December 25, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

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 

December 24, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 

December 23, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11 And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures,they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12 And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

Matthew 2:9-12 

December 22, 2014

Sisters

“For there is no friend like a sister
In calm or stormy weather; 
To cheer one on the tedious way, 
To fetch one if one goes astray,
To lift one if one totters down, 
To strengthen whilst one stands” 


Advent {He Has Come}

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”

Matthew 2:7-8

December 21, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Matthew 2:3-6

December 20, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

Matthew 2:1-2 

December 19, 2014

Jaden's 12!!

Happy 12th Birthday Jaden!!

Jaden is my youngest brother, who is now almost as tall as me.  He is always astounding me with his increasing knowledge of all things Lego, Animals, Guns, Helicopters, and Science.  He is a keen observer of this world, and notices minute details, which most of us overlook.

His appreciation for life, his thirst for knowledge, and his abundant energy inspire me every day.  Too often we become jaded, and miss the beauty of the every day.

His smile, silly humor and quick comebacks make him fun to be around.  He genuinely loves people, and can't stand to be on his own.

This year he has shown a great diligence in his school studies, his tidy book work, his attention to neatness, and his desire to be 100% correct on every test, worksheet and copy work remind me of someone much older and more studious.

Jaden, I love how you have a deep compassion for people, not just when you see them in pain, but in general.  You love to help, and you are a faithful worker.  Your general cheerfulness, and upbeat spirit are a definite plus. :)

I love you, and I pray that God will fill and guide you in this new year of life.  I know that you will change even more this year, as you grow closer to manhood.  I am excited for all that 2015 holds for you, as I know that God has important things for you to do.

May you continue to press into Jesus, as the Lover of your soul.

Happy Birthday, Buddy!!  

Advent {He Has Come}

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah,
    who are too little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
    one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose coming forth is from of old,
    from ancient days.
Therefore he shall give them up until the time
    when she who is in labor has given birth;
then the rest of his brothers shall return
    to the people of Israel.
And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord,
    in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God.
And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great
    to the ends of the earth.
And he shall be their peace.
When the Assyrian comes into our land
    and treads in our palaces,
then we will raise against him seven shepherds
    and eight princes of men;

Micah 5:2-5 

December 18, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.

Luke 2:19-20 

December 17, 2014

You Make Me Brave



Advent {He Has Come}

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. 17 And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them.

Luke 2:15-18 

December 16, 2014

Pastor's Kid

For some time now, I have wanted to write about my experience being a PK (Pastor's Kid), but haven't really found the substance to form a blog post, and also because this is one of the most private areas of my life (not the fact that I am a PK, but how it has affected my life), which I usually don't divulge to others. 

However, after reading the first two chapters of The Pastor's Kid, and realizing how helpful it was to hear what Barnabas Piper had to say on the topic, I thought "why not share my own experience?"  Not because I am some great writer, or a sage, but because my heart is to be open about my life, what makes me, me.  

First, before I share my own "story" I want to share some things from the aforementioned book. 

"PKs want to be known, not just known of.  We want to be in relationships that cut through the facades and fronts and unearth the insecurities and needs.  We long for those friends and mentors who will willfully set aside all they think they know of us as PKs and get to know us as people.  These friends will engage our passions, our interests, our fears, our confessions."   
He explains how there are 5 common misconceptions about PKs, I would like to share them, because they are so relevant. 

  1. The PK has a great relationship with God.  No, we need to get to know Jesus and be won by Him.
  2. The PK has a great relationship with his family.  Only by grace can relationships between those people add up to healthy.
  3. The PK loves the church.  To assume that a PK loves the church is to oversimplify what is a tricky relationship.
  4. The PK is confident in his beliefs. Not necessarily. There is a huge difference between knowledge of Biblical facts and confidence in Biblical reality.  And, in fact, being so steeped in all things Biblical often makes those realities harder to believe because they seem mundane, even though they are the basis for all good things.
  5. The PK is a leader.  Leadership ought to be an earned role.  A PK may or may not earn it, but simply being the PK is not qualification enough.  ...We assume qualifications based on associations.

I have always been a "PK" although I didn't give it much thought until I was older.  I do know that being who I am because of who my dad is, has effected me as a person, both negatively and positively, as it has effected my view of the church, both negatively and positively, and people in general, both negatively and positively.  I would say that I was always more sensitive to what others thought for two reasons (1) my own pride, which inflated my ego to think I was something special, and (2) because I have always struggled with being a massive people-pleaser, so I was always looking over my shoulder.  As I have grown as a person, and who I am in the Lord, my confidence has risen, so I do look back less and less.  

Yes, it is easy to take anything bad, personally.  Since we were in McKinney for 22 years, and since the congregation was so small, sadly, I grew up knowing things I probably shouldn't have.  I came to realize at a pretty young age, that there are things I would hear, but need not remember, because when your dad is the pastor, inevitably, conversations happen, sometimes in your home.  I once told Jaden, "you will hear things that you don't need to hear, so even if you do hear them, don't really listen to what is being said, but just move on and ignore." There is a certain confidence (as in privacy) that is unspoken between the pastor (and his family) and those of the flock he oversees.  If one doesn't know how to place things back on Jesus, that can become quite a weight to carry.  It can even break some of lesser steel.  I am thankful that even if I know something, that I have learned to give it to Jesus, and not let it tint my view of that person.  We all struggle, we all have secrets, we all have faults, but God has grace that covers all those things.  And I am called to be an extender of His grace.  

The fact, that as I grew up, I just didn't really trust people because of inter-personal difficulties.  It's sad, because I try mightily to NOT be prejudiced against anyone.  I need to work on that with those people.  I usually don't tell new people I meet that I am a PK, as a way to protect myself against assumptions.  

I am thankful, beyond anything I could ever pen, for all of the rich experiences I have had because I am a PK.  My life has been full of unusual, exciting, scary, and awe-inspiring good-ness.  God has graciously allowed me to pack a TON of content, and adventure into my almost 25 years of life.  As I look back, I remember all of the ways God has worked, not just in my life, but in the lives of those who we have had the privilege of serving alongside in every stage of our ministry.  And while I can take zero credit for any of what has happened to and through me, I can say that I wouldn't change my position.  

So, if you are a PK, please consider it as a gift, not a curse.  It is a unique experience, which God has graciously allowed in your life, to shape and mold you into who He wants you to be.  And yes, there will be bad days (weeks, months, years), but that is just a part of the human experience due to the Curse.  Our response to bad is what matters.  We can choose to be angry, selfish, bitter, even hateful, or we can choose to see things God's way: 

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Colossians 3:15-17 

As a Christian, who just happens to be a Preacher's Kid, I want to say that my life is not my own, and that others are watching how I live, what I say, how I react, and I want to present them with an accurate picture of who Jesus is, and what Christianity is all about, not something that is jaded and tarnished by my selfishness or bitter attitude.  

So embrace your life, with all of it's ups and downs, because you only get this one chance to do something really amazing, for God.  

Advent {He Has Come}

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
14 “Glory to God in the highest,
    and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”


Luke 2:13-14 

December 15, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.10 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:8-12 

December 14, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

Luke 2:6-7 

December 13, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child.

Luke 2:1-5 

December 12, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

46 And Mary said,
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”
56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.

Luke 1:46-56 

December 11, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Luke 1:39-45 

December 10, 2014

Advent {He Has Come}

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
    and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 1:22-26