A tough year…So lets read through Isaiah this Advent

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

I will be honest. I am ready for Jesus to come back. This has been a rough year. This has been a year of anger, and hate. It has been a year of broken promises, divorces and all sorts of pain for many of us. It has been a year with very few moments of joy, and lots of moments as a parent trying to move our family forward. Sometimes it feels like we just have to ignore all the things we missed or weren’t the same. Even as we approach Thanksgiving, and plans change, I am looking at the one thing that helps me deal with all of this. I want to look at the promise of Jesus. Advent is a time to remember Jesus coming the first time, while also looking for His future coming.

I don’t know about you but I have really struggled to stay in the Word this past number of months. With School starting and the new rhythms of life being just as busy, I have found myself struggling to read through the scriptures this year. So as I get ready for Advent this year I decided I am going to read through Isaiah. It is 66 chapters about God’s people, judgement, and the promise of a Savior. I need that reminder.

God’s people waited for generations for his coming the first time. They went through trials, and tribulations during those times. God always provided a time for when he would come and be with them. We also wait for Jesus to come again. If you want to join me in reading through I Isaiah i made a reading plan for myself. I pray this may help us all find hope in His promises.

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly.

Dear Parents, Participation trophies are a frustration for many parents when it comes to sports and activities. We live in a day when people often frown on just giving out trophies to everyone. We want people to earn what they get. We want trophies for people who actually won something. I don’t necessarily disagree with this mentality. We should strive for excellence. We should reward people when they do an excellent job. But sometime excellence gets in the way of doing things. “Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly.”

My wife said this to me and it caught my attention. Now you might think, “How does that work? He just said we should strive for excellence.” And although that is true, we shouldn’t let excellence get in the way of doing something. Sometimes we think that in order to do something, we have to do it the best. We have to be a semi-pro in order to lead this or that with our family. When we think about exercise in our life, I don’t have to start by running a marathon, or lifting heavy weights on day one. In fact I might only lift 10 lbs for 10 reps and want to take a nap. I might only be able to run just a few feet and then have to walk the rest of the time. All of this is better for me and my health than not doing it at all. Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly.

We can all look at our lives and have parental guilt about how we are doing as parents. We can struggle with being present in our kids’ lives and not on our cell phone. We can struggle with bringing our stress home from work and putting it on our kids. We can struggle with not taking time to read God’s Word, or not knowing how to pray. I could go on but you get the point. We will always have hard things in our life that we don’t do well with our kids. I know I am not an excellent parent, really none of us are. My prayer for all of us is that we are willing to do anything, even if it is done poorly, because our poorest attempts, when done with Jesus by our side, are so much better than not doing anything at all.

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Colossians 3:16-17 ESV

You may not know how to pray like Daniel, or preach like Paul, you may not be loving like Mary or strong like David. But you have something you can offer your kids. You have Jesus. You can share Him with them every day. You can pray even if you don’t do it perfectly. You can be present by putting down your phone more, you can open that Bible and read to them even if you don’t have all the answers to the questions they have. Start with something. Don’t wait to know it all or do it perfectly. Do it all in the name of the Lord, because “Anything worth doing, is worth doing poorly!”

Voting is not the most important thing you can do today.

Most of us will post on social media that we have voted. This is a very important part of our country. In fact it might be the most important thing we do as citizen of this nation today. It is integral part of helping shape our nation. But it is not the most important thing you can do today.

The most important thing you can do today is love your neighbor. This is in fact the most important thing you do everyday. If all you ever did was vote you would miss out on the ways we can serve those around us. Jesus never said to vote. In fact Jesus avoided the politics of the day at every turn. He did however call all of us as Christian to love our God and love our neighbor. That might start with your vote but it shouldn’t end there.

Our part is to be kind to our neighbors who are sad at the outcome of an election. To help our neighbor who is struggling with illness. To help our neighbor who is hurting at the loss of a loved one or hurting because they lost their job. When I serve my neighbor, I am serving my lord. The one who first served me. So today go out and vote but don’t forget to serve those in need today. It is the most important thing we do everyday.

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Mark 12:28-34 ESV

Come back to Church

So here is a blog post I just couldn’t write. I had to make a video because I felt the words would get lost. This is to everyone who needs to be reminded to come back. I pray this is a blessing and nudge of the Holy Spirit.

22 let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Hebrews 10:22-25 ESV