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

Family and The Elephant In The Room

“My family does ok.”
“We are so glad just to get through a day.”
“We all get along.”

All we ever hear about is how much work family is. Anything beyond survival is just a bonus.

While getting along is good, it’s not ultimately what God’s designed. He has so much more in mind for families.

Is family hard sometimes? Absolutely.

But is it just for survival and getting along? No way.

One of the challenges for a family can even be believing that family life can be fun and faith-filled rather than just a lot of work.

I think of it like the circus baby elephant. As soon as he’s born, he has a chain put on his foot. As he grows up, every day he has this chain on his foot keeping him captive.

Once the elephant becomes an adult, he could easily break the chain and be set free. But because he has only ever known the chain of captivity, he has no idea what he’s capable of!

AiAo_FB_header_1

That’s a lot of families. They have no idea what they are capable of in the kingdom of God because of some kind of chain they feel they can’t break!

Your family is made to break any chains keeping you from experiencing God’s destiny for you!

That’s what this year’s All In All Out Family Worship Tour is all about.

My daughter Allison and I want families to know and experience the blessing and adventure that God has created for them.

It’s not too late for your family!

God truly will take you “As Is” and start right now. Being bound by a chain of what life is like right now doesn’t meant you need to stay where you’re at!

The truth is: God is the only one who can take your “As Is” moment and turn it into something beautiful.

Go all in as a family seeking His Kingdom so you can discover the amazing adventure God is making in you and your family to go all out!

That’s what the concert is about. That’s what we believe family is about! That’s what we believe God’s Kingdom is all about!

Will Allison and I get to see you on the All In All Out Tour? Here’s hoping it’s a yes!

For concert information, head over to the tour page.

The Honor of a Son

When I travel, I love to run and people watch as I go. A few days ago I was out for a run on the sandy beaches of Tampa, Florida. Yep, February, Florida, 70 plus degree temps. Running on sand is pretty good gig especially while Minnesota is under a couple of feet of snow.

The Eide TTeam on the Beach

The Eide TTeam on the Beach

The beach runs along a whole shoreline of condos and hotels, and we pale northerners come out from our private accommodations to join a community as we acquire a new level of sunburn. I saw people running, walking, and splashing in the waves. I saw kids and adults building sand castles and sand turtles. Really, it was pretty neat.

As I looked to the beach entrance of one complex, I noticed a middle aged gentleman putting sunscreen on an elderly gentleman. As I researched a bit more I realized it was a son covering his elderly father with the sun protection.

I know it might sound awkward but it was beautiful.

The son wasn’t embarrassed as he rubbed the lotion on the hairy, worn back and shoulders that he sat on when he was younger. The father didn’t complain or act like he didn’t need the help. Instead of being prideful, he seemed to welcome the assistance.

The son wasn’t condescending or rude. He didn’t use gloves or work quickly. Rather the two laughed together as the son’s skin gently moved across his father’s, careful not to miss a spot.

I’m sure it might have looked weird to see this runner staring as he passed by but I was moved immensely.

How wonderful that the son would not be overcome by any impressions he thought onlookers had. Maybe it’s not true for you but even though I’m well past high school, I still experience the pressure of what my peers might think. Instead the son honored his father by humbling himself, staying focused, and making sure no piece of skin was left unprotected.

I wonder what the father experienced as he felt the tender touch from hands he once taught to throw a baseball. The hands that needed his help as his son walked for the first time now helped him do something he could not do by himself.

It was beautiful worship to our Lord because it was loving touch. In Taste Worship, we believe touch is an act of worship because touch is loving and loving someone is worshipping God.

As I kept running I was grateful for God’s creation of touch, especially between fathers and their children. The only touch we seem to hear about is bad touch when the fact is that God created touch for good and for His beautiful purpose.

As I write this blog, it’s Valentine’s Day and I’m on a plane sitting beside my children. If Valentine’s Day is about love, then whether you are a son or daughter, father or mother, husband or wife, reach out and touch someone.

Really!

Genuinely be loving with a gentle hand, hug, hand holding, or whatever might stretch you just a bit. You will communicate a lot more than you think you are.

It really is worship.

God is good all the time!

Peder

The Voice of Family

I love to coach my kids in the sports they play. I have been blessed coach all my children at different stages and in different sports. It’s a treat for me and fills my cup. I love the atmosphere of practice and, of course, game days. Win or lose (though winning is more fun) the amount of life lessons on a game field or court with a group of people called a team are endless.

Allison drives to the hoop

One thing I have realized is the importance of the sound of my voice. Whether I’m a coach or in the stands when my kids hear my voice, they respond. They play harder, look for me, find new energy, pick up their tempo. The words I shout to them are all affirmation, at least that’s what I try to do. Things like “Keep going, move your feet, go hard!” It blesses me when they respond to the voice of their dad.

Did you know how powerful your words are to anyone around you? The thing is that you and I, because of Jesus, carry the Kingdom. When we express words of affirmation and blessing to anyone, we do more than just say something nice. We actually bring a spiritual blessing that is beyond our understanding because of God’s Kingdom in us. It’s a beautiful way to love someone whether they are easy or hard to love.

Here is an idea from our Taste Worship events for you on this fourth Sunday of Advent. Take a sheet of paper and write across the top “I Love (name of someone here) because…” and then write 20-25 reasons why you love that person. Write it for Mom, Dad, a friend, brother, sister, Grandma, etc. Then give it to them in person or via a letter and let God use your words to do what He wants.

It’s what family does. The voice of a family member is important.

Peace,

Peder