Good Friday- The Day That Rocked History

The price paid for our salvation was high.

Careful, this video is graphic

Colossians 1
15He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. 17He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. 18And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. 19For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, 20and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Hope In These Troubled Financial Times: Part 4

Uncertainty prevails.  Many of us have lost much of our retirement.  Many of us are unsure of our jobs. The war rages on.  The government is putting our country into crushing debt, with deficit spending.  Countries are calling for the creation of a global currency to replace the dollar.  Our future is dark.

Darkness is the illusion.  When we look at the world we are looking at the illusion.  We have convinced ourselves that the world is light and the spirit cannot be seen. The Apostle John disagrees in his Gospel (1:4,5). “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”

We are still living in the curse and the world is hard.  We can be living in Christ’s light where we would not worry about “what we shall eat and what we shall wear”.  Which takes us back to where we started.

The journey I have laid out for you is the journey out of this world into the light of Christ’s promises:

In Part One, I shared with you Christ’s command, from Matthew 6:25-34, to not worry about the troubles of this world (”what we shall eat and what we shall wear”) but to seek first His Kingdom.  That is achingly simple yet seemingly impossible.

In Part Two, I discussed how the curse God placed on us through Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:14-19) focuses our attention on worldly matters and distracts us from His Kingdom.

In Part Three, I claimed that too many us Believers live our lives as slaves to the curse of Man because we overlook Jesus’s triumph over the curse in Luke 4: 1-14.

Virtually all of us live our lives fighting the Curse.  We are thrilled to accept grace, salvation and redemption as the promises of God. But we miss some of the true promises of Jesus: to discover Him, to walk with Him, to build a relationship with Him, to spend our life on Earth seeing the world though his eyes.  Instead, we spend our lives struggling for safety, security and love.

Why?  Because look outward through our eyes, rather than inward to the Holy Spirit.  Christ sent the Holy
Spirit to be with us until His return.  The Holy Spirit enters our soul when we accept Jesus Christ as our Saviour and dwells within us for our days on this earth.  It is the Holy Spirit within us that shines light on the spiritual world and enables us to transcend the difficulties and uncertainty of the physical world.

In order for us to overcome the pull of the physical world we see with our eyes and to experience the peace of the spiritual world we must embark on a journey.  We are called to a pilgrimage to the light of the world.  Ours is not to a place, but to within, where we can gaze upon the light of the world and see the true beauty of creation.  Our pilgrimage is never ending but redemptive. Our pilgrimage is not made up of steps but of disciplines.

To see the “light of men’ (John 1:5) you must first “seek His Kingdom” (Matthew 6:33).  Seeking is an active verb and you and I must actively search out the Holy Spirit within us.  Many authors have provided great guidance on the disciplines involved in this seeking pilgrimage we are called to.  One of the most highly respected of the modern works on the disciplines of the pilgrimage is Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.  In the book he discusses 13 inward, outward and corporate disciplines.

Until the books arrive from Amazon, I suggest that you immediately begin practicing these five:

  1. Prayer- set aside an amount of time each day to pray in a quiet place.  Pray for God’s will, pray for healing, pray for insight, pray for others, pray for yourself and listen.  Then pray throughout your day.  Pray thankfully about good things that happen during the day, pray for peace during period of times of stress, pray for those sitting with you in the boring meetings.
  2. Study- set aside time each day to study God’s word.  Set aside time each week to discuss God’s word with other believers.  Remember that all of your disciplines are steps to a redemptive relationship with Christ so don’t think of this a school work.  Spend time in the Word not to determine propositional truth.  That is folly.  Study God’s Word quietly, seeking his guidance for you.  Hear Him speak to you through his words.  The Bible is not so much the world’s answer book, but the map of your pilgrimage.
  3. Submission- Now we hit a hard one.  This means giving up yourself to Him.  Step one is to submit to the first two activities described above.  Through prayer and study God will reveal other areas of your life, at first small and then more and more, that you must give over to Him.  Remember Matthew 6?  The whole “do not worry but first seek His Kingdom”.  That is this.
  4. Service- Reach out to others.  Start with those closest to you.  Serve them.  Do something for them that they will know is just for them.  Don’t expect them to return the favor.  It will feel good.  Then do something small for an acquaintance or even a stranger.  Eventually you will desire to commit time to serving strangers and when you do, you will see the face of God.
  5. Worship (in a Corporate setting)- Revelation 5:13 paints a beautiful picture of worship as seen from heaven: “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, all that is in them, singing…”  Visit a Church or a conference with really cool worship and let yourself go.

The trick is to not let the disciplines become discipline.  Keep your head up a smile.  Don’t think of these as tasks to complete.  Enjoy the pilgrimage. You will find that as you use these activities to “seek first His Kingdom” the dread and worry of the world will fade away, regardless of the stock market. You will see all of this is just the illusion.

To learn more about the disciplines check out the books at Amazon

Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster

The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual Disciplines for Ordinary People by John Ortberg

The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding How God Changes Lives by Dallas Willard

This is the end of this series.  I don’t know when we will post another series like this.  I hope you remember this:

We were once subject to God’s curse on Man, but today we are only fooled by the curse.  Christ created a path for us to follow on our pilgrimage that enables us to look beyond the horrors of this world to the beauty of the spiritual world all around us.  In order to see that path and stay on that path for our pilgrimage, we must first seek His Kingdom and the best way I know how to seek is to utilize the spiritual disciplines.

My hope for you is peace, so do not worry about what you shall eat or what you shall wear.  Just simply take the first step on your pilgrimage, pilgrim.

Hope In These Troubled Financial Times- Part 3

I have been rambling on and on about how we, as believers, can transcend the troubles that we experience as we walk through this life on Earth.

In Part One, I shared with you Christ’s command, from Matthew 6:25-34, to not worry about the troubles of this world (“what we shall eat and what we shall wear”) but to seek first His Kingdom.  That is achingly simple yet seemingly impossible.

In Part Two, I discussed how the curse God placed on us through Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:14-19) focuses our attention on worldly matters and distracts us from His Kingdom.

The curse is real.  It does force us to focus on what we shall eat and what we shall wear.  The curse has caused man to desire wealth over His Kingdom and women to desire family over God.  The curse has caused the wars of history as man has tried to gain power over land to store up riches on Earth.  The curse has caused poverty and hunger as some have horded their wealth while others have gone without.   The curse has caused the destruction of our planet as man has continually taken more from the earth than it is able to give.  The curse has caused the current global financial crisis as our desire to protect ourselves from the curse made us all greedy.

We, as Believers, are subject to this curse, but we are not bound by it.  Unfortunately, too many us Believers live our lives as slaves to the curse of Man.  I think it is because we overlook one of the most important passages of the New Testament, Luke 4: 1-14.

The Temptation of Jesus
1Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led around by the Spirit in the wilderness
2for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And He ate nothing during those days, and when they had ended, He became hungry.
3And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
4And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘MAN SHALL NOT LIVE ON BREAD ALONE.’”
5And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of (F)the world in a moment of time.
6And the devil said to Him, “I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
7″Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours.”
8Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD AND SERVE HIM ONLY.’”
9And he led Him to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here;
10for it is written,
‘HE WILL COMMAND HIS ANGELS CONCERNING YOU TO GUARD YOU,’
11and,
‘ON their HANDS THEY WILL BEAR YOU UP,
SO THAT YOU WILL NOT STRIKE YOUR FOOT AGAINST A STONE.’”
12And Jesus answered and said to him, “It is said, ‘YOU SHALL NOT PUT THE LORD YOUR GOD TO THE TEST.’”
13When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time.

We focus our Christianity on the arrest, judgement, torture, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but how do ignore this?

A young Jesus, brand new into his worldly ministry, was tempted mightily by Satan.  A young man, beginning to understand who he was and his destiny was offered what Man had chosen through out the ages, before and since.  Jesus, the man, weakened by a 40 day fast was offered a way to overcome the curse of Man on earth.  The man, Jesus of Nazareth, just beginning to understand the loneliness he would experience for the rest of his life was offered adulation and power. We have proven that we would have chosen power and wealth.  Jesus, a man just like me, chose His Father’s Kingdom.

This one brave act changed the world.  This one decision by a 30 year old man broke the curse.  Man had resisted the temptation and  Satan was dealt the death blow.  Since that day, Satan has been thrashing about, fighting the against the defeat he knows is inevitable.

I would like to share an entry from my journal that came to me after several days of solitude amidst a large crowd:

“The battle is between Christ and the forces of evil, led by Satan, in the throes of defeat, as he lashes out at Christ’s physical manifestation on earth, The Church.

The battle is not against the lost for they are merely victims caught in the crossfire.  They are pawns on the battlefield of this earth, without the weapons of Truth or the armor of Grace.

They are wounded and weary in need of the rest the true Church can provide and the bandages we possess.”

Our troubles overtake us because we do not stand in the light of Christ’s defeat of Satan in the wilderness.  We gratefully accept Christ’s crucifixion as the sacrifice for our sins.  This enables us to reconcile with God.  We celebrate his resurrection as the transcendence of our worldly existence and our hope for eternity.

As we fret over our future and we worry about our financial conditions, we demonstrate that we do not fully embrace his presence, here and now, as the light to transcend the curse.  Christ defeated Satan in the wilderness and showed us the path to overcome the curse was not to out work it or out love it.  The path to defeat the curse is to seek first His Kingdom. Yet, we do not.

We may think the Gospel of John 1:4,5 is referring to those who walked the earth when Jesus was here.  “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.”  It was referring to all of us.

When we focus our attention on what we shall eat or what we shall wear, we are missing the light.  For those who have accepted Christ as our saviour, the light is within us.  the Holy Spirit is burning within us, we are just looking into the darkness of this world.  The path to seeking His Kingdom, the path to transcending the curse, the path to peace and joy in these troubled times is within us.

It is not enough to accept the light into our heart.  That brings salvation but it does not enable us to transcend the curse while we are on earth. Next week, I will finish this ramble by explaining the deceptively simple, yet crushingly difficult path to the light described in John 1.

Buy Music. Do Good. The Saturn Project

anthemsmissionflow2-1

What if a song could save a child or a melody could give hope to a village?  What if an anthem united a country or inspired people to truly care for their neighbor?

The Saturn Project recorded Anthems for a Broken World in order to share great music that will challenge thinking and bring about social, spiritual, and economic change.  It will ask listeners to participate in changing a broken world.  The members of the band are taking that first step by giving the album away.  All proceeds from this album will go toward making this world a better place.

Before we go any further.  This cd is available on March 13th.  Go to thesatrunproject.com buy one, heck, buy a box, build a home and give the cds away.

The Saturn Project in partnership with Life Pointe Church and People for Care and Learning are giving hope, alleviating suffering, and giving the poor a working chance.  By purchasing this album, you will be added to this partnership and will in turn help provide clean water, build a village, build a health clinic, and create education opportunities for the people of Cambodia, Southeast Asia, and other locales.  Buy music.  Do good.

“Anthems for a Broken World” is Coldplay meets Radiohead meets U2.  Members of The Saturn Project are:

Jesse Santoyo – lead vocals, keyboard, guitar
Matt Izaguirre – bass
Alex Santoyo – drums
Brent Maloney – guitar

Here is the insight into “Anthems for A Broken World” from singer and songwriter Jesse Santoyo.

So I thought I’d give you guys a brief explanation for the songs on the anthems for a broken world album…All these songs are inspired by the one who created me, and inspired by moments, people, and stories of myself and others…

TIME – A song about wanting to change the past. A song of desperate measures to erase the flaws of one’s history. On that same journey we find that those things we try to forget helped shape who we are today. We are no longer the people we once were, and who we are now is temporary, for we are on our way to becoming the men and women we were destined to be. On our way to destiny there are things we left behind, not lost! But left behind to be with you.

U Turn- This song follows Jesus into the desert as he was tempted. It parallels to our own deserts, our own temptations, our own enigmas where we search for a way out. When we finally believe it is meant to be here, our lives are transformed, our compass is redirected and our lives make a U turn.

So alive- We all have something, someone, or a moment that makes us feel So alive. With that said there is nothing we would not do, a place we would not go…to constantly feel so alive. The coolest line in the song, “I would walk on fire, I would march in the front line, if  I made my bed in hell, you are there”.

Silas-A song that stirs up a revolution, a movement of the soul that becomes flesh. Late in the midnight hour something remarkable happened. Inspired by the book of Acts chapter 17: 22-35.

Dynamite- Amazing things happen when you let go… and you put it all on the line for the creator of this Universe.

Home- A father goes on a journey in search of a better place. “Through desert roads and mountain tops”…He looks into his family’s eyes and hopes to make a better life for them.

Butterfly- A young girl in a cold waiting room battles with the thought of life within her. She knows it’s a gift but contemplates ending the tiny heart beat deep inside to avoid the shame… Years later she wonders what that baby or dream looked like, it’s smile, it’s eyes.”How could I have been a fool…”maybe she’ll change the world, maybe just saving yours”.

Beautiful Stranger- A love ballad inspired by serendipity

Tonight- Inspired by children all over the world hoping in a dream that seems impossible. Fathers doing the impossible for a better quality of life, everyday people with the chance to make a difference.

Sail Away- Every so often we hear stories of moments that passed people by, great people we let go, opportunities overlooked, Not saying what we really want to say when there was a chance, then its gone…A  metaphorical love song everyone will relate to…”the sailboat we waited for never came…now you’re gone”

Only you- This is the first song I wrote for the saturn project close to 9 yrs ago. The song is about the desire to know and feel God beyond our own existence and human comprehension.

Mark your calendars “Anthems for a Broken World” is available on March 13th.  Go buy a box of cd’s and give them away  thesatrunproject.com .

Pass this on.

Hope In These Troubled Financial Times- Part Two

How did we get into this mess?

Last week we discussed the terrible financial times we are experiencing and how we Christians can respond with hope and faith that transcends difficulties all around.  Before you read this post go there and read about how to respond to our troubled financial times.

Welcome back.  How did we get ourselves in this mess?  I am talking about the mess we make of our lives when we try to live a life focused on the world.

When we try to create our future and control our destiny we fall into Satan’s trap.  That is exacty what he wants.  He wants us to frugally save our money and build portfolios that we will rely upon to retire.  In his game, we can build a safety net.  That way we are self reliant.

Satan wants us to create a nice home, raise a nice family and build a strong marriage.  We know if we do that, our future will be filled with warmth and fulfillment.  Our holidays will be joyful affairs with our extended families and our day to day lives will be filled with pride in our children’s accomplishments and satisfaction from meaningful friendships.  Satan knows that if we do these things well, we will place our reliance on them.

We listened in Sunday School and we know to avoid the traps of this world.  We gave up our drug use, mostly avoided porn, we only stole a pad of paper or two from the office and we never hurt anyone.  And, if we didn’t, we were able to rehabilitate ourselves and begin building “a life”.

And that was how we got ourselves into this mess, by working so hard to “build a life”, when God wants us to be working on eternity.

You see, none of those “life building” activities are really bad; except Satan is happy to let us turn those activities into self reliance.

I know it sounds cliche’ to blame the world’s problems on Adam and Eve but their defiance in the Garden was the first act of self relience. Not only did it separate us from God, but the curse gave Satan an opening in our lives.  Let me show what I mean from Genesis 3:13-17

16To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will (Q)bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And (R)he will rule over you.”

17Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’;
(S)Cursed is the ground because of you;
(T)In toil you will eat of it
All the days of your life.
18“Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
19By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread,
Till you (U)return to the ground,
Because (V)from it you were taken;
For you are dust,
And to dust you shall return.”

I am about to speak in gender generalities.  I know in every generality there are many individuals who do not fit the mold and I respect that.  However, I stand by these next few paragraphs as being descriptive of most of us.  This is the genesis of our troubes today.

I will start at the end, with the men, and work back to the women.  To Adam and us men, God said in toil you will eat from this cursed ground that will be infested with thorns and thistles.  You will sweat to feed you and your family until the day you die.  Sounds like fun doesn’t it.

Man has spent the rest of history trying to overcome that curse.  We want to create the security of knowing if the ground does not respond to our toil we will have built up treasures on earth as a back-up.  We do not want to work until the day we die.  We must overcome this curse and build up a nest egg (treasure?) that will enable us to spend our later years in leisure.  The pursuit of this false security has caused these troubled financial times, but it has also caused the destruction of our planet and war after war after war.

Funny, it seems like God had generously provided for us but we had to do it our way.  It’s not working so well for us is it?

As a matter of fact, it works so not well, that Solomon, the wisest, wealthiest most respected man on Earth ended his treatiste on life with the wisdom that “all is vanity”.

Don’t think you ladies are immune, you have your own curses.  God cursed you with a desire for a man so strong that he will rule over you. Can anyone say “He Is Just Not That Into You”?  Women long and pursue for intimacy with men that causes them to subjugate themselves.  Even in this day of women’s freedom and self respect the cultural dialogue revolves around the desire for woman’s relationship man.  It causes so much promiscuity, heartache and abuse.

Finally, women are cursed with the  pain of bringing children forth in this world.  I am not speaking of the pain of childbirth, though that looks like it really hurts.  I am speaking of the pain of unrequited love for your children.  You feel all of their pain and sorrow.  You fight to make their lives safe.  You fantasize about the perfect home for them.  And they leave and they start their own lives and they do not share your love.  And you are left with a hole in your heart.

Their is no problem with working hard, living a frugal life, loving you husband and raising your children.

The problem is that we so easily fall into the real curse of allowing ourselves to be separated from God by relying on these worldly things.

In Matthew 6: 30-34 Christ tells us not to worry and not to fret but to rely on Him.  He tells us not seek our comfort in the worldly delusions of marriage, children andwealth but to seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness.

But how can we if we are living under the curse of Adam and Eve?

Christ created a path for us to transcend the curse and to live through these frightening times with peace, hope and faith.  Next week I will show youhow he did it.

Hope In These Troubled Financial Times

One21music is dedicated to introducing you to the full spectrum of Christian music.  In our minds, that is music made by believers written from a viewpoint of hope and faith.  We are doing this so that you can experience great, non formulaic music that expresses how we, as believers, live our lives in this world.

This article has nothing to do with music, but it does relate to how we live our lives as believers.  Over the next few weeks I am going to take you through a recipe for dealing with today’s troubling financial times.

This past Monday, February, 23, 2009,  the Dow Jones stock market index closed at $7,100, the lowest level in 31 years!  A long, frightening period of economic retrenchment faces us and if we are not unemployed, we anticipate being laid-off any day.   For most of us, our retirement savings have been wiped out and there is no safety net. Fear pervades believers and non-believers alike.

We, as believers, keep a stiff upper lip and profess to put our confidence in God.  But I suspect that many of us put confidence in God’s willingness to protect our lifestyle and “provide”.  I believe this is a recipe for continued fear and disappointment.  Admit it, when you pay your credit card bill, sometimes you have a knot in your stomach.  Haven’t you ever looked at your savings and wondered “how you will make it”.

We can be fearless in times like these.  If we put our hope in Christ and Christ alone we can walk through these days with joy in our heart.  But it is not easy.  In reality, it is the most frightening thing we can do.

Matthew 6:25-29 tells us to look at the birds of the air and the lillies of the field and not be anxious.  It is a beautiful passage.  I sat in a MacDonald’s one cold December morning with tears in my eyes, reading this passage.  I was in the midst of a long period of unemployment and, never having faced anything like this before, I was terrified and angry.

This passage brought me comfort that day, but I did not understand it.  I thought it meant that I would be okay and God would take care of me.  It means that, but not in the way I think most of us think the passage means it.  Matthew 6:30-34 shows us the true meaning:

“But if God so arrays the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more do for you, O’ men of little faith?

Do not be anxious then, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “With what shall  we clothe ourselves?”

For all these things the Gentiles eagerly seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you shall need all these things.

But first seek His kingdom and His righteousness; all these things shall be added to you.

Therefore do not be anxious for tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I think there are two key, powerful, phrases in this passage.  First, … “first seek His kingdom and his righteousness”.  If we put God’s kingdom first we should be willing to give up everything else. That is a powerful, gut-wrenching statement.  Are you willing to give up everything (every dollar, every relationship, every comfort) for your relationship with God?

A man spoke at our church on Sunday.  He told of the time that he had the dream life.  He had a beautiful wife, he was a partner in his father-in-law’s highly successful business, he was a rising star in the church his wife had grown up in.  He was a wealthy, respected man in his community, yet he was separated from God.  He had an unconfessed affair from years earlier.  Since his wife had repeatedly stated that infidelity was, for her, an unforgivable transgression, to confess meant losing everything.

But God made it clear that this man could go no further with Him until the sin was confessed.  And this man was obedient.  Like Abraham taking Isaac, as a sacrifice, to Moriah, this man went to his wife expecting to lose her, his family, his career, his reputation, all his worldly success.  He did not go to his wife with hope of her forgiveness.  This man was not playing chicken with God. He was willing to lose everything to ‘first seek His kingdom and His righteousness”.

The power that comes from surrendering everything is greater than any wealth you can possess.  How can you fear losing anything that you will freely give away?

The second powerful phrase in this passage is ..”do not be anxious for tomorrow”.  God says it throughout the Bible.  Live every moment as if it is your first moment in eternity, follow Him step by step, do not anticpte a tomorrow that can disappear in a moment.

Two years ago I left the comfort of a 30 year career in corporate America to start a consulting practice.  I did not know if it would work or if it would last.  That consulting practice, executed day by day with no expectations, has funded my dream – One21music.

Will One21music ever support me?  Will it ever even return the cash I have invested? I don’t know.  I just get up everyday, thank God for making this possible, ask for his guidance and work as hard as I can.  There is a lot of joy around here.

It is easy for me to say that the path to peace and joy is to be willing to sacrifice Everything (yes, with a capital E) and live obediently following God, step by step.

It is virtually impossible for us to blindly fall into the darkness that is our future on this earth .  Next week I will explain why.

Christmas; A Season of Blessings

Happy Christmas

It is 6:30 a.m. on Christmas Eve and I am blissful.  I celebrate the birth of Christ every day, so these next few days are not unique for me in that way. But every year at this time I am overwhelmed with a sense of peace, joy and gratitude.  I am grateful that God has provided for us a time to pause and reflect on the true, enduring gifts he has given to us.

Whether you know Jesus as God, as your personal savior, or not, this weekend is a time to celebrate a history changing event.  We celebrate the birth of a man who, in three years, rocked the world.  Jesus was a man who taught such a profound message of love, peace, charity, community and humility that the entire western civilization has been built on his principles.  The ideals he proclaimed are so fully ingrained in our culture that we cannot fathom a world where Jesus’ teachings are not the standard by which all actions are judged.

Jesus was, at the bare minimum, the greatest man who ever lived.  If that is all you can grasp of Jesus, celebrate his message this weekend.

Of course, many of us know Jesus as so much more than just the greatest man who ever lived.  If you know Jesus as God and as savior, I encourage/ challenge you to celebrate him every day with this same intensity of joy and love.

Some of you are entering this season with someone missing from your life.  You may even be alone.  I have not experienced that, so I cannot imagine what this weekend is like for you.  I do pray that in the stillness of the next few days, you can open your heart to God’s presence.  You may be mourning, but I know you are not alone.

Most of the world enters this year’s holiday with some level of financial angst.  Many of us have seen our financial security blanket shrink and we are unsure of what is to come.  Some come into this holiday without work or facing the fear of losing a job soon. I have been there.

It was not long ago that our family went through the holidays without a job, without much cash and with no prospects.  It was one of our best Christmas’s ever. We truly experienced a Christmas miracle.  We were able to provide our children some gifts, which they loved.  We were even able to provide Christmas, gifts and a Christmas dinner, to another family.  Most importantly we were able to experience God moving in our lives.

In these troubled financial times, please remember that God has promised to provide your needs.  Close your eyes to what the world says you need and fall back into God’s arms to receive his blessing.

We at One21music wish you and your family the most joyous of holidays.  We will check back in next week.

Merry Christmas; Peace on Earth