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,


Take Your Shape!

I’m kinda wishing I would have gotten it before.

Every year when it finally gets warm outside (if we’ve connected on Twitter or Facebook, you know this has been a thorn in my side), I inflate the younger kids’ pool.

I take it out of the box, unfold it, and hook up the electric compressor.

It starts out flat, wrinkled, and out of shape. Once I hook up the compressor and turn it on, it starts inflating and metamorphosis begins.

Ok so maybe it’s not that dramatic, but in a few minutes the air takes it from flat, useless piece of plastic to a beautiful, fully inflated pool that’s ready to be filled with refreshing water that will be the source of little laughs, screams, and phrases like “It’s so cold!”

When the person of the Holy Spirit fills us, it takes us from a shapeless, purposeless human to a formed, called, and destined son or daughter through Jesus Christ. It’s that big of a truth.

No Holy Spirit, no shape.

Yes Holy Spirit, you experience what you were created for. Your Purpose.

Sometimes during the summer, the pool will need to be topped off with some extra air. Just to keep it solid.

Sometimes I think we need that too.

I know it’s not perfect theology, but the bottom line is this: we need the Holy Spirit to gives us shape, direction, and destiny.

Remember the disciples experience at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came and Jesus called Him the Great Comforter? The disciples got a new shape, new affirmation, new purpose.

Don’t you think it’s better to ask the Holy Spirit what shape He wants you rather than to live like a flat empty piece of plastic in a box?

When’s the last time God used something ordinary like a blow up pool to teach you about Himself?