Time to Reflect

In case you found the previous post about making the most of Christmas — here’s another installment that will help you as you end 2010. They say the worst life is the life that is unexamined. So exercises like this can be extremely helpful.

As we quickly approach 2011 this is a great time to look back on 2010. Let’s start with each of us individually. Why not consider the following questions or ideas to make the most of your personal reflection on 2010:

1. Make a list of 3 “highlights” from 2010 for you personally. What made those 3 things truly a “highlight”? Make a list of 3 times of challenge/down/ discouragement. What made those 3 times particularly difficult?

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Christmas Reminders

Hi — if you’re anything like me, it gets more and more difficult to remember and preserve the true message of Christmas. I’m not one to “throw rocks” at the culture because if it wasn’t the culture it would be something else that would distract us, because let’s face it, it’s difficult to keep focused on what matters most. So here’s a few ideas to keep the right focus…

1. Read the Christmas story from the Scripture — if you’ve got kids the “Jesus Storybook Bible” is awesome. My daughter read one of the stories from it a couple of nights ago and it’s so well told. I would encourage you to carve out time to read it as a group/family/individual during the holidays.

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Guest Blogger: Lisa Stonehouse-Christmas Book List #2

OK, so by request, here’s a post from my wife about a few fiction novels she’d recommend and a parenting book (which it sounds like there’s a subtle hint that I need to read with her? 🙂 ) Enjoy her post, she is a great woman (I’ll admit I’m biased, but I still think she’s awesome!)

Here’s her post:

So Jason said I love to read novels, however, disclaimer – I don’t make as much time to read them as I would like to. This year however, I read a series of Christian novels by Nancy Rue & Steven Arterburn. It is the “Sullivan Crisp Series”, in which an offbeat psychologist, Sullivan Crisp, interacts with women who, although reluctant to meet with a counselor, find their lives intersecting with “Sully” only to have their perspective completely changed. Before they know it, they are seeing themselves through a more godly lense and they move forward in their life with new hope. The story lines are interesting and relevant. I personally connected with each one on a different level. And although I myself wasn’t pouring out my heart to Sullivan Crisp, I definitely gained perspective by “sitting in” on a few therapy sessions. Each novel involves intriguing mystery and characters that you’re rooting for. The first book is “Healing Stones”, the second, “Healing Waters” (also the novel of the year by Women of Faith in 2009) and the third, “Healing Sands”. They do need to be read in order, as Sully’s own story of pain and loss is revealed as each book journeys into his life and gets progressively deeper.

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Christmas Book List

So each year around this time I like to put together a post about some of the top books you might consider for gifts. The reality is many of us have friends and family who are growing spiritually and the right book can serve as “springboard” to further steps. But here’s the dilemma: I don’t know your friends and family, so what I will do is give a brief description next to each book of what it covers and who might like it. Before I get to this year’s list, allow me two disclaimers: 1. While I read a lot, I’m not one of these “book a week” guys. So there are probably many good books I don’t get to reading. That being said, this list will include several “older” books that I think are very good but you may have heard me mention before. 2. I don’t do fiction. Lisa loves reading novels and stuff and she might be able to help you with some recommendations, but I don’t really read that stuff. I more read growth books, leadership books etc — so that’s what you’ll get from me.

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Coming real soon to THIS blog…

Hi…

Things have been a little crazy lately, but here is what is planned for the next 10 days on this blog:

Based on the amazing response to last Sunday’s message on Marriage, Singleness and Sex we will be posting 3-4 video clips from that message. You can download the full audio sermon now on our media page, but this is the only place you can get the video version of some of the highlights from the message. They should start rolling out in the next day or two, so stop back.

Christmas– Each year I try to make some gift recommendations and ideas for you to give to others. I do try to read a fair amount of books and there are some books that have stood the test of time in particular areas. So…. I will post a “buyer’s guide” of Christian books for the people in your world. Each year we tend to find some good books for people who are different places in their spiritual journey. So that post will be coming soon as well.

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The Will of God

Ok, so I spoke at Youth Night tonight (Jr High and High School) and talked about hearing from God and figuring out God’s will. Here are some of the points we talked through:

-There’s a difference between the general “will of God” (what God wills for all) and the specific “will of God” (what God wills for me). If you’re not willing to do the general will of God (become a believer, seek to live holy, share your faith, etc etc) than we should not be overly concerned about the specific will of God.
And also, while you’re figuring out the specific will of God, make sure you’re continuing to grow in understanding and obeying the things God calls all of us to do and be. (You wouldn’t believe how many people I’ve talked to who aren’t doing what God has clearly said in the Bible and yet are wanting God’s will for their lives specifically. Can you say “cart before the horse”? I can.)

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