Feb 22

The Hustle

So… I began this year by signing up for “30 days of Hustle” with encouraging emails an ideas to get goals done. The idea is to choose a goal and then hustle to get it done. Focus on it and
work at it. I did pretty good in January, then signed up for the next 30 days and I fell behind. I was reading the suggestions every day and thinking “yeah, I need to do that.” But I would just put it off. I am not getting it done. So I decided to go public with it and say I need to get back to it. So if you are reading this, please pray for me to get back to the work. My hustle is to find more partners for ministry each month. The good news is that since the beginning of the year we have 4 new partners! Praise God!

Jan 09

Why? Me? Worry?

Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
If you have lived long on this planet you know the truth of the statement that each day has enough trouble. The command is to not worry about tomorrow. The command comes as a result of verse 33:
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you.
When we seek God, he will provide, so THEREFORE, don’t worry.
I remind myself that this does not mean I don’t need to plan, but while I plan for tomorrow and do all I can do, I need to allow God to do all the things that only He can do and I am not to worry.

Lord, help me not to worry but put my trust and confidence in you!

Song: Trust and Obey

So what is worrying you about tomorrow?
Have you done all you can do?
Let God do all He can do.

Dec 31

New

Because of the Lord’s faithful love
we do not perish, for His mercies never end.They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
Lamentations 3:22-23

As we approach a time we celebrate starting anew it is refreshing to know that God’s mercies are new every morning. I am so glad for his faithfulness. I am looking forward to his faithfulness in 2014. That is something to celebrate!

Dec 25

The Birth

Scripture Reading
Luke 2:7

Devotion
The Birth. Don’t worry, even though the birth of Jesus was a real human birth, we won’t get into the details of all that. But let’s talk about the humanity of Jesus.
When you think of Jesus do you ever think about him as a human? As a real human?
Jesus went to the bathroom. Jesus ate. He slept. Jesus experienced life as a human. His human body experienced everything that we experience.
For Jesus to be anything less than human would change everything. In order for his sacrifice to mean anything Jesus had to be human. Jesus had to be human to “taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9) Thank God for the humanity of Jesus.

Questions
• Is it a new thought to think of Jesus as fully human?
• What kind of things do you think Jesus did as a toddler? A child? A teen?
• Jesus understands us because he was completely human. How does that help you?

Prayer
Thank you God that Jesus came not just to experience humanity but to become humanity and a sacrifice for all of us. Amen.

Carol
“The First Noel”

Dec 24

The Baby

Scripture Reading
Luke 2:21

Devotion
Jesus. The baby born was named Jesus.
Jesus was the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua. And it means “one who saves.” The angel said to name him Jesus because “He will save His people from their sins.” Jesus came to save. What an amazing thought. This helpless baby, dependent on Mary and Joseph for everything… and He was sent to save the world.
It is the real story of Christmas! The story of a baby come to grow to save the world. It is the ultimate action adventure hero story: humble baby born in a stable grows up to fight evil and against all odds seeks to save the world – and He succeeds! Only God could create such a great story and it not be fiction.

Questions
• What can we do to share the salvation message at Christmas?
• How can we remind ourselves of this great salvation we have?

Prayer
Dear God, Thank you for sending Jesus to save us. Amen.

Carol
“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”

Dec 23

The Fullness of Time

Scripture Reading
Galatians 4:4-7

Devotion
God always has the right timing! He is never early, and never late. God is always on time. It makes perfect sense, because after all, God created time. And when the fullness of time came … when the right time came … when the time which was set aside by the Father came … God sent His Son. And at that perfect time, the Son came to redeem us and make a way for us to be sons and heirs of God! What a Savior! What great timing!

Questions
• Are you waiting for something from God?
• Will you choose to believe that God is always on time?

Prayer
Dear God, Thank you for your perfect timing and the fullness of time when Jesus came! Amen.

Carol
“Silent Night”

Dec 22

The Angels

Scripture Reading
Luke 2:13-14

Devotion
The baby announcement is special! We tell our friends, we call our relatives, and we send out little cards telling everyone – a baby is coming!
Angels! They are all over the Christmas story! They bring the proclamation to the world of the good news! This is as they say “good news of great joy that will be for all the people: today a Savior … was born …”
This is what Christmas is all about!
With all the hustle and bustle of Christmas we almost forget what it is about.

Questions
• Do you ever forget the message of the angel, and forget what Christmas is about?
• Have you been frustrated with the hustle and bustle this Christmas?
• How can you worship Jesus on His birthday this year?

Prayer
Dear God, please don’t let me forget what Christmas is all about. Amen.

Carol
“In Excelsis Gloria”

Dec 22

Week 4 Activity – Serve!

Be Prepared
Research places in your community that need assistance during the holiday season. Service could be at a homeless shelter, a food pantry, raking leaves or shoveling snow, assisting a Senior Adult in your church (help them decorate for Christmas!) or anything else that involves serving. You might consider finding several choices and then choosing one to do together.

Be Relational
Spend time discussing how the family serves the community through church, school and in other ways. Talk about the options your have prepared for service to the community and allow the family to choose together. Spend time praying together about the opportunity. Be prepared to go and do it. Don’t wait!

Be Missional
Go and serve!

Dec 21

The Angel

Scripture Reading
Luke 1:5, 26

Devotion
The angel Gabriel and the angels we meet later in the Christmas story with the Shepherds are apparently a sight to behold. (“Zechariah…was… overcome with fear.” Luke 1:12, “[The Shepherds] were terrified.” Luke 2:9)
The Shepherds and Zechariah seemed afraid of the angel. Mary was not. However, Mary and Zechariah questioned the angel but the shepherds did not.
All of this, and we sometimes wonder why God does not just send us an angel to give us instructions. Wait! God did send us a message- the Bible and it gives us plenty of instructions for life. He also sent us Jesus, the one who came to save us from our sins. Perhaps He is looking for us to share this message with those we know. We are not half as scary as an angel. We have the best news to share. More important than the birth of a baby – it is how that baby came to save the world!

Questions
• How do you think you would respond to an angel?
• When have you been given good news from someone?
• When have you last shared some good news with someone?

Prayer
God, Help me be an angel to someone and announce the good news of great joy that the Savior is born! Amen.

Carol
“O Come, All ye Faithful”

Dec 20

The Manger

Scripture Reading
Luke 2:6-7

Devotion
The maternity ward of a hospital is a strange thing. Everywhere else you go in a hospital, there is sickness and suffering, but most of what goes on in the maternity ward is excitement and joy!
Jesus, of course was not born in a hospital. Jesus was born in stable. He was placed in a feeding trough. We call it a manger. Imagine. Jesus. Son of God. King of kings. Lord of lords. Placed in a rough hewn wooden crate used to place food for animals. Crazy. Sometimes our frail human minds want to ask things like “What was God thinking?” I am reminded that as we study the character of God, we often forget that one characteristic of God is humility. We typically don’t see God as humble. But look at the manger. Philippians tells us that He humbled himself. James tells us that God gives grace to the humble and resists the proud.
We should be like Jesus. We should be humble.

Questions
• How are you doing in the humility department? (Be careful how you answer that – it might ruin it)
• How can you be more humble this Christmas
Prayer
Jesus, help me to be humble like you. Amen.

Carol
“Away in a Manger”

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