Compassion Highlights

2008 was a great year for Compassion International. They have just released a few of their highlights.

• We registered our 1 millionth child in Compassion's Child Sponsorship Program.
• More than 154,000 children in our programs invited Jesus to be their Savior.
• Compassion began work in Togo, our 25th country.
• Thousands of families threatened by the global food crisis have received lifesaving food, thanks to generous donations from our sponsors and donors.

I couldn't be more proud to be partnered with such a great ministry. Have you sponsored a child yet? Perhaps 2009 is your year!

Be a hero in the eyes of a child in need. Sponsor a child today.

The Good News of Christmas

Santa may be checking his list to see who's been naughty or nice, but the good news of Christ is that He has no list!

"whoever comes to me I will never drive away." John 6:37.

Jesus is, the Good News of Christmas.

John Piper says it well.

May you enjoy and celebrate the Christ of Christmas!

Another Day in The Office

For the last couple of years Aaron and I have put together a year end video greeting for our students. We could not feel more blessed to work with such an awesome group of students and staff.

I now present the 2008 year end greeting ... "Another Day in The Office."

If you have trouble viewing video, click here for a lower quality version.

Partnering with Parents

For the last 23 years I have given my life to ministering to students. In my estimation there is no greater and more important age group that one can invest in. In my time, God has shown me and taught me much. Perhaps the most important of which is the value of partnering with parents.

I was recently asked by Tim Schmoyer of Life in Student Ministry to write an article on the importance of partnering with parents. It is now published.

Instead of posting the article here, why don't you head on over to Life in Student Ministry to read it.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Snow Day

Sometimes life just gets going too fast. This has been a very busy and hectic season of life for our family. Just the other day we were commenting on how we wish life would slow down a bit. Today it happened.

Today it snowed and brought everything to a halt. I love how God does that!

The weather men have been predicting a major snow this weekend. We actually expected to wake up to it this morning. No such luck. The rush of our lives continued as we hurried out the door to church, with only a light rain coming down. Within 20 minutes of arriving at church the snow began to fall. It quickly became apparent we were going to have to cancel services.

We were back home by 9:30 and settled into a wonderful snow day! Here is how it looked!

Thanks God!

The Boy In The Striped Pajamas

To night I saw an amazing movie. A movie that both depicts the depravity of man and the innocence of childhood. It was a movie that made me think all the more about Jesus' words, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

The movie, "The Boy In The Striped Pajamas" is a story of innocent friendship. A friendship between two, who according to the adult world, should have been enemies. It was indeed a picture of the Kingdom of God as lived out by two young boys, who had not yet been tarnished by the lies of the enemy.

As the movie ended the theater was silent, and many were in tears. It is my hope that this movie will move peoples hearts. That people will be moved to love and accept others in the manner in which we are called to.

Taking Back Christmas

Last Christmas I had a heart change. It was last year that I made the decision to make Christmas more about Christ and less about me. On the second week of advent last year, I preached a messages entitled "What Do You Want For Christmas." Hear it here or on iTunes. In my message I shared what our family had decided to do with Christmas, and challenged others to do likewise. I stated my belief that since Christmas is indeed the birthday day of Christ, that we ought to bring gifts to Him, and make it more about Him, and less about us.

In the spirit of Matthew 25, my family had a great time buying gifts for Christ from the World Vision Gift Catalog. For weeks after my message I was blessed by hearing story after story from families within our church that decided to do the same thing. Each person, as they told me their story, spoke of how it made their Christmas celebration more meaningful than ever before.

This year I am excited that our church has decided to take it up yet another notch by participating in the Advent Conspiracy. I love the spirit of the Advent Conspiracy... making Christmas a world-changing event once again. Two thousand and eight years ago Christmas changed the world. This year it can do it again!

10.6 billion dollars were spent on Black Friday this year. Despite the downturn in the economy, that is a 3% increase over last year! Imagine what that 10.6 billion could do, if spent on the cause of Christ. This video will give you a pretty good idea.

If you are a part of Grace Point, be sure to participate fully. You will be blessed beyond what you can imagine. If you are not a part of our church family, I challenge you to make Christmas more about Christ this year, and less about you. Join the conspiracy!

Here is how our advent season will be looking this year. Join us in taking back Christmas!

Worship Fully
- 11/30/08

  • Entering the story of advent means entering this season with an overwhelming passion to worship Jesus to the fullest.
Spend Less - 12/7/08
  • We're asking people to consider spending less this Christmas (maybe buying on less gift). It sounds insignificant, yet many who have taken this small sacrifice have experienced something that is nothing less than a miracle: They have been more available to celebrate Christ during the advent season.
Give More - 12/14/08
  • God's gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it's no wonder why we're drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible.
Love All - 12/21/08
  • When Jesus loved, He loved in ways never imagined before. Though rich, He became poor to love the poor, the forgotten, the overlooked and the sick. He played to the margins. By spending less at Christmas we have the opportunity to join Him in giving resources to those who need help the most.