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I KNOW Him!

What you need to understand is that while I’m about to reference a Christmas movie, this is not a Christmas post. I feel like I would lose a whole crowd of people if I blogged about Christmas right now. But I do need to use a Christmas movie to get an important point across.

I’m doing a study of 1, 2, and 3 John right now and my lesson for this week had a really neat analogy in it. Have you seen Elf? If not, it doesn’t matter what time of the year it is- go watch it. Elf is actually my older brother’s favorite Christmas movie and I usually end up watching it more than once throughout a Christmas season. It’s just that good.

But the scene below is really the one I want to talk about today so rather than me typing it out, it’s probably better to just watch it:

In 1 John 1 we read this:
“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.”

The author of that passage KNEW Jesus. He had seen him, had touched him, heard him. Can you feel his excitement as you read this? There is almost a “Buddy-the-Elf” like eagerness to proclaim Jesus to his readers so that they too could know. He wanted them to know that Jesus isn’t a myth or secret; he is so very real.

I’ve been thinking about this analogy all week. Do I have that same kind of excitement? Whenever Jesus is proclaimed does my heart cry out, “HEY! I KNOW HIM!!” Buddy was so sure of Santa and loved him so much that he seriously couldn’t contain his excitement- am I that way about my Savior?

But more than that, do I follow the example set by John? While I’m not an eyewitness to Jesus during his time on earth, I have a testimony about him that shouldn’t be kept to myself. Words of truth and love to share with the world. I hold the truth about who Christ is, what he has done, and how he’s worked in my life. I am an eyewitness to those things.

Like John, that I will proclaim.

P.S. My current devotion is Abide by Jen Wilken. I owe the analogy to her! Highly recommend the study!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2020 in Devotions

 

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Answering Charlie Brown

I hear people say all the time that they have stopped watching the news because it’s just all bad stuff happening anymore. It’s too depressing. Admittedly, I can be one of those people. In the past couple of months, it seems like every time I open my local newspage, there is a tragic story that indirectly affects me. And every time I’m reminded:

This world is broken.

As I sit and listen to young women tell me their life stories at our local pregnancy center, I hear things that should never happen. Stories of abuse, drugs, sexual immorality, distrust, hurt, and loneliness. My heart aches with pain and I’m reminded:

Our hearts are broken.

When I talk to people about their beliefs and hear the mixed up lies in their heads, things they have been taught by the world since their birth, I get overwhelmed. I hear the disconnect and confusion in their hearts that they refuse to even admit and I know they long for a Savior. I’m reminded:

Our souls are broken.

Sometimes it’s really overwhelming. Where do I even begin to unravel the mess in this world? When someone drops their whole life’s problems at your feet, where do you even start? How do I combat the lies, the evil, the utter brokenness that’s rampant everywhere I look?

And then I’m reminded:

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” Galatians 4:4-7

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” Romans 5:6-11

One of the best words in the whole Bible is BUT. The world is broken, our lives are a mess, and our souls are desperate BUT God has made a way to heal that which is broken. For his glory, God sent his Son to deliver us from our brokenness and despair, to reconcile our sinful hearts to himself, and to redeem our souls for eternity. The only hope I have to offer anyone in this world is that of Christ and fortunately that is all any of us need.

And THAT’S what Christmas is all about. Merry Christmas, friends.

 
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Posted by on December 18, 2019 in salvation

 

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Marveling with the Wise

Welcome to my favorite day of the whole year, Christmas Eve! I mean, sure, Christmas is great, but Christmas Eve is where it’s at people. And my favorite part of my favorite day are Candlelit Christmas Eve services, which I will get to enjoy tonight with my family- I’m sooooo excited!

Do you have a favorite Christmas movie? I don’t watch Christmas movies except during this time so it’s a tough job to cram them all in right now. And while I have many, MANY ones that I love, my absolute favorite is The Nativity Story. There’s a very particular reason I love that movie and it’s all about the wise men. This is the best scene of the whole movie:

Hmmm…gives me the chills. When that last magi finally realizes who is before him and falls to his knees to present his gift. He knows what sacrifice has been made- God has come in human form. The frankincense points to another sacrifice- Jesus dying on the cross for us. It’s a beautiful picture.

In my devotions the other day I read this verse, “For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.” John 5:20 The verses immediately after it talk about salvation and God bringing life back to those who are dead (again, salvation!)

And sometimes, I wonder if we have lost our marvel. Do we look at God’s incredible work in the manger and on the cross and take it for granted? Or are we like those wise men and fall before Christ in wonder and worship?

Merry Christmas, friends! May we all remember why we are celebrating today and tomorrow and marvel at our Lord!

 
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Posted by on December 24, 2018 in Christmas

 

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Pressuring Missionaries

Almost every week at my church we have what we call a Ministry Minute. They can be about all sorts of things like missionary updates, outreach opportunities, community events we are helping with, etc. It’s to make sure everyone is aware of what is going on and how they can be involved. But recently we’ve started doing something really cool: we’ve been able to Skype our overseas missionaries during that time and get their updates directly from them. It’s super neat. Way to go, Tech Team!

A couple of Sundays ago, we were Skyping a couple in Spain (ok, just how awesome is that?) and a thought occurred to me as they were telling us ways that God was working through them.

We expect a lot from our missionaries. I was sitting listening with this huge smile on my face and suddenly I felt how much pressure these people must feel from us. (My smile probably whipped right off as I worked this out in my head.)

But think about it. Missionaries come back to the States to either raise support or they may be on a break but everyone everywhere wants to know what God is doing and how he’s working. You know what? What if they are in a spiritual desert?? What if they feel like they are preaching to stones and NO ONE is responding? Would they feel like they could be honest with us?

Also, do we ask people in our own church those questions with the same earnestness? Do you want to know what the Lord is doing in your friends’ lives just as much or are you only interested in the far away?

I’ve been thinking this over and been feeling a little bit more compassionate towards the missionaries I know this week. The more I thought about it, I realized it really applies to anyone working in ministry! They aren’t Jesus. They are people who need to be loved and encouraged just as much as you and I and are often far away from everyone they know. Maybe pray a little more for them as Christmas comes next week.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2018 in church

 

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A Real Christmas

This weekend I got to do one of my favorite things of the whole year. The Farm where I used to work was putting on their annual Christmas event and I got to volunteer for it. This event is great- a wagon ride that stops at different scenes where the story of Christ’s birth is told by volunteer actors. The culmination of the scenes is the last one. A simple nativity in a barn and angels singing. The gospel is told at this scene which means that all the thousands of people that come to this event have the opportunity to hear the gospel. I. Love. It. 

Friday went really well but Saturday came around and it was POURING. Torrential downpours, people. And for an event that is outside, it didn’t look like it was going to be quite as much fun that night. But I was reminded that things go on and the gospel is shared no matter the weather. And I prayed. Lo, and behold, we had practically no rain for the tours and as soon as we finished, it started to rain again. Isn’t God incredible??

But this weekend, I also had a good friend of mine say something unusual to me. She asked me why I was smiling so much and said I just looked so happy and she loved it. She said she is so happy and wished her face could show it like mine can all the time.

Gotta admit, I was kind of taken aback for a minute. I had to stop and think. Of course my answer would have been different if this person wasn’t saved but she’s a strong believer and we are good friends. I thought and just realized that somehow, seeing God answer small prayers like clear skies and being surrounded by people I love, doing something I love filled me with a joy I haven’t felt in a long time.

But I think there’s more than that. Growing up, I was the embodiment of the Christmas spirit. I was ALWAYS cheerful, ALWAYS singing carols, ALWAYS excited for Christmas. And that’s a hard expectation to live up to. The last two years, I have felt very depressed and numb at Christmas but I didn’t show it. I felt like I needed to be the cheerful person that my family and friends expected me to be. And I hated every minute. I hated pretending to take joy in my favorite time of year when I felt nothing. I would enthusiastically participate in every Christmas activity and then come home and cry because I felt so empty.

And this morning at church, sitting taking communion, I realized that I wasn’t faking that joy this year.

It was real.

Amidst all the pain and difficulties this year has brought, God has given me his joy for this season and I don’t have to pretend to have it. I suddenly felt so relieved and unburdened.

So if you saw me quietly crying during communion this morning, no worries, they were tears of thankfulness. Just pure gratitude as I remembered all Christ has done for me.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2018 in Christmas

 

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Out of Sorts

Let me preface this story by saying: I’m an early bird. I usually wake up around 5-5:30 each morning and get a good start on the day. That being said, I am NOT a night person. To wake up that early, I normally head to bed around 9:30-10:30. Somehow, that schedule didn’t happen this week. I ended up going to bed late every night. Really late. Like midnight late. I just had stuff to do each night like volleyball, learning to process a deer, movie time with a visiting friend, and game night at a friend’s house. Usually I leave things early so I can go to bed but for some reason I thought I could do it all this week. So did I adjust my wake up time? Nope, I still was up at 5:30 every morning. May I just say that is a bad idea?!

Yesterday afternoon, I felt all ‘out of sorts’ to use an old phrase. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me but EVERYTHING seemed to annoy me! It was pretty terrible. I remained calm on the outside but the inside was full of turmoil. I began to print programs for our annual Country Christmas event that night. It was at this point that a coworker, whom we shall call Paige, stepped in.

She came over to my desk where I was piling the printed programs and asked, “Why are the programs being piled face down?”

And that’s when it happened. This came out of my mouth. “DOES IT MATTER?! THAT’S JUST THE WAY I’M PILING THEM! I’M NOT LEAVING THEM THERE!  Now, I wasn’t really yelling at her, in fact, it came out in a shrill silly kind of voice that made her laugh.

But I knew what I was thinking inside. That is such a dumb question! Why is she bothering me? Can’t she see they are just there temporarily???

So Paige left and went back to her office. That’s when my conscience came in. That was super mean of you Kimmy. What’s wrong with you anyway? Why are you so on edge today? You know that was wrong and you need to apologize.

Later Paige walked up to ask me something and I said, “Hey I’m sorry I snapped at you earlier.”

She just stared at me, “You snapped at me? When?”

I was amazed. “When you asked about the programs!”

She laughed. “Oh, that was a snap? Are you sure? I didn’t think it was a snap but if that’s what is was to you, it’s okay. That was a really dumb question to ask.”

I laughed too, made some coffee and the world got better for the rest of the day. (And I went to bed around 10:30 last night. 🙂

I’ve often thought about whether sin in your heart needs to be confessed out loud. I know we need to confess to the Lord but if I was thinking badly about Joe, do I need to confess that to him or just deal with my heart and move on? I still don’t know. But this time was different because I actually did something. I rarely ever feel angry and when I am, it almost never shows because it’s just for a few seconds. I guess even when I actually act in my anger, people still don’t know. 🙂

Anyway, the moral of the story is: make sure you get plenty of sleep.

 

 
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Posted by on December 6, 2014 in secretary

 

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Video

Merry Christmas

I’m posting this video in honor of David. He calls this the ‘baby song.’ I miss that boy but I’m leaving in 5 hours to go home! I hope you and your family have a blessed Christmas as we celebrate the birth of our Savior!

 
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Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Christmas

 

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