it’s a wonderful life

This year Sarah and I are celebrating Christmas with a wonderful gift–our daughter Justus. New life is an incredible blessing. In fact, Christmas is all about new life.

In a tiny village two millennia ago God became incarnate through the little Christ child. This baby laying in an animal trough born into a dusty world came for one purpose–He lived to die. Why would anyone purpose to die from birth? First, this was no ordinary baby. Second, Christ’s death lead to an extraordinary opportunity for you to have eternal life.

Jesus Christ came into your world to show you what God is like. Jesus is God with skin on. And walking in this world He demonstrated a life of love for sinful humans by dying a criminal’s death on the cross in your place so that you might be forever forgiven. His sacrificial death paves the way for you to have eternal life, if you only turn from your sin and embrace Christ as Savior.

The privilege of being parents to our new little life is an awesome illustration of dependence. Our little girl is utterly dependent upon us for everything, particularly: protection, nourishment, and comfort. This is all a small scale portrait of the panorama seen in the Scripture of God’s care for His people, who are also dependent upon Him for provision.

Not a one of us is independent of a need for God. This is heard in the message and seen in the example of Jesus Christ. He is the inexpressible gift. Believe on Him and you will have eternal life. Choose to celebrate life with us this Christmas!

Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Christmas!

Justin, Sarah and Justus

the slump

It is really embarrassing to strike out in slow pitch softball. The ball comes in nice and SLOW, not to mention a softball is twice as big as a baseball.
The night was going great. I had a double and an in the park homerun. Our team was winning. All was about to change, for me. I suppose it all went to my head, I thought I could crush every ball to the fence. The only thing that got crushed was my pride. Whiff! The next 5 at-bats I struck out. Sure I could make the excuse that it was one-pitch league, that I was tired, or that the pitcher was good (throwing them low and short, which really gets me drooling). I was so frustrated with myself. I wanted to throw the bat, curse like a sailor, and sit on the bench in a pout. But the team wouldn’t let me…
The other players on my church softball team came along side me and saught to encourage me. Rollie, the coach, gave me some back-to-the-basics pointers like, “Keep your eye on the ball…follow through with your swing…step-up in the box…forget about your last up-to-bat” He really encouraged me.
I was having what baseball calls a slump. I was determined to shake this slump with the encouragement of my teammates. My next at-bat I step up to the plate, took my stance in the front of the batters box, picked up my elbows, looked to the sky for strength from my God, and then watch the pitch slowly reach the plate. I swung. Crack! The ball made contact with the bat and rifled over the shortstops head. Base hit. You would have thought I won the game. I almost cried. My teammates were cheering, and I was relieved because the strikeout slump was over.
Slumps happen in others places than softball or baseball. They can happen in life. Have you ever been in a spiritual slump? I know, I have. How do you get out of a spiritual slump? The same way you get out of a sporting slump…by getting back to the basics, by surround yourself with teammates that will cheer you on and encourage you to get back to the plate and hit that ball. Nothing is more satisfying that sticking to the game through the slump, stepping up the the plate, and keeping your eye on the Prize–JesusChrist.