Looking Back

I sit here on December 31, 2010. Another year in the books. As I think back over the last twelve months I can't help but marvel. I marvel at the ride God has had me on. The year has been filled with many ups and downs and surprise twists and turns, all with one destination in mind. To be by His side trusting Him is the destination He has had in mind. As I close out the year I am left with a renewed sense that to be in the center of God's will is the best place to be!

2010 was a year filled with great ministry. For most of the year I was blessed to work with an incredible group of students at Rock Harbor Church in Sherwood, OR. I will forever remember the many adventures we found ourselves on as well as the times of life impact as we together allowed God to form us into who He wanted us to be. In the final three months of the year the Lord called me out of student ministry and into a whole new world.

2010 marked the year that I began my ministry at Foothills Community Church in Molalla, OR. The story of how God moved in lives to call me to make this move is nothing short of amazing! At Foothills we are home. We are at home with a community of people fully committed to being a part of God's story of transformation in the lives of the people of Molalla and around the world.

This last year was also a year of amazing memory making times with the family. From learning to ride a bike, to soccer games, trips to California, to our first cruise. I could not feel more blessed with the family God has given me. A true gift.

As has been the tradition of our family for the last few years, we have complied the best pictures of the year and put together a sort of Christmas e-card. A highlight reel if you will. Here is a look at 2010.

It's now 2011. Here we go!

Enjoy the ride!

Social Network Christmas

 What if Facebook and social media were around at the time of Jesus' birth?

Remember Who We Celebrate

Last week in our staff meeting we had quite the conversation all centered around this commercial.  Have you seen it?  Does it bother you like it does me?

I guess when Christmas is all about us, it changes one's perspective.  It is sentiment like this, that when asked to write an article for local paper, The Molalla Pioneer, I submitted the following.  May we not forget who it is we celebrate this season, as well as the rest of the year.

I love birthday parties.  Always have.  When I was a child my parents would often throw me great big parties and invite all my friends.  I enjoyed the games, the singing and the birthday cake, but what I really loved were the presents!  They were all for me and I loved it!

I have been to many birthday parties over the years.  One thing that has held true of all them is that it is the one being celebrated that receives the gifts.  I have never attended a birthday party expecting to receive gifts from those in attendance.  When I ponder Christmas, the birthday of Jesus, I can't help but wonder, how did we get it all mixed up?

It seems that Christmas has become more about us rather than the One in which we celebrate.  I wonder what it would look like if we instead of focusing on ourselves this Christmas, we focused more on Jesus.

In reading the story of Christ's birth we read of Magi coming to see the newborn Jesus.  What I am struck by is their response to Him.  They came to worship and in their worship they gave to Him.  What if we were to approach our Christmas celebration in like manner?  What if instead of focusing on one another, we in an act of worship, presented gifts to Him?

Giving to Jesus will look different for each of us.  Here are some ideas:
  1. Write letter of love and hope to soldiers away from home.  They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year.
  2. Visit someone in a nursing home.  You don't have to know them personally.  They just need to know that someone cares about them.
  3. Give to a trusted organization that is actively meeting the needs of the poor.
  4. Donate time or goods to a local charity.
  5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her.
We are told in Matthew 25:31-46 that when we give to those in need, we are actually giving to Jesus.  May we this year discover the joy of giving to the One in which we celebrate, and in doing so demonstrate our love for Him.

Enjoy the birthday party, but remember whom it is for.

Read Molalla Pioneer article here.