don’t mind at all.

Even though we cheer for different teams, we found common ground in our favorite players. It was fun to hear them share their wealth of knowledge of both basketball and football. I was even more impressed with how these three brothers took turns sharing their thoughts and stories, never trying correct each other or outdo each others comments.

For almost an hour, the four of us sat around the table sharing why we liked or didn’t appreciate certain players and teams. While the boys didn’t always agree, they respectfully listened to one another and each one got a fair chance to share his opinion.

photo credit

photo credit: CliffMuller via photopin cc

Throughout Advent we’ve been talking about light. Both literal light like on my farm and while I’m running and also figurative light like the light of traditions.

Those boys shine a different kind of light. They shine the light of Christ.

When the baby Jesus was born, the star over the manger could be seen all around. It’s how the magi found the Christ child. They saw the star, were drawn to it, and followed it until they found Jesus.

Light still points people to Jesus. Except now it shines in us.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

If we’re walking in Him, then His light shines in each one of us in the way we live our lives, the choices we make, and the words we use.

It shines in the way we treat each other. From the convenience store clerk to the people living in our house.

His light is His presence.  If you are a follower of Christ, carrying His light is bringing His presence.

Chances are this Christmas you’re going to spend some time with your family. Maybe your family gets along great. Maybe you’re like my family and sometimes there’s some tension.

Sometimes shining the light of Christ isn’t the easy option. But it’s the right choice. The good choice. It’s what family does.

No matter which sports team you’re rooting for, root for one another.

Merry Christmas, my friends,

Peder

Traditions are Like Light

It’s been great to see so many of you on Christmas Tour this December. Those of you who’ve made it out so far have seen this little tree sitting on the piano. It’s become a tradition and is part of every Christmas concert we do.

Here’s a little pre-concert vlog about the light that traditions bring:


(watch the video on YouTube)

Traditions are like light. They help us when we get lost.

They’re worship and they’re worth repeating year after year.

What new tradition are you going to start this Christmas?

(If you want to sponsor a child, here’s the link to Compassion).

Running in the dark

Finding time to run is getting harder and harder these days. We’re trying to juggle so many schedules in my house, it gets dark earlier, and, of course, it’s colder this time of year. Running’s just not easy to fit in.

I try to take what I can get, so even if the sun’s going down, I head out to see if I can get some miles in. It’s inevitable that I’m gonna finish my workout in the dark.

Luckily, my running route has a decent path. It’s not narrow and not real rough. However, it’s also not well-lit and there are a number of moments when I can’t see the path.

It’s hard to run when you can’t see the path. It feels more stressful because you can’t see where your feet land, and it makes you run a different rhythm. You strain your eyes trying to not step on a crack or some uneven ground that would send your ankles into pile of dust. When you don’t know where to step, it adds tension and changes the way you run. It’s more work and less fun.

In the Psalms, there is the scripture I’m sure your familiar with that says “Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and light unto my path.” God has made a path for us that leads us into daily living, not just surviving. Scripture is about giving us the light to see where to go so as to not fall into the ditches of this world by taking our eyes off God’s plan for us. When you have light on your path, it’s less stressful, more rhythmic, more fun. It lessens the stress of rolling your spiritual ankles on edge of the path when you lose sight of the middle.

God even used a star as a sign that Jesus had come to the earth.

We need light to live.

We need Jesus, the Light of the World, to know real life.

This world was really spiritually dark and God sent his Son to be light to show us Himself, save us from ourselves, and give abundant living.

This second week of Advent, give thanks for The Light that has come to the world in Jesus, the Savior born to you this day.

Without Jesus we would be truly in the dark.

God is good all the time.

Peder