Celebrating Advent


Celebrating Advent 2018


Here is a taste of the upcoming sermon... When things start to go sideways, I usually think of an exit plan. I look for the way out when a relationship is conflicted or when things don’t turn out the way they should from my perspective. The very worse thing I can do is ask the Lord, what He’d have me do. I hate when I do this, because time and again it’s the same word. “Keep on Keeping ON!” Then comes the next prayer. Lord, I can’t without YOUR HELP. I need your wisdom, your grace, your love, your healing. It’s in that moment, I stop looking for a way out and seek for a way forward. This week as we look at the trials facing Zachariah and Elizabeth. Here we have a faithful ministry couple living well in the eyes of God and the one thing that matters most to the them isn’t given. Yet, they keep on keeping on. In time, that wonderful biblical promise of God working all things together for good is realized. A son is given. Not, just any son but one who’d usher in the Son of God. What peace that would finally fill their hearts. It all happened because they didn’t exit out of their relationship with God, with the ministry God had given them when life didn’t work out as they had dreamed. Peace is found when we keep on doing what is right in God’s sight, no matter what disappointments we may be in the midst of.


Here is a taste of the upcoming sermon... Imagine standing in a lineup for a movie. Only two choices. You could see a movie entitled, “How to be Great and Have a Lasting Legacy!” or “Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord!” Which one do you chose to sit down and watch. If you go into the movie ‘How to be Great and have a Lasting Legacy. You’ll find it’s all about all YOU can do to be great. It will most likely have the self-assured folks leaning in on every word. When you finish the movie, the credits will be long. You’ll see all those who helped put the movie together and all the researchers. The credits might be as long as the movie. You’ll have an action plan of all the things you need to do and get into place. However, if you chose go to “Jesus Christ, Messiah and Lord!” The people there will be much different, you’ll notice they are the ones who know they just don’t have what it takes to make themselves great. Nope, this crowd is filled with the broken, societies rejects, the lost souls, folks, addicts, those painfully aware of their shortcomings. The whole show reveals Jesus who can take even the most helpless of people and make them into an extraordinary saints. It focuses its attention who Jesus is. When the credits roll, well there is just one name. Jesus! This week we are looking at hope. Where does hope come from? If the one we are hoping in is Jesus, we’ll find he can take a unknown servant girl and do immeasurably more through her and in her. Jesus calls out to us to be like HIM. To be HOLY and PERFECT. Often it’s the Holy Spirit that brings this HOPE to life before us. Sometimes through a sermon or as we reach scripture or a moment of trial. It’s here that Jesus paints a wonderful proposition. That we are most highly favored ones. That our lives with His help can make a forever impact on the world. He lifts up his humanly impossible standards to be HOLY and PERFECT. He begins a work in us that when its finished, the angels will stand in awe over our complete transformation. There is no denying that this world offers temporary fixes. But when we take the long view, the only hope that will last, is the hope that rest in Jesus Christ and in His Promises. When we get home, when this world is wrapped up and we reign with Christ in the next one, when people ask us who we give credit for our making it through to this new world. We will have but one name, Jesus. Our hope rests alone in HIM and HIS AMAZING PROMISES FOR US. So ask Jesus begin to speak to YOU HIS HOPE FOR YOUR LIFE. Then join in Mary’s response. “I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said.” It’s here that HOPE, real lasting, beat the grave and live for all eternity kind of HOPE LIVES. Sit down with Jesus and let HIM minister HIS HOPE TO YOU TODAY.


Here is a taste of the upcoming sermon...For many years, up through my mid-twenties, I was frustrated and confused by my life’s lack of joy. Where was the “abundant life” I had been promised? Where was the “full joy” I had heard of? Something was wrong, and I didn’t know how to fix it. But I knew I wanted joy, and I was annoyed that I didn’t have it. One of the most important realizations I came to was that I was confusing circumstantial happiness for joy. I was looking for joy and abundant life in my circumstances, not realizing that joy is a miraculous gift that comes only from the presence of God. Like peace and hope, true joy is a miraculous gift from God that defies external circumstances. Different from surface, circumstantial happiness, joy is kind of deep satisfaction, a certainty that is able to look at the world and deeply smile because we know the One who is the Answer to every problem, every brokenness, every sin. This is why joy and sorrow so often coexist in the lives of Christians. We grieve the sin and brokenness and also know joy because we know that God is our Redeemer, Saviour, and Healer. Elizabeth and Mary and Baby John exhibit this joy. Elizabeth's life of sorrow and grief because of her barrenness could have turned her away from God, making her bitter, shriveled, and miserable. But her faithfulness was rewarded with miraculous joy and a miraculous baby. Ironically, God’s gift to Mary was circumstantial murder, which makes the presence of joy in Mary’s life all the more miraculous. Mary’s “yes” to God meant that her valuable reputation as a “godly Jewish woman” was shattered, opening her to the possibility of being killed for her “sin.” So, what a gift it must have been for Baby John to leap in Elizabeth’s womb and for Elizabeth to greet Mary with prophetic joy! Mary’s joy is certainly a miraculous gift since her circumstances defy it. Elizabeth and Mary demonstrate their ability to see the upside-down nature of their broken world and to find great joy in knowing the God who was working to put things right side up once again. Where do we need this gift of miraculous joy in the midst of broken circumstances? How do we need to draw close to God’s presence so we can see clearly and have joy that we know the One who putting everything right side up again?


Here is a taste of the upcoming sermon... This Sunday I know many will be tempted to take a Sunday off. With all the Christmas last minute details to attend too. But DON'T! As I've been working through the scripture for Sunday, it speaks some amazing truths that will help YOU CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WELL. To say that the message might be life-changing...I know, it's a high bar, well, it's been life-changing for me and I know it can be for YOU. But just think, Mary is in the midst of troubles on every side of her. To be pregnant with the child of God. How would Joseph respond? How would her family take the news? Would anyone believe her? There is no denying that she's pregnant. In this culture, this is a capital offence. Can't imagine why we have her singing in the midst of these troubling circumstances? Yet, here we have her song. You've got some troubling circumstances swirling around you this Christmas season? I do! My heart aches for unresolved relational conflicts, it breaks for those who aren't with us this Christmas Season, it is broken for those who are dying and for families with children who are walking down the pathway of destruction...when I think of all that is swirling around me, it's hard to sing. Yet, I've learned this week the key to unlocking praise in my heart. The means to rejoice in the midst of all that is swirling. Mary, has taught me the secret. I long to share this truth with YOU this Sunday so whatever might swirl into our lives we might have hearts that can celebrate God's goodness. So, don't take a Sunday off, come out and find the help to rejoice in the midst of all that might be swirling around YOU this Christmas Season.