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

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