13 And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right. (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIVO)
Everyone is busy, but not everyone is busy doing the work God has given them to do. When Paul wrote to the brothers and sisters in Thessalonica he had evidently been told that some of the brothers and sisters in the church were “busybodies.” The word Paul uses for “busybodies,” “?????????????” (periergazomai), is very descriptive. It means, “to bustle about uselessly, be preoccupied with trifling matters, or to be a meddler.” There were folks in the church who were wasting time with trifling matters, sticking their noses in other people’s business, and giving themselves to matters that were useless and empty. The descendants of the busybodies in the church at Thessalonica are still with us today. Truth is we don’t have to be taught to be busybodies…it’s part of our DNA.
Paul has a word of encouragement for the brothers and sisters at Thessalonica and for us. He says, “And as for you, brothers, never tire of doing what is right.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIVO) I don’t know anyone who is not busy, but the real question is, “what is filling our time?” Are we doing what is “right,” doing what God has given us to do each day or are we filling our time with empty pursuits, worthless time killers, and sticking our noses in other people’s business? We are never to “tire,” to become weary, with being about our Father’s business.
It’s Christmas Eve and I’m so glad you have taken the time to join us tonight because we’ve gathered here at Britton Christian Church from all over the city to worship and celebrate the greatest gift ever given—the gift of God to all who will receive it—the gift of Jesus our Savior! Some of you have come here tonight with your friends or family and you are reveling in the joy of being together and relishing the time you have to give God thanks for His many blessings. The Lord may have blessed you in any number of ways and you’ve come here with a heart spilling over with gratitude. You got a big promotion during the year or you survived a big layoff at your company. Maybe the Lord has blessed you with a new baby in the past year. You may still be glowing from your wedding that took place in 2015. Maybe you’ve welcomed a new son-in-law or daughter-in-law into your family at some point during the year. You are getting ready to graduate from high school in a few months and you are so excited about what God has in store for you once the tassel is moved. You’re grateful that a loved one who was deathly ill has been restored and is alive and well this very night. There are many of us here this evening and we know we are blessed, we can count our blessings one-by-one. I could go on and on listing the many blessings that we’ve enjoyed during the past year. God has been good. Continue reading “Jesus Steps Into a Broken World Matthew 2:1-8”
Four years ago Steve Porter had a great idea: “Let’s take some of our kids out and play tennis.” We started with a handful of kids that we would take out on Sunday afternoons for an hour of hitting balls. Four years later the BCC Tennis Academy has developed into something none of us ever dreamed possible. Jessica Reineke, our amazing Executive Director, and her team of coaches: Steve Porter, Brad Lund, Rob Braver, Emily Conrad, Henry Litchfield, Vanesssa Cunningham, and John Hillis are not only great tennis coaches, but they love our kids with all of their hearts and that is why our group keeps growing! Continue reading “The BCC Tennis Academy Much more than tennis…”
In 2005 a mom, Carol Aebersold, and her twin daughters, Chanda Bell and Christa Pitts, self-published a book called, “The Elf on the Shelf,” and it all began. Today, those little elves have infiltrated millions of homes all across America. Buddy, Elfie, Jingle, Holly, Max, Alvin, Peppermint, and their brothers and sisters move at will throughout the homes where there are young boys and girls who want nothing more than for Santa to bring them all of the items on their Christmas “wish list.”
For those of us who don’t have little ones running around the house any longer and may not be familiar with the little elves, let me explain to you what’s happening every single day in homes all across the country. I talked to Dan this past week to find out about their elf whose name is Alvin. Alvin arrived on the scene one day and let Kellen, Macy, and Parker know that he would be watching their every move and taking notes. Each day Alvin records everything that Kellen, Macy, and Parker do so that he can report back to Santa…who is still up in the air about what he will bring, if anything, to my grandchildren. Whatever the kids receive from Santa will be based on the reports that Alvin turns in to the jolly round man. Continue reading “Naughty or Nice? Christmas 2015”
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope. (1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT)
One of the greatest sorrows that shrouds our hearts is the loss of those we love. Through the years I’ve spoken at funerals from all walks of life. I’ve sat with parents who have done the unimaginable and have had to bury their children, families who’ve gathered around the casket of the patriarch or matriarch of their family, and with husbands and wives who’ve lost the love of their life. I’ve never known anyone who didn’t want another day, even another moment with the one they loved. Continue reading “52 Weeks 52 Verses: Week 49 1 Thessalonians 4:13”
“Therefore, my brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:58
It sure was a blessing being with Grams and the rest of my family over Thanksgiving. Our family knows Grams is coming to the end of her life, so we decided to put together an appreciation video in her honor. Each family member was asked to answer the following question: “How has Grams’ legacy lived through you?”
For many years now we have partnered with Prison Fellowship at Christmas to bless the children of inmates who live in our community. The last two years our Angel Tree families have been invited to join us in the gym for an evening of great food, sharing presents with the kids, and sharing the Christmas story with everyone present. Tonight was an amazing evening and so many people worked diligently to make it all happen. Thank you so much for all you have done to create a special evening for kids and their parents. I also want to thank John Waldo, our “staff photographer” for some amazing pictures! You can see the pictures by clicking “more.” Click on the individual pictures to see a larger image.
5 Dear friend, you are faithful in what you are doing for the brothers and sisters, even though they are strangers to you. (3 John 1:5 NIV)
John is writing to a “dear friend” named Gaius. Some people had seen John and went out of their way to tell him about how Gaius’ “faithfulness to the truth” and how he was continuing to walk in the truth. People in our day love to talk about other people. Wouldn’t it be great if their talk about us consisted of our faithfulness to the truth and our willingness to walk in the truth of God? Continue reading “52 Weeks 52 Verses: Week 48 3 John 1:5”
It was so wonderful to have our kids leading us in worship on Sunday morning. They performed “The Crippled Lamb” with the songs of Christmas and it was incredible! Thank you for blessing us and reminding us that there is always a place for those who feel left out.
It’s almost Christmas. There are presents under the tree. The wrapping paper, pretty bows, and all of the other items that people use to decorate the gifts they will give to their loved ones are flying off the shelves so that last minute gifts can be in place for the big day. You know, when you get right down to it, all of the wrapping paper, pretty bags and such really serve just one purpose – they are meant to conceal the true contents of the package. You just can’t have folks finding out too early what you gave them for Christmas. There would be no anticipation. There would be no “give me a hint” or “Can we open just one before Christmas?” So that our secrets won’t be given away we wrap up our gifts until the time is right for little hands to shred the paper and bows and explode with excitement! Continue reading “Holiness Wrapped in Humanity Colossians 1:15-23”