Sunday Devotional: Luke 1:1-4

“Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us,  just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us,  it seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus,  that you may have certainty concerning the things you have been taught.”

This is the introduction to the Gospel of Luke.  Luke was a doctor who wrote this Gospel as well as the book of Acts.  He got a bunch of eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus and compiled them together in this book that he wrote to Theophilus, a friend and fellow believer.

This book was written to help teach those who didn’t know about Jesus who He is and what He did.  It also was a reminder to those who knew Jesus to remember.  The same is true for us today.  There are those who don’t know who Jesus is that can learn from books such as Luke that tell about Jesus and His life and ministry.  It is also good reminders of those who have been following Jesus for a long time to remember because we are human and sometimes we forget.  It’s good to remember.  It’s good to have certainty like Luke wanted Theophilus to have.

As we enter the Advent season in preparation for Christmas, let us share with others about Jesus.  Let us share to those who have heard the story numerous times and to those who are hearing it for the first time.

Thursday Quote Day: Charles Spurgeon

For Thanksgiving and this week’s “Thursday Quote Day”, here is another quote from pastor Charles Spurgeon:

“I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving: thanks-living. How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by an obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live, by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will.”
(Charles Spurgeon)

Sunday Devotional: Colossians 3:12-13

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.”

We all need compassion.  We all need kindness shown.  We all need patience.  We all need forgiveness.  Just as much as we need those things shown to us, we need to show that to others.  God has blessed us greatly with kindness, patience, forgiveness.  We need to be willing and able to show that same love, compassion and forgiveness with others.

This week, let us love one other.  Let us show that love with humility and meekness.  Let us have compassionate hearts for those hurting and those in need.  Let us forgive one another.  Let us encourage one another.  Let us do that with the love and kindness and compassion that God has shown us through Jesus.

Updated 2015 Book List

Here is the latest update for the 2015 Book List:

Recovering Redemption: A Gospel-Saturated Perspective on How to Change by Matt Chandler and Michael Snetzer
Wrestling for My Life by Shawn Michaels
Scary Close by Donald Miller
Star Wars: Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Follow Me David Platt
Pop Goes the Church: Should the Church Engage Pop Culture? by Tim Stevens
Bigger on the Inside:  Christianity and Doctor Who by Gregory Thornbury and Ned Bustard
More Than a Season: Building a Championship Culture by Dayton Moore
The Jesus Creed by Scot McKnight
Connecting in Communities:  Understanding the Dynamics of Small Groups by Eddie Mosley

Sunday Devotional: Job 2:11-13

“Now when Job’s three friends heard of all this evil that had come upon him, they came each from his own place, Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They made an appointment together to come to show him sympathy and comfort him.  And when they saw him from a distance, they did not recognize him. And they raised their voices and wept, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads toward heaven.  And they sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.”

This past Friday was the tragedy that took place in Paris.  It was horrific and heartbreaking.  And it is a time where around the world there have been #PrayersForParis.  It is a time to mourn and comfort with those in Paris.  And sometimes all we can do is come alongside those who are mourning and sit with them and give a shoulder to cry on and weep with them.

Whether it’s those on the other side of the world or those that are next door, we need to pray for those who are mourning.  We need to comfort those who are hurting.  And we are to trust God will help us to have the right words to say when the time comes to speak & give glory to Him through all times.


Friday Favorites: Favorite Animated Movie of 2015

It’s Friday (and it’s been awhile) so it’s time for “Friday Favorites”.  This time around, my Friday Favorite is “Favorite Animated Movie of 2015”.  That movie is one that I saw this week and it is The Peanuts Movie:

The Peanuts Movie

Now everyone that know me knows that I love Charlie Brown, Snoopy and all the Peanuts gang.  I grew up on the comic strip.  I watched all the cartoon specials, TV shows and movies.  So I was super excited when I heard this new movie was coming out.

Like any cherished property, there is a concern about whether it gets things right.  Does it capture the heart, the essence of what made it so special in the first place.  Given that this film was written by Charles Schultz’s son & grandson, the story was in good hands and it showed.  This film had the heart of the old comic strip.  It captured the essence of who Charlie Brown is.  It showed the great imagination of Snoopy.  It captured the personality of Lucy so well.  All the characters were real and honest to who they are in the comic strip.

Sure it’s all flashy and modern with CGI animation, but the heart of the story sticks true to the source material.  And that was what made it awesome for me.  I wish that more movies would take a page from The Peanuts Movie and remember the heart of the things while they’re telling new stories.

If you haven’t seen it, go see The Peanuts Movie.  It is well worth the price of admission.  It was my favorite animated film of 2015 and probably top 3 films overall of the year.

Sunday Devotional: Colossians 1:15-23

“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell,  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds,  he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him,  if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.”

Jesus is everything.  And the awesome thing is that He gave up everything so that we could be reconciled.  He came to Earth to die on the cross for our sins so that we could be redeemed.  He is the one who has rightful authority over us because of His place of rule over creation.  And He loves us so much.

This week, let us remember who Jesus is and all that He has done for us.  And let us never forget how much He loves us.