Family Stories

We all love telling old family stories. Well, as we continue in our series, All Planned Out, we are going to look at the family story of Jesus. Let me tell you right here and now: It’s a doozy. But if we’ll pay close attention, there’s something to learn here about just how committed God was–and is–to seeing His plans for us come to pass. So, lean in and listen with me to some really good stories.

Family Stories

When my grandma was 16, my grandpa snuck in the window of a dance she was at because he saw her in there. Within a few months they were married when she was still just 17. They went to an amusement park called Fairyland in Kansas City for their honeymoon. Her older sister, Peg, who was 15 years older, already married and living in Kansas City, chaperoned them, and wouldn’t let my grandma ride the Ferris Wheel at the park. That’s just one of a ton of stories I heard growing up. I don’t know that I can say any of them in particular shaped the direction I’ve taken in my life, but there was just something about knowing the stories of my past that helped me know who I was.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Philippians 4:6-7

“Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

A week of peace isn’t a bad thing to have. My hope and prayer is that as we have explored the idea of biblical peace this week you have been encouraged and even inspired to do the things necessary to experience more of it in your life. Last week ended on the high note of the video of Meredith Andrews’ wonderful version of Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus. This week, we’ll try that again. If you’ll suffer me a couple of comments on one of my favorite passages of Scripture, we’ll end this week with another song that I think ably captures our virtues of the week. Thanks for being with me this week.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Colossians 1:19-20

“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile everything to himself, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

We have been talking about peace for four days now. Along the way, we’ve been laying some important foundation stones for understanding it. Biblical peace is something that transcends circumstances, it cannot be obtained directly, but comes as the result of pursuing the life of Christ, and it really is for everybody. This morning, we’re going to go back a bit and fill in some gaps. Here’s the element that makes everything else we’ve talked about make more sense.

Read the rest…

Morning Musing: Luke 2:13-14

“Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!'” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When are you the most at peace? I’ll give you a hint: It’s probably not when it feels like everything is flying apart in midair on you. We’re generally the most at peace when everything is going well; when it’s all happening according to our plan. Having the ability to make certain things are going according to our plan, though, is not a universal thing. It tends to be a thing directly connected to the amount of resources a person controls. In other words, it’s easy to be at peace when you’re rich. When you’re poor? Well, life’s just harder then. The peace Jesus came bringing with Him, though, is for everyone no matter what their resource level may be.

Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 16:7

“When a person’s ways please the Lord, he makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

This week we are talking about peace. Yesterday we talked about what exactly peace is–not merely what it’s not. Peace is an active sense of calm and wholeness that persists in our hearts and minds because of our confidence in Christ and His promise to never leave us nor forsake us regardless of what our circumstances might otherwise suggest. I know that’s a bit more of a mouthful of a definition, but I think it fairly well captures the idea of peace we find in the Scriptures. What I’m left wondering today, though, is how exactly we come by this peace. What Solomon wrote here in Proverbs gives us a clue. Let’s take a look at this together.

Read the rest…